DiscoverThe Python Podcast.__init__
The Python Podcast.__init__

The Python Podcast.__init__

Author: Tobias Macey

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The weekly podcast about the Python programming language, its ecosystem, and its community. Tune in for engaging, educational, and technical discussions about the broad range of industries, individuals, and applications that rely on Python.
244 Episodes
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Starting a new project is always exciting because the scope is easy to understand and adding new features is fun and easy. As it grows, the rate of change slows down and the amount of communication necessary to introduce new engineers to the code increases along with the complexity. Thomas Hatch, CTO and creator of SaltStack, didn't want to accept that as an inevitable fact of software, so he created a new paradigm and a proof-of-concept framework to experiment with it. In this episode he shares his thoughts and findings on the topic of plugin oriented programming as a way to build and scale complex projects while keeping them fun and flexible.
Any software project that is worked on or used by multiple people will inevitably reach a point where certain capabilities need to be turned on or off. In this episode Pete Hodgson shares his experience and insight into when, how, and why to use feature flags in your projects as a way to enable that practice. In addition to the simple on and off controls for certain logic paths, feature toggles also allow for more advanced patterns such as canary releases and A/B testing. This episode has something useful for anyone who works on software in any language.
Building well designed and easy to use web applications requires a significant amount of knowledge and experience across a range of domains. This can act as an impediment to engineers who primarily work in so-called back-end technologies such as machine learning and systems administration. In this episode Adrien Treuille describes how the Streamlit framework empowers anyone who is comfortable writing Python scripts to create beautiful applications to share their work and make it accessible to their colleagues and customers. If you have ever struggled with hacking together a simple web application to make a useful script self-service then give this episode a listen and then go experiment with how Streamlit can level up your work.
The internet is rife with bots and bad actors trying to compromise your servers. To counteract these threats it is necessary to diligently harden your systems to improve server security. Unfortunately, the hardening process can be complex or confusing. In this week's episode 18 year old Orhun Parmaksiz shares the story of how he and his friends created the GrapheneX framework to simplify the process of securing and maintaining your servers using the power and flexibility of Python. If you run your own software then this is definitely worth a listen.
Large companies often have a variety of programming languages and technologies being used across departments to keep the business running. Python has been gaining ground in these environments because of its flexibility, ease of use, and developer productivity. In order to accelerate the rate of adoption at Wayfair this week's guest Jonathan Biddle started a team to work with other engineering groups on their projects and show them how best to take advantage of the benefits of Python. In this episode he explains their operating model, shares their success stories, and provides advice on the pitfalls to avoid if you want to follow in his footsteps. This is definitely worth a listen if you are using Python in your work or would like to aid in its adoption.
Quantum computers are the biggest jump forward in processing power that the industry has seen in decades. As part of this revolution it is necessary to change our approach to algorithm design. D-Wave is one of the companies who are pushing the boundaries in quantum processing and they have created a Python SDK for experimenting with quantum algorithms. In this episode Alexander Condello explains what is involved in designing and implementing these algorithms, how the Ocean SDK helps you in that endeavor, and what types of problems are well suited to this approach.
Deep learning is a phrase that is used more often as it continues to transform the standard approach to artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. Despite its ubiquity, it is often difficult to get a firm understanding of how it works and how it can be applied to a particular problem. In this episode Jon Krohn, author of Deep Learning Illustrated, shares the general concepts and useful applications of this technique, as well as sharing some of his practical experience in using it for his work. This is definitely a helpful episode for getting a better comprehension of the field of deep learning and when to reach for it in your own projects.
Software development is a unique profession in many ways, and it has given rise to its own subculture due to the unique sets of challenges that face developers. Andrew Smith is an author who is working on a book to share his experiences learning to program, and understand the impact that software is having on our world. In this episode he shares his thoughts on programmer culture, his experiences with Python and other language communities, and how learning to code has changed his views on the world. It was interesting getting an anthropological perspective from a relative newcomer to the world of software.
Designing and maintaining enterprise networks and the associated hardware is a complex and time consuming task. Network automation tools allow network engineers to codify their workflows and make them repeatable. In this episode Antoine Fourmy describes his work on eNMS and how it can be used to automate enterprise grade networks. He explains how his background in telecom networking led him to build an open source platform for network engineers, how it is architected, and how you can use it for creating your own workflows. This is definitely worth listening to as a way to gain some appreciation for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the internet possible.
Building and sustaining a healthy community requires a substantial amount of effort, especially online. The design and user experience of the digital space can impact the overall interactions of the participants and guide them toward respectful conversation. In this episode Rafał Pitoń shares his experience building the Misago platform for creating community forums. He explains his motivation for creating the project, the lessons he has learned in the process, and how it is being used by himself and others. This was a great conversation about how technology is just a means, and not the end in itself.
There are countless tools and libraries in Python for data scientists to perform powerful analyses, but they often have a setup cost that acts as a barrier to ad-hoc exploration of data. Visidata is a command line application that eliminates the friction involved with starting the discovery process. In this episode Saul Pwanson explains his motivation for creating it, why a terminal environment is a useful place for this work, and how you can use Visidata for your own work. If you have ever avoided looking at a data set because you couldn't be bothered with the boilerplate for a Jupyter notebook, then Visidata is the perfect addition to your toolbox.
The Python community in Argentina is large and active, thanks largely to the motivated individuals who manage and organize it. In this episode Facundo Batista explains how he helped to found the Python user group for Argentina and the work that he does to make it accessible and welcoming. He discusses the challenges of encompassing such a large and distributed group, the types of events, resources, and projects that they build, and his own efforts to make information free and available. He is an impressive individual with a substantial list of accomplishments, as well as exhibiting the best of what the global Python community has to offer.
The internet has made it easier than ever to share information, but at the same time it has increased our ability to track that information. In order to ensure that news agencies are able to accept truly anonymous material submissions from whistelblowers, the Freedom of the Press foundation has supported the ongoing development and maintenance of the SecureDrop platform. In this episode core developers of the project explain what it is, how it protects the privacy and identity of journalistic sources, and some of the challenges associated with ensuring its security. This was an interesting look at the amount of effort that is required to avoid tracking in the modern era.
The ecosystem of tools and libraries in Python for data manipulation and analytics is truly impressive, and continues to grow. There are, however, gaps in their utility that can be filled by the capabilities of a data warehouse. In this episode Robert Hodges discusses how the PyData suite of tools can be paired with a data warehouse for an analytics pipeline that is more robust than either can provide on their own. This is a great introduction to what differentiates a data warehouse from a relational database and ways that you can think differently about running your analytical workloads for larger volumes of data.
Software engineers are frequently faced with problems that have been fixed by other developers in different projects. The challenge is how and when to surface that information in a way that increases their efficiency and avoids wasted effort. DeepCode is an automated code review platform that was built to solve this problem by training a model on a massive array of open sourced code and the history of their bug and security fixes. In this episode their CEO Boris Paskalev explains how the company got started, how they build and maintain the models that provide suggestions for improving your code changes, and how it integrates into your workflow.
PyPI is a core component of the Python ecosystem that most developer's have interacted with as either a producer or a consumer. But have you ever thought deeply about how it is implemented, who designs those interactions, and how it is secured? In this episode Nicole Harris and William Woodruff discuss their recent work to add new security capabilities and improve the overall accessibility and user experience. It is a worthwhile exercise to consider how much effort goes into making sure that we don't have to think much about this piece of infrastructure that we all rely on.
With the increasing role of software in our world there has been an accompanying focus on teaching people to program. There are numerous approaches that have been attempted to achieve this goal with varying levels of success. Nicholas Tollervey has begun a new effort that blends the approach adopted by musicians and martial artists that uses a series of grades to provide recognition for the achievements of students. In this episode he explains how he has structured the study groups, syllabus, and evaluations to help learners build projects based on their interests and guide their own education while incorporating useful skills that are necessary for a career in software. If you are interested in learning to program, teach others, or act as a mentor then give this a listen and then get in touch with Nicholas to help make this endeavor a success.
Computers are excellent at following detailed instructions, but they have no capacity for understanding the information that they work with. Knowledge graphs are a way to approximate that capability by building connections between elements of data that allow us to discover new connections among disparate information sources that were previously uknown. In our day-to-day work we encounter many instances of knowledge graphs, but building them has long been a difficult endeavor. In order to make this technology more accessible Tom Grek built Zincbase. In this episode he explains his motivations for starting the project, how he uses it in his daily work, and how you can use it to create your own knowledge engine and begin discovering new insights of your own.
Docker is a useful technology for packaging and deploying software to production environments, but it also introduces a different set of complexities that need to be understood. In this episode Itamar Turner-Trauring shares best practices for running Python workloads in production using Docker. He also explains some of the security implications to be aware of and digs into ways that you can optimize your build process to cut down on wasted developer time. If you are using Docker, thinking about using it, or just heard of it recently then it is worth your time to listen and learn about some of the cases you might not have considered.
The Python language has seen exponential growth in popularity and usage over the past decade. This has been driven by industry trends such as the rise of data science and the continued growth of complex web applications. It is easy to think that there is no threat to the continued health of Python, its ecosystem, and its community, but there are always outside factors that may pose a threat in the long term. In this episode Russell Keith-Magee reprises his keynote from PyCon US in 2019 and shares his thoughts on potential black swan events and what we can do as engineers and as a community to guard against them.
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Comments (3)

Antonio Andrade

terrible audio this time

Jan 14th
Reply

Nihan Dip

this Masonite dude is so full of himself 😂

Sep 21st
Reply

Antonio Andrade

Tobias, are you a robot? nice postcast

May 27th
Reply
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