[Chicago] Introduce Yourself

sheila miguez shekay at pobox.com
Wed Oct 3 18:31:30 CEST 2012

Hi all,

A long time ago I used c and tcl/tk when doing embedded programming.
After seeing all the python at my current company, I started playing
with it. Here I use python often as a really easy way to make http
clients to talk to the java backend web services (and before we had
http services, I used it to talk to jini services because someone had
made a handy jython class for that). Using python/jython clients when
working on the backend makes development of the backend go a lot
faster, since I don't have to stand up the entire stack. I also use
python to take data from logs, graphite, etc. to analyze different
things like whether something we've done actually improves site
latency on a certain type of search. details below below below.

Before programming, I was pondering a life of research in cognitive
psychology, despite the extra cs degree. But I got out of school and
got a programming job. It isn't bad, and recently I discovered Open
Science, which is like the FOSS community, but with science. I know
someone who gave a lightning talk at the last pycon on the Open
Science Framework, which is written with a python technology stack. I
intend to contribute to that project when it is opened. Maybe
November? His dissertation is in November. Also at the last pycon, I
met some people who do Software Carpentry workshops, which aid in
making scientists more productive in their research by teaching
programming and workflow skills.

In addition to all of the above, I really love how friendly and open
people are in the python community, with things like OpenHatch,
PyStar, Boston Python Workshop, etc. And some local people, Tim and
Sacha (I think you guys, correct me if wrong) even started python
office hours at ps:one. So I am excited about all of that and have
participated in hosting a workshop, and hopefully future ones.

I was really surprised when I made a namespace Chicago Python Workshop
meetup group to be a namespace for the beginners' workshop we ran and
all these people came out of the woodwork to join, even advanced
people. Since we've only run one beginners' workshop so far, we will
run a few more before moving on to intermediate and more advanced

details what I've used for work work

So I end up using things like numpy, matplotlib, and scipy (and more
recently ipython notebook and pandas) for the analysis stuff (though
when we have better internal tools I probably won't be using my own
stuff as much), and I use some simple thrown together classes using
requests (urllib before giving in to niceness), with some protoc
compiled stuff (unless just plain json) to talk to the java stuff.
Sometimes I talk to the backend services with jython instead of
python, and that code still just has urllib stuff.

I was late to the game in using virtualenv, and finally gave in to
that, and think it is not bad at all. Someone at work also introduced
me to pythonbrew, and I've started being enthusiastic about that when
I don't have root. There is also something I discovered, there is a
pip thing for jython that is called jip. I've only used that a little,
because I've run in to trouble where dependencies on our artifactory
don't resolve. But other than that, I love it. virtualenvs work with
jython too. nice.


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