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

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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Analyzing The Ecosystem of Python Data Companies With Tony Liu - Episode 305

There are a large and growing number of businesses built by and for data science and machine learning teams that rely on Python. Tony Liu is a venture investor who is following that market closely and betting on its continued success. In this episode he shares his own journey into the role of an investor and discusses what he is most excited about in the industry. He also explains what he looks at when investing in a business and gives advice on what potential founders and early employees of startups should be thinking about when starting on that journey.

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How Python's Evolution Impacts Your Fluency With Luciano Ramalho - Episode 296

On its surface Python is a simple language which is what has contributed to its rise in popularity. As you move to intermediate and advanced usage you will find a number of interesting and elegant design elements that will let you build scalable and maintainable systems and design friendly interfaces. Luciano Ramalho is best known as the author of Fluent Python which has quickly become a leading resource for Python developers to increase their facility with the language. In this episode he shares his journey with Python and his perspective on how the recent changes to the interpreter and ecosystem are influencing who is adopting it and how it is being used. Luciano has an interesting perspective on how the feedback loop between the community and the language is driving the curent and future priorities of the features that are added.

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Making The Case For A (Semi) Formal Specification Of CPython - Episode 288

The CPython implementation has grown and evolved significantly over the past ~25 years. In that time there have been many other projects to create compatible runtimes for your Python code. One of the challenges for these other projects is the lack of a fully documented specification of how and why everything works the way that it does. In the most recent Python language summit Mark Shannon proposed implementing a formal specification for CPython, and in this episode he shares his reasoning for why that would be helpful and what is involved in making it a reality.

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Threading The Needle Of Interesting And Informative While You Learn To Code - Episode 283

Learning to code is a neverending journey, which is why it’s important to find a way to stay motivated. A common refrain is to just find a project that you’re interested in building and use that goal to keep you on track. The problem with that advice is that as a new programmer, you don’t have the knowledge required to know which projects are reasonable, which are difficult, and which are effectively impossible. Steven Lott has been sharing his programming expertise as a consultant, author, and trainer for years. In this episode he shares his insights on how to help readers, students, and colleagues interested enough to learn the fundamentals without losing sight of the long term gains. He also uses his own difficulties in learning to maintain, repair, and captain his sailboat as relatable examples of the learning process and how the lessons he has learned can be translated to the process of learning a new technology or skill. This was a great conversation about the various aspects of how to learn, how to stay motivated, and how to help newcomers bridge the gap between what they want to create and what is within their grasp.

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Building The Open Data Ecosystem For Music And More At Metabrainz - Episode 276

The Musicbrainz project was an early entry in the movement to build an open data ecosystem. In recent years, the Metabrainz Foundation has fostered a growing ecosystem of projects to support the contribution of, and access to, metadata, listening habits, and review of music. The majority of those projects are written in Python, and in this episode Param Singh explains how they are built, how they fit together, and how they support the goals of the Metabrains Foundation. This was an interesting exporation of the work involved in building an ecosystem of open data, the challenges of making it sustainable, and the benefits of building for the long term rather than trying to achieve a quick win.

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Growing Dask To Make Scaling Python Data Science Easier At Coiled - Episode 275

Python is a leading choice for data science due to the immense number of libraries and frameworks readily available to support it, but it is still difficult to scale. Dask is a framework designed to transparently run your data analysis across multiple CPU cores and multiple servers. Using Dask lifts a limitation for scaling your analytical workloads, but brings with it the complexity of server administration, deployment, and security. In this episode Matthew Rocklin and Hugo Bowne-Anderson discuss their recently formed company Coiled and how they are working to make use and maintenance of Dask in production. The share the goals for the business, their approach to building a profitable company based on open source, and the difficulties they face while growing a new team during a global pandemic.

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The Past, Present, And Future Of The FLUFL: Barry Warsaw Shares His History With Python - Episode 271

Barry Warsaw has been a member of the Python community since the very beginning. His contributions to the growth of the language and its ecosystem are innumerable and diverse, earning him the title of Friendly Language Uncle For Life. In this episode he reminisces on his experiences as a core developer, a member of the Python Steering Committee, and his roles at Canonical and LinkedIn supporting the use of Python at those companies. In order to know where you are going it is always important to understand where you have been and this was a great conversation to get a sense of the history of how Python has gotten to where it is today.

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Getting A Handle On Portable C Extensions With hpy - Episode 254

One of the driving factors of Python’s success is the ability for developers to integrate with performant languages such as C and C++. The challenge is that the interface for those extensions is specific to the main implementation of the language. This contributes to difficulties in building alternative runtimes that can support important packages such as NumPy. To address this situation a team of developers are working to create the hpy project, a new interface for extension developers that is standardized and provides a uniform target for multiple runtimes. In this episode Antonio Cuni discusses the motivations for creating hpy, how it benefits the whole ecosystem, and ways to contribute to the effort. This is an exciting development that has the potential to unlock a new wave of innovation in the ways that you can run your Python code.

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Riding The Rising Tides Of Python - Episode 242

The past two decades have seen massive growth in the language, community, and ecosystem of Python. The career of Pete Fein has occurred during that same period and his use of the language has paralleled some of the major shifts in focus that have occurred. In this episode he shares his experiences moving from a trader writing scripts, through the rise of the web, to the current renaissance in data. He also discusses how his engagement with the community has evolved, why he hasn’t needed to use any other languages in his career, and what he is keeping an eye on for the future.

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