Practical Advice On Using Python To Power A Business - Episode 306

Summary

Python is a language that is used in almost every imaginable context and by people from an amazing range of backgrounds. A lot of the people who use it wouldn’t even call themselves programmers, because that is not the primary focus of their job. In this episode Chris Moffitt shares his experience writing Python as a business user. In order to share his insights and help others who have run up against the limits of Excel he maintains the site Practical Business Python where he publishes articles that help introduce newcomers to Python and explain how to perform tasks such as building reports, automating Excel files, and doing data analysis. This is a great conversation that illustrates how useful it is to learn Python even if you never intend to write software professionally.

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Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With the launch of their managed Kubernetes platform it’s easy to get started with the next generation of deployment and scaling, powered by the battle tested Linode platform, including simple pricing, node balancers, 40Gbit networking, dedicated CPU and GPU instances, and worldwide data centers. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode and get a $100 credit to try out a Kubernetes cluster of your own. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • We’ve all been asked to help with an ad-hoc request for data by the sales and marketing team. Then it becomes a critical report that they need updated every week or every day. Then what do you do? Send a CSV via email? Write some Python scripts to automate it? But what about incremental sync, API quotas, error handling, and all of the other details that eat up your time? Today, there is a better way. With Census, just write SQL or plug in your dbt models and start syncing your cloud warehouse to SaaS applications like Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, and many more. Go to pythonpodcast.com/census today to get a free 14-day trial.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Chris Moffitt about how Python is used to help manage business needs and processes and his work to share advice on this topic at Practical Business Python

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by giving an overview of your mission at Practical Business Python?
    • What was your inspiration for starting the site and what keeps you motivated?
  • What are some of the kinds of problems that a business user is looking to solve for themselves?
  • Why is Python a viable tool for a business user to become familiar with?
  • How would you characterize the difference between the ways that a software engineer and a business user approach Python?
  • What do you see as the tipping point of complexity or time investment past which a business user will pass a given project on to a software engineer?
  • How much familiarity with adjacent concerns such as version control, software design, etc. do you consider useful for a business user?
  • What are some of the ways that you use Python in your day-to-day?
  • What are some of the onramps for integrating Python into a user’s workflow?
  • What are some common stumbling blocks that business users run into when getting started with Python?
  • What are some of the most interesting, innovative, or impressive ways that you have seen Python employed by business users?
  • What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on the Practical Business Python site?
  • What are some cases where you would advocate for a tool other than Python for a business use case?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the site?

Keep In Touch

Picks

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, the Data Engineering Podcast for the latest on modern data management.
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Links

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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