How to sell Python to your boss?

Stidolph, David stidolph at
Thu Aug 19 13:41:07 EDT 1999

We are building a large client-server system using C++ as the basic
implimentation and Python as a scripting language on top of it.  This gives
us the flexibility of control at any level we want.  Speed issues can be
resolved in C++ and control is kept at the Python level.  When we change
what is going on in the script system we do not have to recompile - just
execute, thus speeding up our development cycle.  In addition, we hope to be
able to make code changes while executing - try that in C or C++!

I started with an extensive background in C/C++ and no knowledge of Python.
I educated myself and after one false start I found SWIG and shadow classes
and just took off.  I'm now a real Python fan in part because of the speed
of development.  I also really appreciate the exception handling system in
Python.  I use it in comparison to NOT using the C++ exception system.

-----Original Message-----
From: Petri Mikael Kuittinen [mailto:eye at]
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 1999 11:54 AM
To: python-list at
Subject: How to sell Python to your boss?

I proposed an interesting idea to my employer for my final thesis.

My proposed final thesis includes:
- a prototype implementation of networked multi-player video gambling
game (which also has a single-player mode)
- a design of a network protocol to allow this and automated testing
of the game (including several automated test player programs which
have different kind of AI). This protocol and test system is designed
so that it can easily be expanded to handle any sort of gambling game

Most of the work is design, documentation and programming a
rudimentary, but easy-to-use, GUI for the multi-player game. My boss
otherwise agreed with my idea ("it would be really useful..."), but he
doesn't want me to do the prototype implementation using Python. He
said I must use a program language that all the other programmers in
our R&D department understand. Well, that leaves only one choice: C

Some of my game programmer colleagues know a little bit of C++, Java
and Perl, but these languages cannot be used either. Operating system
or CPU power is not a problem here (I can use Linux and several
hundred MHz of CPU power).

I have lots of programming experience in C, and much less in
Python. Despite this I am confident that I would be able to implement
the prototype using Python many times faster than using C. Sure I can
do it with C, or even with assembler (I have made a GUI with m68k
asm), but parsing text strings and prototype GUI design is so
laborious in C, that I would only be able to implement a tiny portion
of the whole thing.

I can understand my bosses opinion. He wants to protect the interest
of this firm. If I would leave the firm, then someone else would have
tp spend time learning Python in order to modify my program code.

For several months I have tried to get my colleagues excited to learn
Python, but so far nobody has been interested to learn new languages,
except for some mild interest towards Java (which is IMHO an
overly-hyped language).


<(O)> Petri Kuittinen, also known as Eye, Dj Eye or Peku               <(O)>
<(O)> ADDRESS: Timpurinkuja 1 C 39, FIN-02600 Espoo, Finland           <(O)>
<(O)> EMAIL: eye at WWW: PHONE: 09-5472380 <(O)>
~The only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing or try not anything new.

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