PyDev of the Week: Saul Pwanson | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Saul Pwanson | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Saul Pwanson (@saulfp) as our PyDev of the Week! Saul is the creator of VisiData, an interactive multitool for tabular data. If you’d like to see what Saul has been up to, then you should check out his website or his Github profile. You can also support Saul’s open source endeavors on Patreon. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Saul better!

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

I grew up in Chicagoland in the 80s, was on BBSes in the early 90s, and IRC in college and thereafter. I’ve been once to the Recurse Center in New York, twice to Holland, and six times to Bruno’s in Gerlach, NV. I like crossword puzzles, board games, and point-and-click adventures. One day I’d like to finish my “board simulation” of the awe-inspiring mechanics inside mitochondria.

Why did you start using Python

It was for a job at a startup back in 2004. It’s really great as a scripting language, and the standard library makes most common things easy by itself, with the rest of the ecosystem providing not just one but usually about 4 different ways of doing any task, often including one that works really well. I tip my hat to all the unsung developers of Python libraries who make interfaces to other systems that *just work*. VisiData supports so many data formats simply because the richness of the Python ecosystem makes it easy.

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

I did a lot of x86 assembly as a teenager in my BBS days, and started using both C and C++ in college. I still use C on a daily basis doing embedded development for my day job. I haven’t used C++ for about 10 years, which means I’m way out of date on it now.

My favorite language, though, is an older language called Forth, which is a brilliant little system and gets you the most bang for your buck in highly constrained environments. (We’re talking kilobytes and megahertz, orders of magnitude fewer resources than most software could even dream of fitting their runtime into). The esssence of Forth is incredibly elegant, with the implementation setting things up “just so” and then everything falls into place naturally by design, with very little actual code.

Programming in Forth has encouraged me to think in very clean ways about my own code in other languages. Often if you’re looking at the VisiData source code, a particular bit of code may seem devastatingly simple and turn out to be subtly and amazingly powerful, but it wasn’t by chance. The rest of the system often has to be designed “just so” that little bit of code can be elegant. I know many modern software engineers might consider that a waste of time, but spending that effort on the core design often leads to other surprising capabilities that then just magically work

Thanks for doing the interview, Saul!

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PyDev of the Week: Kelly Schuster-Paredes | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Kelly Schuster-Paredes | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Kelly (@KellyPared) Schuster-Paredes. Kelly is the co-host of the popular Python podcast, Teaching Python. Kelly specializes in curriculum design and development. She blogs a bit over on her website which you should check out if you have the time.

For now though, let’s take a few moments to get to know Kelly better!

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

I am a Middle School Computer Science Teacher and a Technology Integration Specialist. I have been teaching for 23 years and have taught in the US, UK and in Peru. I have a Masters in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, which means I know a lot about how to teach and invent cool lessons. Besides working and co-hosting Teaching Python, I spend most of my time with my two boys outside playing sports in the south Florida sun.

Why did you start using Python?

I started using Python almost two years ago. My boss told me in April 2018 that I was going to be teaching Python to middle school kids in August of that year. And I said, “Over my dead body I am learning Python, why not Javascript?” Needless to say, I didn’t win the battle, thankfully! Seriously though, my boss knew I loved challenges and will take on anything presented to me and then make it awesome. I believe wholeheartedly, she made the right choice.

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

I “know” HTML and what most educators call Block Code, and that is the extent of my coding language. I can write a few lines of Javascript and a few lines of SWIFT but Python is my only language that I can communicate in somewhat fluently

Thanks for doing the interview, Kelly!

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PyDev of the Week: Ted Petrou | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Ted Petrou | The Mouse vs The Python

My apologies for not posting this sooner.

This week we welcome Ted Petrou (@TedPetrou) as our PyDev of the Week! Ted is the author of the Pandas Cookbook and also teaches Pandas in several courses on Udemy. Let’s take some time to get to know Ted better!

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

I graduated with a masters degree in statistics from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 2006. During my degree, I never heard the phrase “machine learning” uttered even once and it was several years before the field of data science became popular. I had entered the program pursuing a Ph.D with just six other students. Although statistics was a highly viable career at the time, it wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today.

After limping out of the program with a masters degree, I looked into the fields of actuarial science, became a professional poker play, taught high school math, built reports with SQL and Excel VBA as a financial analyst before becoming a data scientist at Schlumberger. During my stint as a data scientist, I started the meetup group Houston Data Science where I gave tutorials on various Python data science topics. Once I accumulated enough material, I started my company Dunder Data, teaching data science full time.

Why did you start using Python?

I began using Python when I took an introductory course offered by Rice University on coursera.org in 2013 when I was teaching high school math. I had done quite a bit of programming prior to that, but had never heard of Python before. It was a great course where we built a new game each week.

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

I began programming on a TI-82 calculator about 22 years ago. There was a minimal built-in language that my friends and I would use to build games. I remember making choose-your-own adventure games using the menu command. I took classes in C and Java in college and worked with R as a graduate student. A while later, I learned enough HTML and JavaScript to build basic websites. I also know SQL quite well and have done some work in Excel VBA.

My favorite language is Python, but I have no emotional attachment to it. I’d actually prefer to use a language that is statically typed, but I don’t have much of a choice as the demand for Python is increasing…

Thanks for doing the interview, Ted!

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Google’s Fuchsia to support Chrome OS tablet ‘Flapjack’ – 9to5Google

Google’s Fuchsia to support Chrome OS tablet ‘Flapjack’ – 9to5Google

Yesterday, on the 9to5Google Alphabet Scoop podcast, our Stephen Hall dropped a mini bombshell that a Fuchsia tablet is rumored to be in the works. We dug in a bit deeper and found that the truth may be more complicated than that.

Early this year, it was discovered that the first Chrome OS tablet with Qi wireless charging was being developed under the codename “Flapjack.” Fast forward to today, it appears Chrome OS won’t be the only operating system this device supports, as Google’s Fuchsia OS team is also looking to support the “Flapjack” tablet…

Source: Google’s Fuchsia to support Chrome OS tablet ‘Flapjack’ – 9to5Google

Employing data science, new research uncovers clues behind unexplainable infant death | Microsoft on the Issues

Employing data science, new research uncovers clues behind unexplainable infant death | Microsoft on the Issues

Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. In the U.S. alone, 3,600 children die unexpectedly of SUID each year.

For years, researchers hypothesized that infants who died due to SUID in the earliest stages of the life differed from those dying of SUID later. Now, for the first time, we know, thanks to the single largest study ever undertaken on the subject, this is statistically the case.

Working in collaboration with world-class researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Auckland, we analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths. We compared all possible groups by the age at the time of death to understand if these populations were different.

We hope our progress in piecing together the SUID puzzle ultimately saves lives, and gives parents and researchers hope for the future.

 

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PyDev of the Week: Sebastian Steins | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Sebastian Steins | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Sebastian Steins (@sebastiansteins) as our PyDev of the Week! Sebastian is the creator of the Pythonic News website. You can find out more about Sebastian by checking out what he’s been up to over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

Sebastian Steins

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

I am a software developer from Germany and live close to the Dutch and Belgian border. The internet emerged when I was in school. I have always been fascinated by computers and wanted to learn to program. Unfortunately, this was not so easy at the time, and I did not have teachers who could have supported me in that matter. It changed, however, when I got my first modem. The internet opened a whole new world for me, and I started to learn HTML, Perl and later, PHP. I built CGI scripts and small web apps back then, and it was really fun. Eventually, I took programming as my career path, although I sometimes struggled with that decision. Besides my degree in computer science, I also heard lectures on economics and had a few positions in the finance sector early in my career. Now, I enjoy coaching teams of great software engineers in architecture matters and try to pass my knowledge to junior devs.

When I’m not in front of a computer, I like to ride my road bike, learn new stuff from audiobooks and would never say no to a night out in a good restaurant.

Why did you start using Python?

I started using Python when I needed a replacement for PHP, so it was very early on. It was in the very early days of the Python 2.0 release. I immediately liked it, because it was basically like writing pseudocode. This is what I still love about being able to “talk to a computer”: Expressing ideas and see results very quickly. Meanwhile, other languages have kept up and are equally expressive as Python. However, Python has become a little bit of my home base ever since.

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

I worked in different projects with many different programming languages like Java, C#, C and JavaScript.

Thanks for doing the interview, Sebastian!

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