Accelerating The Adoption Of Python At Wayfair


November 3rd, 2019

42 mins 2 secs

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About this Episode


Large companies often have a variety of programming languages and technologies being used across departments to keep the business running. Python has been gaining ground in these environments because of its flexibility, ease of use, and developer productivity. In order to accelerate the rate of adoption at Wayfair this week’s guest Jonathan Biddle started a team to work with other engineering groups on their projects and show them how best to take advantage of the benefits of Python. In this episode he explains their operating model, shares their success stories, and provides advice on the pitfalls to avoid if you want to follow in his footsteps. This is definitely worth a listen if you are using Python in your work or would like to aid in its adoption.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Jonathan Biddle about his work to encourage and empower Wayfair engineers in their use of Python


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing the mission statement for you and your team at Wayfair?
    • What is the origin story for how your group got started?
      • How and where was Python being used within Wayfair at the time?
  • What are the primary languages that are used throughout Wayfair?
    • What is involved in the selection process for a language and technology stack for new projects within Wayfair?
  • Can you describe how and why you work with different groups throughout Wayfair?
  • What are some of the common misconceptions or barriers that you encounter when working with other engineering and product teams about how and where Python will be useful?
  • How large is your team currently and what is the length of a typical engagement?
    • How has the scale and scope of your work changed since your group was first formed?
  • How many different product teams have you worked with at this point and what are some of the notable outcomes?
  • What are some of the most challenging aspects, both technical and organizational, of educating other engineers on when and how to use Python?
  • Can you share some examples of engagements that you would classify as a failure?
    • What lessons have you learned from those situations?
  • What advice do you have for other groups or organizations who may be considering or actively launching similar initiatives?

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