Technology

Mycroft with Steve Penrod - Episode 82

Summary

Speech is the most natural interface for communication, and yet we force ourselves to conform to the limitations of our tools in our daily tasks. As computation becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous and artificial intelligence becomes more capable, voice becomes a more practical means of controlling our environments. This week Steve Penrod shares the work that is being done on the Mycroft project and the company of the same name. He explains how he met the other members of the team, how the project got started, what it can do right now, and where they are headed in the future.

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 awesome app.
  • 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 in your application 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 talk to previous guests and other listeners of the show.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Steve Penrod about the company and project Mycroft, a voice controlled, AI powered personal assistant written in Python.

Interview with Steve Penrod

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing what Mycroft is and how the project and business got started?
  • How is Mycroft architected and what are the biggest challenges that you have encountered while building this project?
  • What are some of the possible applications of Mycroft?
  • Why would someone choose to use Mycroft in place of other platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s personal assistant?
  • What kinds of machine learning approaches are being used in Mycroft and do they require a remote system for execution or can they be run locally?
  • What kind of hardware is needed for someone who wants to build their own Mycroft and what does the install process look like?
  • It can be difficult to run a business based on open source. What benefits and challenges are introduced by making the software that powers Mycroft freely available?
  • What are the mechanisms for extending Mycroft to add new capabilities?
  • What are some of the most surprising and innovative uses of Mycroft that you have seen?
  • What are the long term goals for the Mycroft project and the business that you have formed around it?

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

Annapoornima Koppad - Episode 81

Summary

Annapoornima Koppad is a director of the PSF, founder of the Bangalore chapter of PyLadies, and is a Python instructor at the Indian Institute of Science. In this week’s episode she talks about how she got started with Python, her experience running the PyLadies meetup, and working with the PSF.

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 awesome app.
  • 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 in your application 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Annapoornima Koppad about her career with Python and her experiences running the PyLadies chapter in Bangalore, India and being a director for the Python Software Foundation.

Interview with Annapoornima Koppad

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • I noticed that you have been freelancing for several years now. How much of that has been in Python and how has that fed back into your other activities? – Tobias
  • While preparing for this interview I came across the book that you self-published on Amazon. What was your motivation for writing it and who is the target audience? – Tobias
  • Can you tell us about your experience with starting the PyLadies group in Bangalore? What were some of the biggest challenges that you encountered and how have you approached the task of growing awareness and membership of the group? – Tobias
  • You recently started teaching Python at the Indian Institute of Science. What kinds of subject matter do you cover in your lessons? – Tobias
  • What is it about Python and its community that has inspired you to dedicate so much of your time to contributing back to it? – Tobias
  • In what ways would you like to see the Python ecosystem improve? – Tobias
  • You were voted in as a director of the Python Software Foundation in the most recent election. Can you share what responsibilities that entails? – Tobias
  • What would you like to achieve with your time in the PSF? – Tobias

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

K Lars Lohn - Episode 79

Summary

K Lars Lohn has had a long and varied career, spending his most recent years at Mozilla. This week he shares some of his stories about getting involved with Python, his work with Mozilla, and his inspiration for the closing keynote at PyCon US 2016. He also elaborates on the intricate mazes that he draws and his life as an organic farmer in Oregon.

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. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We also have a new sponsor this week. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey
  • Today we’re interviewing K Lars Lohn about his career, his art, and his work with Mozilla

Interview with K Lars Lohn

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • You have an interesting pair of articles on your website that attempt to detail how you perceive code and why you think that formatting should be configured in a manner analogous to CSS. Can you explain a bit about how your particular perception affects the way that you program?
  • On your website you have some images of incredibly detailed artwork that are actually mazes. Can you describe some of your creation process for those?
  • What is it about mazes that keeps you interested in them and how did you first start using them as a form of visual art?
  • At Mozilla you have helped to create a project called Socorro which utilizes complexity analysis for correlating stacktraces. How did you conceive of that approach to error monitoring?
  • Can you describe how Socorro is architected and how it works under the covers?
  • At this year’s PyCon US you presented the closing keynote and it was one of the most engaging talks that I’ve seen. Where did you get the inspiration for the content and the mixed media approach?
  • For anyone who hasn’t seen it, you managed to weave together a very personal story with a musical performance, and some applications of complexity analysis into a seamless experience. How much did you have to practice before you felt comfortable delivering that in front of an audience?
  • In addition to your technical career you are also very focused on living in a manner that is sustainable and in tune with your environment. What kinds of synergies and conflicts exist between your professional and personal philosophies?

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

Lorena Mesa - Episode 78

Summary

One of the great strengths of the Python community is the diversity of backgrounds that our practitioners come from. This week Lorena Mesa talks about how her focus on political science and civic engagement led her to a career in software engineering and data analysis. In addition to her professional career she founded the Chicago chapter of PyLadies, helps teach women and kids how to program, and was voted onto the board of the PSF.

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.
  • Check out our sponsor Linode for running your awesome new Python apps. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • You want to make sure your apps are error-free so give our other sponsor, Rollbar, a look. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application 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.
  • By leaving a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music it becomes easier for other people to find us.
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com to help us grow and connect our wonderful audience.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey
  • Today we’re interviewing Lorena Mesa about what inspires her in her work as a software engineer and data analyst.

Interview with Lorena Mesa

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • How did your original interests in political science and community outreach lead to your current role as a software engineer?
  • You dedicate a lot of your time to organizations that help teach programming to women and kids. What are some of the most meaningful experiences that you have been able to facilitate?
  • Can you talk a bit about your work getting the PyLadies chapter in Chicago off the ground and what the reaction has been like?
  • Now that you are a member of the board for the PSF, what are your goals in that position?
  • What is it about software development that made you want to change your career path?
  • What are some of the most interesting projects that you have worked on, whether for your employer or for fun?
  • Do you think that the bootcamp you attended did a good job of preparing you for a position in industry?
  • What is your view on the concept that software development is the modern form of literacy? Do you think that everyone should learn how to program?

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

Podbuzzz with Kyle Martin - Episode 77

Summary

Podcasts are becoming more popular now than they ever have been. Podbuzzz is a service for helping podcasters to track their reviews and imporove SEO to reach a wider audience. In this episode we spoke with Kyle Martin about his experience using Python to build Podbuzzz and manage it in production.

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.
  • You need a place to run your awesome new Python apps, so check out our sponsor Linode at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project.
  • You want to make sure your apps are error-free so give our next sponsor, Rollbar, a look. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application 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.
  • By leaving a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music it becomes easier for other people to find us.
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com to help us grow and connect our wonderful audience.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Kyle Martin about Podbuzzz

Interview with Kyle Martin

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • Can you start by explaining what Podbuzz is? – Tobias
  • Why did you end up choosing Python as the language for building thx#is service? – Tobias
  • What have been the biggest engineering challenges in building Podbuzzz? – Tobias
  • How did you conceive of the idea to build Podbuzzz and what inspired you to provide it as a service? – Tobias
  • Part of the service that you are building is a widget that encourages listeners to rate a podcast on iTunes. Why is that important and what are some of the techniques that you have leveraged to determine the most effective messaging? – Tobias
  • What are some of the features that you plan on adding to your service? – Tobias
  • Do you intend to run Podbuzzz as a side project or do you envision it becoming a company with its own staff? – Tobias
  • In addition to your work with Podbuzzz as a way for podcasters to gain visibility for their shows, you’re also working on an analytics platform for the same target audience. Can you explain a bit about that and the problems that you’ve had to overcome? – Tobias
  • What is it about podcasting that makes it hard to gain useful metrics and what is your strategy for overcoming some of those obstacles? – Tobias

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

GenSim with Radim Řehůřek - Episode 71

Summary

Being able to understand the context of a piece of text is generally thought to be the domain of human intelligence. However, topic modeling and semantic analysis can be used to allow a computer to determine whether different messages and articles are about the same thing. This week we spoke with Radim Řehůřek about his work on GenSim, which is a Python library for performing unsupervised analysis of unstructured text and applying machine learning models to the problem of natural language understanding.

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. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com and use the code podcastinit at signup to get a $50 credit on your account.
  • 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Radim Řehůřek about Gensim, a library for topic modeling and semantic analysis of natural language.

Interview with Radim Řehůřek

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • Can you start by giving us an explanation of topic modeling and semantic analysis? – Tobias
  • What is Gensim and what inspired you to create it? – Tobias
  • What facilities does Gensim provide to simplify the work of this kind of language analysis? – Tobias
  • Can you describe the features that set it apart from other projects such as the NLTK or Spacy? – Tobias
  • What are some of the practical applications that Gensim can be used for? – Tobias
  • One of the features that stuck out to me is the fact that Gensim can process corpora on disk that would be too large to fit into memory. Can you explain some of the algorithmic work that was necessary to allow for this streaming process to be possible? – Tobias
    • Given that it can handle streams of data, could it also be used in the context of something like Spark? – Tobias
  • Gensim also supports unsupervised model building. What kinds of limitations does this have and when would you need a human in the loop? – Tobias
    • Once a model has been trained, how does it get saved and reloaded for subsequent use? – Tobias
  • What are some of the more unorthodox or interesting uses people have put Gensim to that you’ve heard about? – Chris
  • In addition to your work on Gensim, and partly due to its popularity, you have started a consultancy for customers who are interested in improving their data analysis capabilities. How does that feed back into Gensim? – Tobias
  • Are there any improvements in Gensim or other libraries that you have made available as a result of issues that have come up during client engagements? – Tobias
  • Is it difficult to find contributors to Gensim because of its advanced nature? – Tobias
  • Are there any resources you’d like to recommend our listeners explore to get a more in depth understanding of topic modeling and related techniques? – Chris

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

Python on Windows with Steve Dower - Episode 70

Summary

In order for Python to continue to attract new users, we need to have an easy way for people to get started with it, and Windows is still the most widely used operating system among computers. Steve Dower is the build maintainer for the Windows installers of Python and this week we spoke with him about his work in that role. He told us about the changes that he has made to the installer to make it easier for new users to get started and how modern updates to the packaging ecosystem for libraries has simplified dependency management. He also told us about how the Visual Studio team is building a set of tools to make development of Python code more enjoyable and how Microsoft’s adoption of open source is making Windows a more attractive platform for developers.

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.
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com and use the code podcastinit at signup to get a $50 credit on your account!
  • 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Steve Dower about Python on Windows

Interview with Steve Dower

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • You are currently the release manager for Python on Windows. How did you end up with that responsibility? – Tobias
  • While Python has supported Windows for a long time, the overall experience has historically been rather poor. Can you give a bit of the background of why that was and tell us about some of the work that you and others have been doing to make it better? – Tobias
  • Given that a large percentage of users are still on Windows, having a good story for getting started with Python on that platform is important for adoption of the language. What are some of the areas where the current situation needs to be improved? – Tobias
  • What is the most difficult part of building a distribution of Python for a Windows environment? Has it gotten easier in recent years? – Tobias
  • When we were speaking at PyCon you mentioned that the most frequently downloaded version of Python from the python.org site is the 32 bit version for Windows. Do you think that is an accurate and useful metric? What other statistics do you wish you could capture or improve? – Tobias
  • How does Python Tools for Visual Studio compare with other Python IDEs like Pycharm? – Chris
  • What are some unique features that Python Tools for Visual Studio offers that other tools don’t? – Chris
  • Are there any compelling aspects of developing Python on Windows that could convince users on other platforms to make the switch? – Tobias
  • Could you give our listeners a whirlwind tour of the underlying implementation of PTVS? How does Visual Studio provide such in depth introspection for your Python code? – Chris

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

Test Engineering with Cris Medina - Episode 68

Summary

We all know that testing is an important part of software and systems development. The problem is that as our systems and applications grow, the amount of testing necessary increases at an exponential rate. Cris Medina joins us this week to talk about some of the problems and approaches associated with testing these complex systems and some of the ways that Python can help.

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. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • The O’Reilly Velocity conference is coming to New York this September and we have a free ticket to give away. If you would like the chance to win it then just sign up for our newsletter at pythonpodcast.com
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Cris Medina about test engineering for large and complex systems.

Interview with Cris Medina

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • To get us started can you share your definition of test engineering and how it differs from the types of testing that your average developer is used to? – Tobias
  • What are some common industries or situations where this kind of test engineering becomes necessary? – Tobias
  • How and where does Python fit into the kind of testing that becomes necessary when dealing with these complex systems? – Tobias
  • How do you determine which areas of a system to test and how can Python help in that discovery process? – Tobias
  • What are some of your favorite tools and libraries for this kind of work? – Tobias
  • What are some of the areas where the existing Python tooling falls short? – Tobias
  • Given the breadth of concerns that are encompassed with testing the various components of these large systems, what are some ways that a test engineer can get a high-level view of the overall state? – Tobias
    • How can that information be distilled for presentation to other areas of the business? – Tobias
    • Could that information be used to provide a compelling business case for the resources required to test properly? – Chris
  • Given the low-level nature of this kind of work I imagine that proper visibility of the work being done can be difficult. How do you make sure that management can properly see and appreciate your efforts? – Tobias

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

Crossing The Streams - Talk Python with Michael Kennedy - Episode 67

Summary

The same week that we released our first episode of Podcast.__init__, Michael Kennedy was publishing the very first episode of Talk Python To Me. The years long drought of podcasts about Python has been quenched with a veritable flood of quality content as we have both continued to deliver the stories of the wonderful people who make our community such a wonderful place. This week we interviewed Michael about what inspired him to get started, his process and experience as Talk Python continues to evolve, and how that has led him to create online training courses alongside the podcast. He also interviewed us, so check out this weeks episode of Talk Python To Me for a mirror image of this show!

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. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com
  • 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Michael Kennedy about his work with Talk Python to Me, another podcast about Python and its community, and on-demand Python trainings. Michael has also offered to give away one of each of his Python courses to our listeners. If you would like the chance to win, then sign up for our newsletter at pythonpodcast.com, or our forum at discourse.pythonpodcast.com. If you want to double your chances, then sign up for both!

Interview with Michael Kennedy

  • Introductions
  • How did you get into programming?
  • How did you get introduced to Python? (Chris)
  • What is the craziest piece of software you’ve ever written? – Tobias
  • You’ve taken some pretty drastic steps around Python and your career lately. What inspired you to do that and how’s it going?(yes, quit my job, focus only on podcast and online courses).
  • You are basically self-taught as a developer, how did you get into this teaching / mentor role?
  • Why did you first get started with Talk Python to Me? – Tobias
  • Did you know when you started that it would turn into a full-time endeavor? – Tobias
  • For a while there weren’t any podcasts available that focused on Python and now we’re each producing one. What’s it like to run a successful podcast? – Tobias
  • What have been your most popular episodes? Tell us a bit about each – Tobias
  • In your excellent episode with Kate Heddleston you talked about how we tend to bash other programming languages. We’ve done a fair bit of Java bashing here. How can we help get ourselves and others in our community out of this bad habit? – Chris
  • How do you select the guests and topics for your show? – Tobias
  • What topics do you have planned for the next few episodes?
  • How do you prepare the questions for each episode? – Tobias
  • What is the most significant thing you’ve learned from the podcasting experience?
  • What do you wish you did differently and how are you looking to improve? – Tobias
  • I had a great time hanging out with you at PyCon this year. What was your impression of the conference?
  • What were your favorite sessions and do you have any shows scheduled to follow up on them? – Tobias
  • Your sites are 100% “hand-crafted” as they say. Can you give us a look inside? What are the moving parts in there?
  • So you stirred things up with Stitcher this week. What’s up with that?
  • Can you recommend some podcasts? What’s in your playlist?
  • Final call to action?

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

Zorg with Gunther Cox and Kevin Brown - Episode 66

Summary

Everyone loves to imagine what they would do if they had their own robot. This week we spoke with Gunther Cox and Kevin Brown about their work on Zorg, which is a Python library for building a robot of your own! We discussed how the project got started, what platforms it supports, and some of the projects that have been built with it. Give it a listen and then get building!

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. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com
  • 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 for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey
  • Today we’re interviewing Gunther Cox and Kevin Brown about Zorg, a Python framework for robotics and physical computing

Interview with Gunther Cox and Kevin Brown

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • What is Zorg and what is its origin story? – Tobias
  • How would you define and differentiate the concepts of robotics, physical computing, and the internet of things? – Tobias
  • I noticed in the documentation that Zorg is based on the Cylon.js project. How closely does the implementation of Zorg stick to that of Cylon and how much needs to be changed due to differences in the language? – Tobias
  • Is Zorg useful for production applications or is it primarily intended for educational purposes and hobby projects? – Tobias
  • Zorg currently only supports the Intel Edison, with plans for Raspberry Pi and Arduino Firmata support in the works. What is involved in adding compatibility with other platforms? – Tobias
  • What are some of the most interesting projects that you have seen created using Zorg? – Tobias
  • How does Zorg compare to other Python robotics projects such as ROSPy? – Tobias
  • Robotics is a large and complex problem space. What are some of the other features and projects in Python that are often used when building robots? – Tobias

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