[Baypiggies] Python Standardized Skill Scoring Chart

Jeff Kunce jjkunce at gmail.com
Wed Apr 17 22:46:21 CEST 2013

I think this is a worthy exercise, and contributors to this list have come
up with some great ideas.  But I want to offer some caveats.

1. The order may not be the same in all environments.  Some of the features
of the language are more important for some types of programs than for
others.  The "coding culture" and the age of legacy code maintained can
also play a factor. or example, I didn't see lambda functions on anyone's
list - they might not be relevant to anyone so far, but they could be
crucial in some shops.

2. The skills may not be as "ordered" as you think.  I remember some
attendees at an early Python conference asking Guido for his opinion on how
to code something.  He answered that he wasn't a good person to ask,
because he didn't program in Python that much - he spent most of his time
developing Python internals in C.

3. I know you are rating python-specific skills, but, in this day, the more
important questions often pertain to an applicants knowledge of specific
libraries and frameworks.

And, please, use this chart as a guide for knowledgeable
developer-interviewers.  I really hate it when a list like this gets into
the hands of an HR person who doesn't understand the concepts behind the

 -- Jeff

On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Bryce Verdier <bryceverdier at gmail.com>wrote:

>  I liked Dan's list. I would also like to append:
> The operator module: http://docs.python.org/2/library/operator.html
> CSV module can parse a file or sting by other delimiters besides ",".
> On 04/17/2013 11:45 AM, Dan Roberts wrote:
> I feel like this scale compresses the entire range of what I would
> consider "effective Python developer" into 8 and 9. I think 8 should become
> 5 or 6. I'm not sure what other concepts to test in the range would be
> though.
> Other important competencies and factoids in no particular order are:
> * Know what PEP8 says, especially when not to use PEP8
> * Being able to recite the Zen of Python while standing on your head
> * Exception handling
> * Understanding lexical closures in Python
> * Able to resist the temptation of deeply nested list comprehensions :-)
> * itertools
> * Possibly functools
> * Context Managers (concept and implementation)
> * Knows setuptools and distribute
> * Published on PyPi
> * NumPy, Twisted, Django and/or other common modules used in real world
> projects are good indicators of "have shipped something".
> Dumping a bunch of thoughts might not be that useful to the discussion,
> but here it is anyways!
> Cheers,
> Dan
> On Apr 17, 2013 10:30 AM, "Glen Jarvis" <glen at glenjarvis.com> wrote:
>>  Any time I find myself making something up, I think "Who else has done
>> this?"  Does anyone else know of a standardized skill chart for Python. It
>> can be useful to explain someone's skill set.
>>  For example, I just interviewed someone that would fall in about a 7
>> below. But, what one person judges as a 7 is not what someone else judges
>> as a 7.  For what it's wroth, I personally am rating myself between an 8
>> and a 9 on this scale...  (yep on writing decorators; yep on concept; nope
>> on really writing meta classes; yep on 'dis' library but nope on many of
>> the internals).
>>  And, frankly, that's probably a tad high (for me at least)... So,
>> what's a better rating scale?  Has anyone seen such a thing?
>>  1 - Knows how to install and write "Hello World"
>> 2 - Understands basic data structures: list, dict, tuple, set, etc.
>> 3
>> 4
>> 5 - Understands list comprehensions and why they're useful; Understands
>> generators and how to write one
>> 6 -
>> 7 - Knows basic decorator usages; Why it's useful (DRY); and has at least
>> concept of how to write one
>> 8 - Knows how to write decorators; Knows what Meta Classes are and how to
>> write one
>> 9 - Knows internals of Python such as "dis" library
>> 10 - Guido; Core contributor
>>  Cheers,
>>  Glen
>> --
>> "Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life as a dog does his
>> master's chase. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it,
>> unearth it, and gnaw it still."
>> --Henry David Thoreau
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