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2015

Mission moment: Mark Hammond, PSF Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Today, the Python Software Foundation, commonly known as PSF in the Python community, gave the PSF Distinguished Service Award to Mark Hammond. Brian Curtin, a past PSF Director and long-time communicator of "community" importance, wrote a thoughtful PSF blog post about Mark's many contributions to our Python community.

The wonderful Python community also has itself to thank for allowing this book to come to fruition. The Python newsgroup seems to be one of the final bastions of Usenet where spams are ignored, newbies are treated kindly, and trolls are either ignored or quickly turned into a serious and on-topic discussion. Many smart and friendly people hang out on the newsgroup, and it's one of the more esoteric reasons many people find using the language enjoyable.
Source: Mark Hammond and Andy Robinson, Python Programming on Win32, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 2000.

Change, community, and compassion

Today, I reflect on a life changing event. For a few days, we came together from around the world to form a community to share our thoughts on change and our compassion for individual experiences in technology.

Mentors, music, and motivation

As I get ready to attend the Write/Speak/Code conference, I'm doing more reflecting on the past few months than packing for the trip. While I would like to leave San Diego with warm enough clothes for New York City, I want to write a few brief thoughts about learning from others.

Building a better community

Why I gave a $2048 donation to Fab Lab San Diego

Watching someone bring their idea to life is an amazing reward.

People from all walks of life have creative ideas. Through grassroots sharing of ideas, skills, and equipment, Fab Lab San Diego gives individuals a chance to learn, build, and share their creations. I believe Fab Lab San Diego's outreach programs inspire students of all ages. Outreach is hard work but the community benefits are huge.

Decorators visualized

Decorators make code more readable. When learning how decorators work, it's easy to get confused. When teaching decorators, students often ask "but how does it work" and "why does it work". "Magic, it just does" and "follow the pattern of the example" could be reasonable though less than satisfying responses.

I am not a tree. I am a person. I speak for me.

For years, I enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss' The Lorax to my children. Today, a wise quote from the book pops into my head when I read a twitter post by or about Mr. Wadhwa.

In the story, the Lorax "speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues." The Lorax's logic strikes me as very reasonable.

Music, Data Science, and Community - Poster at PyCon 2014

I had the pleasure of sharing my love of music and programming last spring at PyCon 2014. I enjoyed presenting a poster about music21, a computer aided musicology framework. Michael Cuthbert, an MIT professor of Music, has done great work making music theory accessible to learners and researchers.