Technology

David Baumgold on Flask-Dance, WebhookDB and Open EdX - Episode 9

You can find out more about us and view previous episodes at podcastinit.com.

Brief Introduction

Interview with David Baumgold

  • Introduction
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What problem does Flask-Dance solve that wasn’t covered by other libraries?
  • What were some of the technical issues that you encountered while building Flask-Dance?
  • What are some of the design considerations that you had when building Flask-Dance?
  • You also built webhookdb for replicating GitHub’s information to be queryable. What are some use cases for which you would want to do that?
  • What is Open EdX and what is its intended audience?
  • What are some of the challenges implementing a system like Open EdX, and what can Python developers learn from the implementation of the project?

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Mark Baggett on Python for InfoSec - Episode 8

Read all of our show notes and find more information about us at Beautiful Soup

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – May 28th, 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Overview – Interview with Mark Bagett
  • Follow us on iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn
  • Give us feedback! (iTunes, Twitter, email, Disqus comments)
  • You can donate (if you want)!

Interview with Mark Bagett

  • Introductions
  • How were you first introduced to Python? – Chris
    • Started using it for automating tasks while working as a sysadmin
    • Found code that launched an attack on FTP server – in Python
  • What are some of the tasks in your job that you use Python for? -Tobias
    • Trusted command & control backdoor for Windows
      • Mostly not used by malware authors – thus far (at least Mark hasn’t seen it used that way)
      • Flame virus – 5MB payload – incredibly advanced
        • Lua interpreter bundled along with the scripts
      • Vale framework – Python framework that takes payloads out of penetration testing executables
  • What is it about Python that makes it useful for penetration testing and other information security tasks?
    • Same thing that makes it useful for anything else
    • mpacket from core security
  • What are some of the more useful Python penetration testing tools?
  • We’ve noticed that a lot of the literature around information security and penetration testing focuses on targeting Windows. Can you enlighten us as to why that is?
    • Windows event tracing
      • logman
      • event trace providers – implement packet sniffing (Can turn every browser into a key logger)
    • Primary attack surface – Where most attacks are targeted
    • Fewer purely Linux systems
      • Very few ports open – maybe 80, 22
      • Very likely no user just sitting there waiting to run an executable you send
    • More freedom on Linux – less formalized patching process, more variable tools = more exploits
    • Will write code to only use built in modules for Python that will run in customer target environments
  • What are some of the legal considerations that you have to deal with on a regular basis as a penetration tester?
  • There have recently been a number of attacks based on hijacking the TCP/IP stack. Is Python being used for any of these exploits or tools to defend against them?
    • Data analytics
    • Detect repeated sequence numbers – Man in the Middle Attack
      • As simple as 5 lines of Python code
      • import scapy, start sniffing packets, pull together all packets – make list of associated packets
      • Can pull together all packets inside of stream
      • Time spefic source communicates with specific destination
      • Bro – intrusion detection suite
        • Built into Security Onion – Doug Berks
        • FLOSS Weekly episode 296 with Bro developers
  • What are some activities that you do on a regular basis for which you would turn to another language or toolchain, rather than using Python?
    • Powershell – The Python of windows
      • Whitelisted and ubiquitous
    • Password cracking – compiled language like C or assembly
  • For anyone who is interested in getting involved in the security industry, and penetration testing in particular, what resources or tools would you recommend?
    • Developers make the best InfoSec professionals
      • Lots of jobs and opportunities
    • Developer -> Systems Administration -> Information Security
    • Security conferences – BSides, Defcon, Black Hat
    • Online capture the flag challenges (google it) – good practice for critical thinking and using code for security exercises
    • Get involved in the industry – Meetups, etc.
    • SANS institute course, Python for Penetration Testers, SEC573 by Mark Baggett – sans.org
    • Lots of free online resources
    • Violent Python
    • PicoCTF
    • Counter Hack Challenges

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Jacob Kaplan-Moss on Addressing Cultural Issues in Tech - Episode 7

Read all of our show notes and find more information about us at podcastinit.com

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – May 18th, 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Follow us on iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn
  • Give us feedback! (iTunes, Twitter, email, Disqus comments)
  • Overview – Interview with Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Interview with Jacob Kaplan-Moss

  • Introductions
  • How were you first introduced to Python?
  • So, we wanted to invite you on the show to discuss the keynote that you gave at this years PyCon. Can you tell us what you mean when you say that you’re a mediocre programmer and why that is such an important admission to make?
  • What are some ways that we can change the tone of the conversation around programming skill?
  • What do we gain by admitting to ourselves and others that we are not all phenomenal engineers?
  • Where does the myth of exceptional vs terrible programmers come from? Can you provide some examples of times that you came in contact with this narrative?
  • How do you think hiring tactics in technology companies contribute to this misconception and how can they be more accepting of average programmers?
  • What are some ways that we can work toward eradicating the myth of the 10x programmer?
  • Thinking about our industry’s problems retaining women and other undervalued groups, do you think the way many managers do performance reviews play a role? If so, how can we do better?
  • Can you tell us about some other ongoing narratives in the technology industry that you find equally as damaging as our misconceptions around skills and knowledge? – Tobias

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Jonathan Slenders Talks About Prompt Toolkit - Episode 6

Visit our site at podcastinit.com for more show notes and news.

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – May 17th, 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Follow us on iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn
  • Give us feedback! (iTunes, Twitter, email, Disqus comments)
  • Overview – Interview with Jonathan Slenders

    Interview with Jonathan Slenders

  • Introductions
  • How were you first introduced to Python? -Chris
  • What inspired you to create the python-prompt-toolkit?
  • What are some design considerations that you made when building prompt-toolkit?
    • Make minimal use of inheritance
      • Overly strong coupling
      • Better clarity for the API of your library
      • Completely event driven / asynchronous
      • No global state
    • ptpython completion benefits from asynchrony – The jedi completion library is too slow – completion happens in its own thread
  • You have built a number of projects that use the prompt-toolkit as a core component, did you have them in mind from the beginning, or are they experiments to test the capabilities of the toolkit?
  • Do you intend to bring PyVim to feature parity with Vim, or is it just intended for experimentation?
    • Short answer: Don’t know – but will probably never be in full parity with Vim
  • What inspired you to create ptpython and why did you choose to make it a stand-along project rather than extending iPython?
  • How difficult was it to integrate with IPython and what were the benefits?
    • IPython has its own event loop – this presented difficulties as prompt-toolkit has its own as well
  • What are some of the most interesting uses that you have seen of the prompt-toolkit?
    • PyVim – really challenged the design
    • pgcli

      Picks

  • Tobias
  • Chris
  • Jonathan Slenders
    • Belgian Beer
      • Rochefort
    • Western European Folk Dancing

      Keep in touch

  • Twitter – @jonathan_s
  • GitHub – jonathanslenders

Ned Batchelder - Episode 5

Visit podcastinit.com for information about the show and links to our iTunes and Stitcher feeds.

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – May 4th, 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Overview – Interview with Ned Batchelder
  • Follow us on iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn
  • Give us feedback! (iTunes, Twitter, email, Disqus comments)
  • You can donate (if you want)!

Interview with Ned Batchelder

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
    • Zope
    • … Implemented in Python
  • How did you get started as the organizer for Boston Python Meetup?
    • History is long and varied (Why is this switching to numbers?
    • Started – 6 people sitting around a coffee table
    • 5 or 6 years
    • Co-organizer Jessica McKeller
      • Built structures to help keep the community goingr
    • Weekend Python Workshop
      • People ‘adjacent’ to the male members – wives, mothers, etc.
    • “What comes next” from weekend workshops – became Project Night
  • How much of your time ends up being dedicated to the Python community?
    • Also maitainer of coverage.py
    • Active on Freenode IRC #python
    • 20 hours a week
  • What are your goals for the Boston Python community?
    • Continue to grow
    • More events, different events?
    • chipy – Chicago UG very active – 1 on 1 mentoring program
    • Smaller events – 5 person events – study groups
      • All levels not just beginners
      • Computational Biologists – study genomics
      • Three user groups
        • Pyladies Boston
        • DJango Boston
        • Boston Python Meetup
  • What do you find to be the most important thing(s) for building a healthy community (particularly in reference to programming)?
    • Consistency – good to know what to expect
    • Pick a cadence – don’t burn out
  • Speakers aren’t superheroes, they’re just people. ‘Everyone has at least one talk in them’.
  • Value in having a blog, twitter stream – people talk back to you and by correcting your mistakes everyone benefits.
  • How do you keep people engaged outside of the monthly meetings?
  • What do you like the most/least about the Python community?
    • Communities can improve – IRC has gotten better
    • Turmoil on PSF mailing list over election for directors
  • How do you strike a balance between sponsors and the rest of the community? Do you have policies around sponsored presentations / talks?
    • Tend not to do sponsored talks
    • Microsoft NERD – great benefit to Boston Python
    • Provides monthly space for the group
    • 1 minute slots for sponsors
    • No sales pitches
  • What are the steps I can take to start my own tech community?
    • How can you get the word out?
    • Meetup.com is useful
    • People like free food and beer 🙂
    • Be predictable. Pick something sustainable
  • What is the State of Python, from your perspective?
    • No signs of slowing down
    • Ruby people are moving to other environments
    • Python people are still using Python
    • Python 2 to 3 conflict is unfortunate – transition could have been handled more smoothly
    • Python 3 ecosystem is getting much better
    • Next big drama – type hinting proposal
    • Appears to be contrary to one of the basics tenets of the language at first blush
  • Do you feel that Boston will ever have its own regional Python conference?
    • Toyed with bid to bring Pycon to Boston
    • Would require someone stepping up to do it
    • Not sure how a regional conference ‘feels’ as a local event
    • Try to have Boston Python be like a year long conference all year long
    • Huge undertaking

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Travis Oliphant - Episode 4

For show notes and other content, visit our site at http://www.podcastinit.com

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – Apr 28th 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Overview – Interview with Travis Oliphant

Interview with Travis Oliphant

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • I’m curious what inspired you to create NumPy and SciPy?
  • Why did you choose Python for those libraries?
  • For those of us who aren’t in the know, can you provide a brief definition of what data science is and how you got involved in it?
    • Term coined by DJ Patil
    • Answer: Anybody who takes data and tries to derive insights from it
    • Nobody really knows what this means 🙂
  • Can you tell us the story of how Continuum Analytics came to be?
  • What are some interesting projects that you have worked on with Continuum Analytics?
  • Can you explain a bit about what NumFocus is and how it got started?
  • How can our audience get involved with NumFocus?
  • For someone just starting out in the data science and data analytics space, what advice would you give?
    • Download Anaconda, learn as much Python as you can
    • Google search “Data Analysis in Python”
    • iPython Notebooks in data analysis
    • R community
    • Meetups
    • Online classes
    • R Community can be helpful
  • Of your myriad achievements, what are you most proud of?

Picks

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Kivy Core Developers - Episode 3

You can view all of the show notes for every episode at http://podcastinit.com

Brief Introduction

  • Date of recording – Apr 21st 2015
  • Hosts – Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Overview – Interview with members of the Kivy core development team

Interview with Kivy Core Developers

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • How did the Kivy project get started?
  • What made you choose Python as the basis for Kivy?
  • What were some influences on and inspirations for Kivy’s design?
  • One of the amazing things about Kivy is that it’s comparatively simple to learn and get started with. Did this ease of use occur by design or accident?
  • What were some of the biggest challenges to designing or implementing Kivy?
  • If you could start the project over, what would you do differently?
  • What are some of the most interesting things you’ve seen Kivy used for?
  • What are some changes/features that you are particularly excited about for the future of Kivy?
  • Are there any platforms/operating systems that you are trying to add support for (e.g. Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Phone, Firefox OS)?
  • Is there anything in particular that you would like to ask for our listeners to help with?
    • Google Summer of Code – If you didn’t get accepted, DO it anyway! 🙂
    • Start small – documentation fixes
    • Fix issues
    • Huge backlog – help answering questions
    • Maintainers for subprojects – like PyJnius
    • Sponsors – Kivy core team looking for new hardware
    • Increase unit test coverage
      • If you find a bug submit a test case

Picks

Contacting the Kivy Core Team

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Reuven Lerner - Episode 2

Full show notes can be found at http://podcastinit.com/episode-2-reuven-lerner.html

Episode 2 Brief intro

  • Recording date/time
  • Hosts
  • Overview

Reuven Lerner Interview

  • Please introduce yourself
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • How did you break into the field of providing Python trainings?
  • What are the most common languages that your students are coming from?
  • What are some of the biggest obstacles that people encounter when learning Python?
  • Where does Python draw the inspiration for its object system from?
  • In what way(s) does learning Python differ from learning other languages?
  • What sorts of materials/mediums do you use for training people in Python?
  • Do you use your book (Practice make Python) as follow up material for your trainings?
  • In your freelance work, what portion of your projects use Python?
  • Have you seen a change in the demand for Python skills in the time between when you first started using it and now?
  • What types of projects would cause you to choose something other than Python?

Picks

Closing remarks

Thomas Hatch - Episode 1

Full show notes can be found at http://podcastinit.com/episode-1-thomas-hatch.html

Brief Intro

Thomas Hatch Interview

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Closing Remarks

Podcast.__init__ - Introduction - Episode 0

Welcome to the first episode of a new podcast focused on bringing you the stories of the people who make the Python language and ecosystem great.

Outline
  • Introduction
  • Brief Host Biographies
  • Why We’re Doing This
  • Why We Love Python & Favorite Tools
  • Thank You
  • Picks!
Picks
The intro and outro music is from