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On Python 3, again

A while back, Brett Cannon went into some detail on why Python 3 happened (that is, why it was backwards-incompatible with Python 2 and why it was backwards-incompatible in the particular ways it was). Python 3 has been pretty controversial, with people I respect chiming in on both sides of the good idea/bad idea debate. And the transition (which Brett has also taken a recent look at) has indeed been slow, but that at least was fully expected — at the time, I remember announcements coming from the Python ...

Entry published June 10, 2016. Read full entry.

Things and stuff

I’ve been awfully busy lately, but also thinking about a lot of stuff. Since microblogging is no longer really a thing I have access to (Pownce, I miss you), that means doing periodic brain dumps, yay!

Conferences and costs

Over the past few months there’s been a pretty significant conversation starting about tech conferences and “paying” speakers (where “paying” typically means at least providing a free ticket to anyone giving a talk). Which is a topic full of complicated thoughts for me.

On the one hand, the obvious argument: there’s significant overlap ...

Entry published May 5, 2016. Read full entry.

A real Python "wat"

A few weeks ago I went through and explained the various items in a list of “Python wats” — behaviors of Python which seemingly made no sense. Calling them “wats” is a bit of a stretch in most cases, though, because most of them were simply consequences of fairly reasonable design decisions in how Python or its standard libraries work, but presented in ways which obscured what was actually going on.

Lest I be accused of defending Python too much there, I’d like to point out an absolutely genuine “wat” moment ...

Entry published November 15, 2015. Read full entry.

Destroy all hiring processes

Finding work as a software person kind of sucks sometimes.

Actually, let me strike the “kind of” from that sentence. It just sucks, full stop. Plenty of people have complained that being on the hiring side of the equation is terrible — we don’t have any reliable ways to identify people who know how to code and do it well. And it’s true: we, as an industry, suck at this. Even among the most common demographics for developers (American, male, white, skewing young and middle-class background), we are absolutely abysmal at ...

Entry published October 19, 2015. Read full entry.

Wat's up, doc?

In much the same vein as Gary Bernhardt’s wonderful talk about JavaScript, there’s a collection of Python “wat” moments which goes around every so often. There’s also an associated quiz linked from that page (which I won’t spoil; you can read through it yourself and then check your answers). Every language has some unintuitive — or at least seemingly-unintuitive — bits, and Python is no exception. But if you’re working in Python, understanding why (or, perhaps more appropriately, wy) these snippets of code behave the way they do is interesting ...

Entry published October 13, 2015. Read full entry.