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A Quick Python Check-in With Naomi Ceder - Episode 204

Summary

Naomi Ceder was fortunate enough to learn Python from Guido himself. Since then she has contributed books, code, and mentorship to the community. Currently she serves as the chair of the board to the Python Software Foundation, leads an engineering team, and has recently completed a new draft of the Quick Python Book. In this episode she shares her story, including a discussion of her experience as a technical author and a detailed account of the role that the PSF plays in supporting and growing the community.

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 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email [email protected])
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Check out the Practical AI podcast from our friends at Changelog Media to learn and stay up to date with what’s happening in AI
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with what’s happening in databases, streaming platforms, big data, and everything else you need to know about modern data management. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with organizations such as O’Reilly Media, Dataversity, and the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Naomi Ceder about her career and contributions in the Python community

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • How are you using Python in your current day-to-day?
  • You have been working with Python for a long time at this point, and you have become very involved in supporting and growing the community. What is your motivation for dedicating so much of your time and energy into work that isn’t directly related to paying the bills?
  • You have been the chair of the PSF for a few years now. What are your responsibilities in that position?
  • What do you find to be the most under-rated, misunderstood, or overlooked activities of the PSF?
    • How much of the success of the Python language and its community can be attributed to the presence and support of the PSF?
  • In addition to the work you do with the PSF, other community activities, and your day job, you have also written the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Quick Python Book. Can you give a synopsis of what the book covers and the audience that it is intended for?
  • In the process of writing the book and updating it between revisions, what are some of the features of the language or standard library that you discovered or learned more about which you have been able to use in your work?
  • What are some of the other language communities that you have been involved with and what lessons have you learned from them that you would like to see reflected in Python?
  • What are some of the other projects that you have been involved with that you are most proud of, whether technical or otherwise?
  • What are you most excited about in the near to medium future?

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

Wes McKinney's Career In Python For Data Analysis - Episode 203

Summary

Python has become one of the dominant languages for data science and data analysis. Wes McKinney has been working for a decade to make tools that are easy and powerful, starting with the creation of Pandas, and eventually leading to his current work on Apache Arrow. In this episode he discusses his motivation for this work, what he sees as the current challenges to be overcome, and his hopes for the future of the industry.

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 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email [email protected])
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Check out the Practical AI podcast from our friends at Changelog Media to learn and stay up to date with what’s happening in AI
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with the ways that Python is being used, including the latest in machine learning and data analysis. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with O’Reilly Media for the Strata conference in San Francisco on March 25th and the Artificial Intelligence conference in NYC on April 15th. Here in Boston, starting on May 17th, you still have time to grab a ticket to the Enterprise Data World, and from April 30th to May 3rd is the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Wes McKinney about his contributions to the Python community and his current projects to make data analytics easier for everyone

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • You have spent a large portion of your career on building tools for data science and analytics in the Python ecosystem. What is your motivation for focusing on this problem domain?
  • Having been an open source author and contributor for many years now, what are your current thoughts on paths to sustainability?
  • What are some of the common challenges pertaining to data analysis that you have experienced in the various work environments and software projects that you have been involved in?
    • What area(s) of data science and analytics do you find are not receiving the attention that they deserve?
  • Recently there has been a lot of focus and excitement around the capabilities of neural networks and deep learning. In your experience, what are some of the shortcomings or blind spots to that class of approach that would be better served by other classes of solution?
  • Your most recent work is focused on the Arrow project for improving interoperability across languages. What are some of the cases where a Python developer would want to incorporate capabilities from other runtimes?
    • Do you think that we should be working to replicate some of those capabilities into the Python language and ecosystem, or is that wasted effort that would be better spent elsewhere?
  • Now that Pandas has been in active use for over a decade and you have had the opportunity to get some space from it, what are your thoughts on its success?
    • With the perspective that you have gained in that time, what would you do differently if you were starting over today?
  • You are best known for being the creator of Pandas, but can you list some of the other achievements that you are most proud of?
  • What projects are you most excited to be working on in the near to medium future?
  • What are your grand ambitions for the future of the data science community, both in and outside of the Python ecosystem?
  • Do you have any parting advice for active or aspiring data scientists, or resources that you would like to recommend?

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

Kenneth Reitz - Episode 139

Summary

Kenneth Reitz has contributed many things to the Python community, including projects such as Requests, Pipenv, and Maya. He also started the community written Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python, and serves on the board of the Python Software Foundation. This week he talks about his career in the Python community and digs into some of his current work.

Preface

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who supports us on Patreon. Your contributions help to make the show sustainable.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next project you’ll need somewhere to deploy it. Check out Linode at podastinit.com/linode and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for running your awesome app. And now you can deliver your work to your users even faster with the newly upgraded 200 GBit network in all of their datacenters.
  • If you’re tired of cobbling together your deployment pipeline then it’s time to try out GoCD, the open source continuous delivery platform built by the people at ThoughtWorks who wrote the book about it. With GoCD you get complete visibility into the life-cycle of your software from one location. To download it now go to podcatinit.com/gocd. Professional support and enterprise plugins are available for added piece of mind.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email [email protected])
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, tell your friends and co-workers, and share it on social media.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Kenneth Reitz about his career in Python

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • An overarching theme of your open source projects is the idea of making them “For Humans”. Can you elaborate on how that came to be a focus for you and how that informs the way that you design and write your code?

  • What are the projects that you are most proud of and which do you think have had the biggest impact on the Python community?
    A: Requests, Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python, and Pipenv (yet to come to full fruition).

  • Which projects have you authored which are relatively unknown but you think people would benefit from using more often?
    A: Maya: Datetime for Humans, and Records: SQL for Humans.

  • Outside of the code that you write, what are some of your personal missions for the software industry in general and the Python community in particular?
    A: I consider myself a “spiritual alchemist”, which means “transformation of dark into light”. I seek to do “the great work”, in however in manifests, outside of the programming world, as well as within it.

  • What do you think is the biggest gap in the tool chest for Python developers?
    A: I seek to fill all the voids that I see, and I’ve done my best to do that to the best of my ability. I think we have a lot of work to do in the area of single-file executable builds (a-la Go).

  • What are your ambitions for future projects?
    A: At the moment, I have no current plans for future projects, but I’m sure something will come along at some point 🙂

  • If you weren’t working with Python what would you be doing instead?
    A: I’d have a lot less money and I’d be a lot less fufilled.

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

Jackie Kazil - Episode 89

Summary

Jackie Kazil has led a distinguished and varied career with a strong focus on providing information and tools that empower others. This includes her work in data journalism, as a presidential innovation fellow, co-founding 18F, co-authoring a book, and being elected to the board of the Python Software Foundation. In this episode she shares these stories and more with us and how Python has helped her along the way.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next project you’ll need somewhere to deploy it. Check out Linode at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for running your application.
  • You’ll want to make sure that your users don’t have to put up with bugs, so you should use Rollbar for tracking and aggregating your application errors to find and fix the bugs before your users notice they exist. Use the link rollbar.com/podcastinit to get 90 days and 300,000 errors for free on their bootstrap plan.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com to join other listeners of the show and share ideas for how to make it better.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Jackie Kazil about her work with 18F, writing Data Wrangling with Python, and her career with Python.

Interview with Jackie Kazil

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Looking at your background it shows that you got your start in Journalism and that you are now working on an additional degree in Computational Social Science. Can you share a bit about that journey and what set you on that path?
  • What is computational social science and what has your particular focus been within that field?
  • How has your work in news media prepared you for your current role?
  • One of your many notable achievements is co-founding 18F. Can you start by explaining what that organization is and how you got involved in the efforts to build it?
  • What are some of the notable uses of Python at 18F?
  • In what ways did your experience working with 18F differ from the work you have done at companies outside of government?
  • You recently co-wrote and published Data Wrangling with Python through O’Reilly Media. What kind of subject matter do you cover in the book and who is the target audience?
  • There are a number of resources available to learn the various tools for working with data in Python. What is the gap that this book is aiming to fill and how did you get started with it?
  • What are some of the most interesting things that you learned while working on the book?

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