Learning to program is a rewarding pursuit, but is often challenging. One of the roadblocks on the way to proficiency is getting a development environment installed and configured. In order to simplify that process Aivar Annamaa built Thonny, a Python IDE designed for beginning programmers. In this episode he discusses his initial motivations for starting Thonny and how it helps newcomers to Python learn and understand how to write software.
Maintaining a consistent taxonomy for your music library is a challenging and time consuming endeavor. Eventually you end up with a mess of folders and files with inconsistent names and missing metadata. Beets is built to solve this problem by programmatically managing the tags and directory structure for all of your music files and providing a fast lookup when you are trying to find that perfect song to play. Adrian Sampson began the project because he was trying to clean up his own music collection and in this episode he discusses how the project was built, how streaming media is affecting our relationship to digital music, and how he envisions Beets position in the ecosystem in the future.
Determining the best way to manage the capacity and flow of goods through a system is a complicated issue and can be exceedingly expensive to get wrong. Rather than experimenting with the physical objects to determine the optimal algorithm for managing the logistics of everything from global shipping lanes to your local bank, it is better to do that analysis in a simulation. Ruud van der Ham has been working in this area for the majority of his professional life at the Dutch port of Rotterdam. Using his acquired domain knowledge he wrote Salabim as a library to assist others in writing detailed simulations of their own and make logistical analysis of real world systems accessible to anyone with a Python interpreter.
Every piece of software that has been around long enough ends up with some piece of it that needs to be redesigned and refactored. Often the code that needs to be updated is part of the critical path through the system, increasing the risks associated with any change. One way around this problem is to compare the results of the new code against the existing logic to ensure that you aren’t introducing regressions. This week Joe Alcorn shares his work on Laboratory, how the engineers at GitHub inspired him to create it as an analog to the Scientist gem, and how he is using it for his day job.
Whether it is intentional or accidental, every piece of software has an existing architecture. In this episode Neal Ford discusses the role of a software architect, methods for improving the design of your projects, pitfalls to avoid, and provides some resources for continuing to learn about how to design and build successful systems.
Learning to code is one of the most effective ways to be successful in the modern economy. To that end, Marlene Mhangami and Ronald Maravanyika created the ZimboPy organization to teach women and girls in Zimbabwe how to program in Python. In this episode they are joined by Mike Place to discuss how ZimboPy got started, the projects that their students have worked on, and how the community can get involved.
Using a rendering library can be a difficult task due to dependency issues and complicated APIs. Rohit Pandey wrote PyRay to address these issues in a pure Python library. In this episode he explains how he uses it to gain a more thorough understanding of mathematical models, how it compares to other options, and how you can use it for creating your own videos and GIFs.
One of the draws of Python is how dynamic and flexible the language can be. Sometimes, that flexibility can be problematic if the format of variables at various parts of your program is unclear or the descriptions are inaccurate. The growing middle ground is to use type annotations as a way of providing some verification of the format of data as it flows through your application and enforcing gradual typing. To make it simpler to get started with type hinting, Carl Meyer and Matt Page, along with other engineers at Instagram, created MonkeyType to analyze your code as it runs and generate the type annotations. In this episode they explain how that process works, how it has helped them reduce bugs in their code, and how you can start using it today.
Learning how to read is one of the most important steps in empowering someone to build a successful future. In developing nations, access to teachers and classrooms is not universally available so the Global Learning XPRIZE serves to incentivize the creation of technology that provides children with the tools necessary to teach themselves literacy. Kjell Wooding helped create Learn Leap Fly in order to participate in the competition and used Python and Kivy to build a platform for children to develop their reading skills in a fun and engaging environment. In this episode he discusses his experience participating in the XPRIZE competition, how he and his team built what is now Kasuku Stories, and how Python and its ecosystem helped make it possible.
Your backups are running every day, right? Are you sure? What about that daily report job? We all have scripts that need to be run on a periodic basis and it is easy to forget about them, assuming that they are working properly. Sometimes they fail and in order to know when that happens you need a tool that will let you know so that you can find and fix the problem. Pēteris Caune wrote Healthchecks to be that tool and made it available both as an open source project and a hosted version. In this episode he discusses his motivation for starting the project, the lessons he has learned while managing the hosting for it, and how you can start using it today.