This week we welcome Cris Medina (@tryexceptpass) as our PyDev of the Week! Cris is the author behind the popular tryexceptpass blog. He is also the maintainer of sofi and korv. You can catch up with Chris’s other projects on Github. Let’s spend some time getting to know him better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
I was born in the Dominican Republic. I finished high school there and went to Puerto Rico to study Computer Engineering, specializing in hardware. But I’ve been writing software in some form since I can remember. My dad introduced me to IBM System 360 Basic as my first language. Go figure!
Most of my professional career (going on 17 years now) was spent doing test engineering, along with developing all the hardware and software tools required to execute those tests and maintain their infrastructure. The rest of the time I’ve held formal software engineering roles.
I like to spend some of my free time with music. My mother is a music teacher and she got me into piano early on. Though I moved into string instruments as I got older. Today I mostly play classical guitar, but I own several types of guitars and dabble in other string instruments.
I also enjoy cooking. My family is from various parts around the Mediterranean, so most of my meals have that flare. Cooking reminds me a little of the dev process: you have some idea of what you want, you follow a basic set of instructions on how to get there, but there’s usually some extra flavor you throw in to make it yours and it can take several iterations to get it just right.
Why did you start using Python?
I gave it a go maybe 10 years ago when writing some backend code to support a Java application that I also owned. There were a lot of Python vs Perl arguments around the office at the time, but I already knew that I disliked Perl’s syntax from trying to read code that my colleagues had written. So I decided to give Python a shot and haven’t looked back since.
Really the question is: why didn’t I start any sooner!
What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?
I’ve also tried Erlang, Go and Rust, but haven’t had a use case to last me beyond training examples.
I definitely like Python the best. It’s the most practical. The syntax is close to how I think and there’s no crazy boilerplate code required. Very rarely do I have to spend time figuring out how to use a given construct. You can also stand up new software in minutes, and the sheer amount of modules available in PyPI, plus the built-in libraries, takes care of almost any use case. It integrates with C very easily, so that also takes care of any performance concerns people may have with dynamic languages.
Thanks for doing the interview, Cris!