PyDev of the Week: Maria Khalusova

PyDev of the Week: Maria Khalusova

This week we welcome Maria Khalusova ( @mariakhalusova) as our PyDev of the Week! Maria works for JetBrains and will be speaking at AnacondaCON this April. If you’d like to catch up with her, you can check out Maria’s blog. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Maria better!

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


Growing up I loved two things – math and books. I kid you not, I solved math problems for fun. Not surprisingly, I went on to study Applied Informatics at the Dept. of Mathematics and Mechanics of Saint Petersburg State University which I graduated from in 2007. This field is actually really close to modern Data Science, all the math parts of it were there, plus a good chunk of computer science program. I only wish I got to learn Python at my University and not Java 😀 Sadly, back then such fundamental packages like pandas and scikit-learn didn’t even exist yet.


Even before I graduated, I started working at JetBrains, first as a technical writer for IntelliJ IDEA. Fun fact: this June will be 13 years since I joined the company. I’ve changed projects, job roles, countries even, but not the company.


In recent years I’ve re-discovered my passion for math, data science, machine learning, and deep learning. I’ve brushed up on my rusty math knowledge and have been self-educating ever since. This is a never-ending process which I think is great.


Why did you start using Python?


Once I realized I wanted to do data science and machine learning, the choice of the language was quite obvious to me. There are of course R and Julia, but the two major things that got me sold on Python were the deep learning libraries and Python being a general purpose language.


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


I mentioned earlier that back in the university I learned Java but it never fully clicked with me due to all the boilerplate one had (still has?) to write to do even a simple thing. I do know some R but I don’t really use it in anger. These days I’m eyeing Kotlin but haven’t really used it yet for anything other than toy samples. Shame on me, given how close I am to the people who are the ultimate experts on Kotlin.



Thanks for doing the interview, Maria!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

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