PyDev of the Week: David Fischer | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: David Fischer | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome David Fischer (@djfische) as our PyDev of the Week! David is an organizer of the San Diego Python user’s group. He also works for Read the Docs. You can see what David has been up to on his website or check out what he’s been up to on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know David better!

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

I am one of the organizers of the San Diego Python meetup and I’ve been doing that since early 2012, but my hobbies nowadays mostly involve spending time with my 3 year old daughter. I also really enjoy games of all kinds from in-person board and card games to computer games and my daughter is just about the right age to start introducing this stuff.

I have a bachelor’s degree in applied math and despite the name that involved a lot of programming. Mostly I learned Java in college which outside of some Android development I’ve barely used since.

For work, I previously worked at Qualcomm, Amazon, and a beer-tech related startup (how San Diego!). I currently work on Read the Docs. I’ve had the opportunity to work on lots of different things from web apps, mobile apps, technical sales/marketing, scalability, security, and privacy. I don’t want to rule out working for big companies, but the small company life seems like a better fit for me.

Perhaps this comes out of some of my security and privacy work, but I try not to participate much on social media. I was surprised to be contacted to do this interview because I think of myself as having a pretty low profile in the Python community outside of San Diego. I’m happy to do it, though.

Why did you start using Python?

I first learned Python in a college class where we had a project in a new programming language every 3 weeks or so. We also learned JavaScript, a Lisp-like language called ML, and Prolog. My opinions on programming weren’t very well formed back then but I remember really liking Python relative to the others. I think I was using Python 2.3 or maybe a 2.4 beta version. The Python docs were much more brightly colored back then.

I didn’t do any Python after that for around 4-5 years but I came back to it when I needed to create something that ended up like a bad version of mitmproxy (although mitmproxy didn’t exist yet). I really enjoyed working on that project and in Python and this is probably the only time this has happened to me but I remember looking up from my work and it was after midnight. I hadn’t eaten dinner and everybody else at work had gone home hours ago. I was hooked and I’ve been doing mostly Python ever since.

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

It’s been about a decade now, but I was a professional PHP developer for a few years. Sometimes, the language gets a bad reputation in the Python community but I always thought it was alright and it does have some areas the Python ecosystem could learn from. Today, I mostly work in Python with some JavaScript. Python is definitely my favorite.

Thanks for doing the interview, David!

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