Microsoft plans to focus even more on accessibility in 2019 a certified Warditorial

by Jason Ward, an astute observer of all things Microsoft not named Mary Jo Foley.

 

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is on a mission to make all the company’s products and services accessible to everyone.

 

If it seems like Microsoft’s accessibility efforts are getting almost as much attention as its cloud, Windows and productivity businesses, you’re not mistaken. Since becoming the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella has made “inclusive design” a core part of the company’s business model. It is almost impossible to see a major Microsoft event or hear a significant Microsoft announcement without hearing how accessibility is woven in.

 

Nadella acknowledged that historically companies, including Microsoft, would build products and address an accessibility “checklist” after the fact. This post-design focus on assistive technologies was limiting because it resulted in narrowly designing products for able-bodied people while excluding millions of others with disabilities.

 

from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft. http://bit.ly/2RRYzqy

PyDev of the Week: Nina Zakharenko | The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Nina Zakharenko | The Mouse Vs. The Python

This week we welcome Nina Zakharenko (@nnja) as our PyDev of the Week! Nina has been active in the Python community for several years and has spoken or keynoted dozens of conferences. She has also contributed to the Python core language! If you’d like to see what she is up to, check out her blog. Let’s spend a few moments getting to know Nina!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

 

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the mid-90s cyberpunk movie Hackers – about a group of hackers framed for deploying a world-threatening computer virus – inspired me to become a programmer at a very young age. Even more embarrassing – I owned a pair of rollerblades growing up. When I was 12, I learned HTML to make websites by reading and deconstructing the source code of sites I visited, and I slowly became more engrossed in technology. As an adult, I studied Computer Science in college, and since then I’ve held a variety of exciting jobs at companies like HBO writing software for satellite control computers, to working for companies like Meetup and at Reddit. This spring, I joined the incredible Cloud Developer Advocacy team at Microsoft as the first Advocate entirely devoted to Python. I love teaching and public speaking.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

I started using Python in 2012 for small scripts and internal tools and eventually started using Python to work on the meetup.com API. In 2013 I went to my first PyCon in Santa Clara. Back then, I was writing Java full-time. I was afraid that I’d get made fun of at the conference for being new to Python, but the opposite was true. So many members of the community welcomed me with open arms. I was totally blown away. I also realized that Python was for so much more than scripting – that it was a powerful first-class language used by some of the top companies in the world. Eventually, I quit my job as a Java Developer and spent a summer at the Recurse Center (known then as Hacker School, a developer retreat in NYC). I focused on learning new tools and languages, dabbling with machine learning, and teaching myself Python. At the Recurse Center, I was able to fall in love with programming all over again. Presently I’ve been writing Python professionally for five years for a variety of companies. The work is much more interesting, and the brevity of whitespace, naming conventions, and simplicity was a breath of fresh air after the verbosity of Java.

 

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

 

Professionally I’ve been lucky enough to work in a wide variety of languages, frameworks, and technologies. At various points in my career, I’ve been paid to write C++, Javascript, Java, Python, and Clojure. I’ve briefly dabbled in Go, Lisp, Haskell, and Octave for fun. Despite all my experience, Python is still hands down my favorite. It’s just fun to write, fun to learn, and is an exceptionally powerful teaching tool. No matter how long I work in it, I feel like there’s always more to learn.

 

from The Mouse Vs. The Python http://bit.ly/2RCQAOP

PyDev of the Week: Lorena Mesa

PyDev of the Week: Lorena Mesa

This week we welcome Lorena Mesa (@loooorenanicole) as our PyDev of the Week! Lorena is an organizer for the PyLadies Chicago group and a director at the Python Software Foundation. You can check out some of the things that she is up to on her blog or via her Github page. Let’s spend a few moments getting to know her better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

 

Hmmm … I have been told that I’m a bit eclectic. So let’s start with the basics, in my day to day gig I am a proud member of GitHub’s software intelligence systems team as a data engineer. In my etc hours I do such things as co-organize PyLadies Chicago and serve as a Director for the Python Software Foundation.

 

Things I do for fun?

  • I’m an avid runner having taken on the Chicago Marathon 13 times now. Why? I encourage you to read Haruki Murakami’s “What I talk about when I talk about running” before you ask me that.
  • Jazz, italo disco, and loud 1980s ballads are equal parts guilty pleasure for me. Meaning of course I’ve been learning the sax and getting pretty good at it lately. (Yes, I can play Careless Whispers).
  • I’m learning Klingon – https://www.kli.org/.

You can find my random musings when I post on my personal blog at lorenamesa.com on such things as traveling, tech, and other tidbits.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

I began using Python as an Obama for America (OFA) staffer around 2008. At the time I was pursuing my political science degree from Northwestern and working on the Latino Vote team for OFA. Some of the tasks we were looking to accomplish as a part of our outreach included identifying and ultimately predicting patterns of Latino voter behavior. Luckily we had many technologists on hand who helped us think about how we could do this, and given the data set and tech we were using for outreach (yes, this is the early days of social media … Twitter how novel!) programming was an obvious fit. I had the stats background, understood the problem space, and before I knew it was writing my first Python “programs” to help us target and reach our desired voting demographic.

 

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

 

I am not a classically trained computer scientist, far from it actually. Coming from social science research and applied mathematics when I decided I wanted to pursue a career in engineering I jumped two feet into a coding immersion program. This predated the data science bootcamps and masters we see today, therefore it was a full stack program teaching me JavaScript, SQL (which I already knew), and Ruby. JavaScript became a quick friend. JavaScript was such a different and at times strange entity, but I loved how it invited me to think differently and solve different problems. Namely I was using JavaScript for data viz. I have since fallen in love with functional programming and fully enjoy Scala.

 

Thanks for doing the interview!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python http://bit.ly/2UhlUPG

PyDev of the Week: Lance Bragstad | The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Lance Bragstad | The Mouse Vs. The Python

This week we welcome Lance Bragstad (@LanceBragstad) as our PyDev of the Week! Lance is a core developer of the OpenStack project. You can find out more about his passions via his website or his Github profile. Let’s spend some time getting to know Lance!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

 

In 2012, I graduated with a degree in Computer Science from North Dakota State University, located in Fargo (yup, like the movie). Since then I’ve become more and more passionate about open-source software. I spend most of my time in the OpenStack ecosystem.

 

Besides being passionate about open-source software, I’m an avid outdoorsman. My wife and I train for running events together. I also donate time as a volunteer firefighter for our community of about 700 people.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

After I graduated college, I started working at IBM building an OpenStack distribution. Since OpenStack is written in Python, learning Python was a requirement, and that’s how I was introduced to the language. Despite being given the opportunity to use different languages in college, I never really experimented with Python. Using it in a new setting with a new job was an exciting learning experience.

 

What projects are you working on now?

 

Currently, I spend the majority of my time working within OpenStack’s authentication and authorization realm. There is a dedicated identity service, called keystone, along with several libraries that orchestrate authorization across OpenStack.

 

Since there are many ways to approach identity management, it’s interesting to work on the piece that handles all of that. Keystone can be used to manage users with MySQL. It can also be configured to use LDAP or even identity providers that issue SAML assertions or use OpenID Connect.

 

The other exciting part is that OpenStack services offer such a rich set of APIs to users. Since services consume authorization information from keystone, keystone has to support protecting all of those APIs, which presents an interesting set of problems to solve.

 

 

from The Mouse Vs. The Python http://bit.ly/2sqpDi3

Alabama, backward as usual.

Being from Alabama and not living there now, this doesn’t surprise me. Fortunately, when I lived there, I lived in counties with medical facilities and doctors. Even when I went to high school had at the time 2 hospitals. There is 1 there now.

Today in Technology: The top 10 tech issues for 2019 | Microsoft on the Issues

By Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne

This past year we’ve addressed some of history’s most important innovations in our Today in Technology blog and video series. Our focus is always on what we can learn from the past and apply to today’s issues.

Today we look back at more recent history – the past 12 months, to be exact. It was a momentous year for technology, with the phrase “Techlash” commonly used to refer not just to one but several issues which gave the public pause about the role of technology and the tech sector in people’s lives. As the calendar turns to 2019, we consider what the last year will likely mean to what will surely be an important new year. Here’s our list of 10 developments to think about.

1. PRIVACY: Privacy protection deepens in Europe and spreads to the United States

2. DISINFORMATION: The controversy roils social media

3. PROTECTIONISM IN THE PACIFIC: Tech comes between the United States and China

4. DIGITAL DIPLOMACY: Multi-stakeholder efforts start addressing cyberattacks

5. ETHICS CHALLENGES FOR AI: New controversies abound amidst employee activism

6. AI AND THE ECONOMY: Concerns spread about AI and jobs

7. THE PEOPLE SIDE OF TECHNOLOGY: Immigration and diversity remain front and center

8. RURAL BROADBAND: Some progress amidst problems

9. SOVEREIGNTY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CLOUD: Protecting people in a data-driven world

10. TECH GROWTH AND COMMUNITIES: What’s good for tech companies can challenge a community

Read our full analysis here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/today-technology-top-10-tech-issues-2019-brad-smith/?published=t

The post Today in Technology: The top 10 tech issues for 2019 appeared first on Microsoft on the Issues.

PyDev of the Week: Kushal Das | The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Kushal Das | The Mouse Vs. The Python

This week we welcome Kushal Das (@kushaldas) as our PyDev of the Week! Kushal is a core developer of the Python programming language and a co-author of PEP 582. You can learn more about Kushal by checking out his blog or his Github profile. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Kushal better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

 

I am a staff member of Freedom of the Press Foundation. We are a non-profit that protects, defends, and empowers public-interest journalism in the 21st century. We work on encryption tools for journalists and whistleblowers, documentation of attacks on the press, training newsrooms on digital security practices, and advocating for the the public’s right to know.

 

I am also part of various Free Software projects through out my life. I am a core developer of CPython, and a director of the Python Software Foundation. I am part of the core team of the Tor project. I am a regular contributor to Fedora Project for over a decade now.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

I started learning Python at the end of 2005. I wanted to write code for my new Nokia phone and Sirtaj Singh Kang suggested me to start learning Python for the same. While doing so I found that I had to write much less number of lines of code and also it was much easier to understand. I started talking more with the wider Python community over Internet and that hooked me into it more. As Brett Cannon said: “Came for the language, stayed for the community.” is true for many of us.

 

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

 

Through out my programming life, I kept learning a new language in every 8 months to a year. Before I started writing Python, I used to write C/Java/PHP based on what I was working on. Around 2009 I started spending time with functional programming, and loved Lisp a lot. I spent around a year to keep writing more Lisp and was trying to figure out how to use the ideas from there in my daily Python programming life. From 2013 I started writing Go and I do have many projects written in Go. But, lately I am writing more and more of Rust. I really like the community and also the compiler 🙂

 

via The Mouse Vs. The Python