Learning Python

About a year ago my wife and I packed up all our things and moved to the Silicon Valley to work for SurveyMonkey.  As well as changing job, city and country, I switched from being a Windows application developer to being a backend web developer.  I spent over 8 years writing high performance trading applications in C++ and SQL under Windows, and traded it all in for Python, Javascript, open source libraries, virtual Linux environments, and OS X.  I did get to keep using SQL Server 2008 though surprisingly!

I have noticed in Silicon Valley people tend to be a lot more collaborative than in Melbourne.  I suspect it may be because of the heavier use of open source software, and also the rise of distributed source control like Git.  Back in Melbourne most technology companies seemed to use either Java, C++, or C# – when I left Python and Ruby were becoming more prominent, particularly due to a burgeoning startup community, but still pretty relatively rare compared to here.  These languages don’t seem to lend themselves as well to open source collaboration – however I will admit my experience was extremely filtered as a developer working in a Windows dev-shop that rarely used a third party library.

I’ve found the many tech blogs about Python and Pyramid extremely helpful when trying to solve problems, and in the spirit of this collaborative effort, would like to give back a little with what I’ve found.  I also find that writing up technology discussions and solutions very helpful for refining and consolidating my own thoughts, so even if this isn’t widely read, it’s a very useful exercise.

To kick off, I thought I’d mention something that seems to have caught surprisingly few people out on the web, but had me completely stumped a few weeks back at work.  It’ll follow in my next post.  Thanks for reading!

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