[PSF-Community] Intromeme

Mahmoud Hashemi mahmoud at hatnote.com
Tue Sep 22 08:40:35 CEST 2015

If Alex Martelli is doing it
then brace yourselves because the floodgates are open.

I first used Python as a junior in a South Dakota high school, off a
Knoppix CD because "Live CDs <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_CD>" were
all the rage then. It was a good fad because I didn't have a computer, and
the Windows machines at school weren't writable and didn't have Python (2.2
at the time). I read a bit of the tutorial and wrote a really bad prime
number sieve <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generating_primes#Prime_sieves>.

After a professional loop through Java, C++, C#, and finally PHP, I resumed
Python development in 2009 as a full-stack web developer at PayPal. I wrote
the tool that (still) manages all the pricing arrangements.

>From there I hired my first teammate and we wrote a couple other
business-critical components before standardizing out PayPal's first
grassroots alternative stack. That was early 2011 and since then we've had a
lot of fun
and come so far
<https://www.paypal-engineering.com/2015/03/17/introducing-support/>. Now
we're focusing on PayPal's security offerings: putting Python at the very
heart of PayPal's availability model, handling *billions* of requests per
day. And believe me when I say that's it's the best thing that's happened
to PayPal's security in a long time! The details will have to wait for a
future blog post (and upcoming O'Reilly project). Or, if you're remotely as
excited as I am, you can email me directly. :)

On the side, I really enjoy working on Wikipedia
<http://listen.hatnote.com/#en>-based <http://weekly.hatnote.com/> projects
<http://rcmap.hatnote.com/#en,de,ru,ja,es,fr> under
<http://seealso.hatnote.com/> the banner of <https://twitter.com/hatnotable>
Hatnote <http://blog.hatnote.com/>, all Python. Most recently, we did the
official Wikipedia IFTTT channel
(handling 1.3 million requests per day). And because I can't get enough, a
bunch of open-source stuff <https://github.com/mahmoud>, most notably
Boltons <http://boltons.readthedocs.org/en/latest/>, where I've been
particularly busy lately.

If you're in the Bay Area, do *not* hesitate to reach out to talk about
Python, Wikipedia, security, federated and open systems (like BBS stuff),
or even PayPal!

Specifically, this is sort of odd, but October 14th at 1pm, I'm doing an
overview of Python usage at PayPal, and would like to invite anyone senior
and curious to be my guest and come to PayPal in San Jose to check it out.
Guido came in 2012 and he loved it
And stuff now is waaaay cooler!

Anyways, I just wanted to end by saying thanks to you all. If you hadn't
been so numerous and *out there*, I probably would have gotten myself fired
long before any of this bore fruit. ;)


mahmoud at paypal.com
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