New Year's Python Meme 2012

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This is my entry for Tarek Ziadé's New Year's Python Meme, a tradition I have come to enjoy. Both to reflect on the current year and look back on previous years. So here it is.

I did this in 2009 & 2011. Let's try it again.

1. What’s the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2012?

That would be Kenneth Reitz's Requests. Like many others, I've been bitten by the elegance and simplicity bug that is inherent and ingrained in the Requests library. Primarily, I used it to build pythonpackages.com. In particular, I used it to communicate with the almost-equally-elegant (IMHO) GitHub API. This is why I like requests (among other reasons): I don't need to use a "third party" library to communicate with the GitHub API. Such libraries (I think) attempt to make my job easier by hiding complexity and presenting simpler APIs to use. This is sometimes necessary, but no substitute for really and actually simple APIs and good documentation (both of which GitHub and Kenneth provide, with their respective APIs.)

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2012?

JavaScript: check. Unit testing: check. These are techniques I have learned enough of to be effective in my "day job" (I'm self-employed). But I learned (finally) that I am primarily: a Python Web Developer. And it feels good to say that. I use Python, and related web technologies to build web applications for my clients. I typically only care to learn enough of a technology to get my job done, then I lose interest (for the most part). That's because I'm also a Hacker. I identify significantly with this monicker because it fits who I am and how I conduct myself professionally. I care about getting the job done above all else. And if there is a job to be done, my intellectual curiosity knows no bounds. If the job is done, I'm going to play guitar. So whatever the technique, I'll learn it if it's something I care about for whatever reason.

3. Which open source project did you contribute to the most in 2012 ? What did you do?

This is the first year that Plone did not consume my every moment. I also spent significant time working on Buildout (INI-config-driven system to install Python packages and other software, & perform other related and miscellaneous tasks) and Pillow (PIL fork). With the help of many others, I hope to get a Python 3.3 compatible release of Pillow out by PyCon 2013. And I'll support Buildout < 2.x until such time as Buildout 2.x goes mainstream.

4. Which Python blog or website did you read the most in 2012?

Planets: Django, Mozilla, Plone, Python. Reddits: Python. Other feeds: Hacker News & Tech Crunch. I added Tech Crunch this year to satisfy my "startup itch", as was recommended to me by Jonathon Perrelli of Fortify.vc in DC.

5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2013?

How to hustle. Hustling, and more hustling. I've gained a lot (enough?) technical skill over the years. Now I want to put that skill to good use in business. I've managed to remain self-employed for a number of years, now I'd like to employ others full time, build successful businesses and otherwise "expand my empire".

6. What is the top software, application or library you wish someone would write in 2013?

I hope that I get more significant time to put into my "baby": pythonpackages.com. In particular, I'm considering adding a Travis-like service which would spawn Windows VMs to run tests and produce executables for Python packages (to address a particular pain point I've discovered along the way: people want to support Windows, but often don't have the ability to do so easily.)

Happy (Python) New Year!

Want to do your own list? Here's how:

  • Copy-paste the questions and answer to them in your blog
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