Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Mike Driscoll, Python programmer, author of Python 101 and DZone's Core Python Refcard (among other things), and founder of the Python user group in Iowa. Some of his most recent DZone posts include:
- Python: Create Fake Data with Faker
- Python 101: An Introduction to Python’s Debugger
- Python 101: Reading and Writing CSV Files
1. What have you been working on lately?
I'm learning C++ and Qt for a new job I started in June. I'm also working on promoting my book and fulfilling my Kickstarter obligations.
2. You recently published a book, Python 101. How did you decide which topics to cover? Is there anything you would have liked to include that didn't make it in?
I read a lot of Python books and I remember what it was like taking programming courses in college. The books I read never covered enough and most of the Python books I've read were written in much the same way. So I decided to write something a bit more practical that covered not just the basics, but a bunch of intermediate level material and also demonstrated how to distribute your code. I think the distribution of your work is probably the biggest item missing from most programming books.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
I love using WingIDE for my Python programming. Google and StackOverflow are extremely useful for figuring out issues. I also find the project specific user groups invaluable.
4. Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?
Probably my favorite open source project is wxPython. I don't contribute to it directly, but I write documentation about their project on my blog and update their wiki as needed. I am hoping to become more active in the Python community again this year.
5. Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?
I would recommend Doug Hellman's Python Module of the Week blog (http://pymotw.com/2/). Matt Harrison also has an interesting blog, although it doesn't get updated very often: http://hairysun.com/. Finally I would recommend PyDanny - http://pydanny.com/
6. Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?
When I was a teen, my brother and I had a Playstation 1 and I learned that the games on it were written in C/C++. I wanted to be a game developer! I ended up going in a different direction and ended up learning Python and using it for all sorts of tasks over the years. Now I'm coming back to C++, so you never know what the future will hold.
7. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
Just that Python rocks! You should give it a try.