PyDev of the Week: Lilly Ryan

This week we welcome Lilly Ryan (@attacus_au) as our PyDev of the Week! Lilly is a pen-tester and a recently added board member of the Python Software Foundation. She was an organizer of PyCon AU 2018 and an experienced speaker. In fact, Lilly will be speaking at PyCon Italia in May 2019. You can learn more about Lilly by visiting her website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Lilly better!

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

I’m a pen tester from Australia. When I’m not hacking, I spend my time researching for talks, cooking, knitting a variety of strange things, and looking after two very cuddly greyhounds.

I was previously a software developer, a QA, an English tutor, and a medieval historian. My formal education has all been in medieval history, where I specialised in fourteenth century inquisitorial manuals. I started to pick up more detailed tech knowledge after learning that Linux existed, becoming super curious, and spending a lot of my free time diving into learning how to install it on a laptop and debugging desktop installation quirks.

Why did you start using Python?

When I started exploring a career in tech, I stumbled across a free introductory Python workshop being run by the OpenTechSchool in my home city, and went along. I figured that if I could learn Latin, I could learn Python, and it turned out to be true. Python was my first proper introduction to programming, and it stuck with me.

After joining the infosec field, finding excuses to work with Python has been very easy because it is a favoured language of hackers and other curious folk, so I run into it often.

Throughout my career Python has remained my absolute favourite language because of its readability, its amazing collection of useful libraries, and the lovely people in the Python and Django communities.

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

During my time as a consultant I have worked with JavaScript, Ruby, Java, and COBOL. Out of all of them, I’ve especially enjoyed using Ruby, and I still have cause to use it often because my personal website is built with Jekyll.

These days, however, as I’m not programming as much as I am scripting, my main tools are Python and bash.

Thanks for doing the interview, Lilly

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Maria McKinley

PyDev of the Week: Maria McKinley

This week we welcome Maria McKinley (@twiteness) as our PyDev of the Week. Maria is a Senior Software Engineer at the Walt Disney Company and will be a speaker at PyCascades 2019. She is also teaching the Python Certificate Program at the University of Washington Continuing Education. Let’s spend a few moments getting to know her better.

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

I have a BS in Physics from the University of Washington, and taught myself how to code while working in Neuroscience labs at the same University. I got to work on some amazing research projects, while discovering how much I enjoyed writing code. In October 2015 I started working at the Walt Disney Company as a Senior Software Engineer. I also teach Python, both at the University of Washington and within Disney. And I’m a mom. All of that keeps me pretty busy, but I also try to set aside time for reading, exercise, playing boardgames, and art.

Why did you start using Python?

While I was working in the Neuroscience labs, I often did both software development and system administration. A few years ago, I was running a mail server, and trying to automate some administrative task related to spam. It wasn’t a terribly important or frequent one, so every once in a while I would work on automating it with a Bash script. After a few months, someone told me Python was good for sysadmin, so I tried it. In five minutes, I was able to get a script running, doing the task that had alluded me for so long. I was hooked.

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

Python is my favorite, and I’ve ben using it pretty exclusively for the last five years or so. I have used Matlab, Javascript, C, C#, C++, Actionscript, Igor, and PHP enough to have a basic understanding. I wouldn’t say I know them all anymore, but I did at one point to varying degrees. Just like a foreign language, if you don’t use it you lose it. I can still read them all, though, so there’s that. I taught myself basic when I was young, and I still remember having to change a bunch of the goto statements when I wanted to add something in the middle. That was hell. Python is better.

Thanks for doing the interview, Maria!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

Microsoft is pursuing three mobile goals and smartphones isn’t one of them. A certified Warditorial

Microsoft’s smartphone-focused mobile efforts failed, but it’s not done in mobile. Here are three areas where Microsoft is pursuing a mobile presence.

Microsoft’s smartphone efforts failed, but its still pursuing three distinct mobile strategies. Smartphones and mobile, though used synonymously are not the same. Simply put, all smartphones are mobile devices, but not all mobile devices are smartphones. The evolution of the smartphone model including the slate-shaped hardware, app-based ecosystem, carrier-dominated communication, financial and distribution infrastructure and entrenched consumer and developer base lead many to believe this particular manifestation of mobile is immutable and enduring.

The reality, however, is that technology and the social, economic and cultural structures in which it’s intertwined are ever-changing while core things we do with it remain unchanged. For example, communication, entertainment, and simplifying tasks are central to technologies from the telegraph, CD Player and banking that were replaced first by telephones, MP3 players and ATMs and then (to some extent) by smartphones and apps. The technology changed but what we do with it in its evolving forms has not. Technology is the medium, not the focus, by which tasks are accomplished.

Consequently, Microsoft is pursuing three, non-smartphone, areas it hopes will support its mobile presence in the communication-computing space where collaboration, entertainment and getting things done is the focus. Cross-platform apps are the current approach, foldable mobile devices are its post-smartphone investment, and mixed reality is its long-term vision.

from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft. via IFTTT

PyDev of the Week: Paolo Melchiorre

This week we welcome Paolo Melchiorre (@pauloxnet)as our PyDev of the Week! Paolo is a core developer of the Django web framework. He has spoken at several different Python-related conferences in Europe and also writes over on his blog. Let’s take a few minutes to get to know him better!

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

Paulo Melchiorre

I graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Bologna. My thesis was about Free Software and since then I’ve been a Free Software advocate.


I’ve been a GNU/Linux user for 20 years and now I’m a happy user of Ubuntu.


In 2007 I attended my first conference, the Plone Conference, and since then I’ve attended many other pythonic conferences in Europe.


In 2017 I presented a talk at PyCon Italy and at EuroPython and since then I have been a conference speaker for local and international events, both in Italian and in English.


Giving a talk at EuroPython 2017
Giving a talk at EuroPython 2017

I’ve lived and worked in Rome and London, and since 2015 I’ve been a remote worker located in my hometown of Pescara in Italy, which is close to the beach and the mountains.


I love nature and spending my time swimming, snowboarding or hiking, but also traveling with my wife around the world.


I like improving my English skills by reading fiction books or listening to audiobooks, watching TV series and movies, listening to podcasts and attending local English speaking meetups.


I answer questions at stack overflow, tweet at @pauloxnet and occasionally post at


Why did you start using Python?


I started using Python in my first job because we developed websites with Plone and Zope.


I realized how much better Python was for me than other languages I’ve studied and used before because it’s easier to learn, it’s focused on code simplicity and readability, it’s extensible and fast to write and has a fantastic community.


When I stopped using Plone I continued using Python as main programming language.


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


I started programming with Pascal during high school and then I learned HTML and CSS on my own to develop my first website as high school final essay.


At university I studied some different languages like C, C++, C#, Java, SQL and Javascript and I used some of them at work in the past.


In the last 10 years I’ve predominantly used Python, and it’s without a doubt the language I prefer, although sometimes I still use SQL, Javascript and obviously HTML and CSS.


Thanks for doing the interview, Paolo!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python