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February 13, 2012 / lukewpatterson

KC User Group Tour, Part 3: Pythonistas

And now for something completely different…

Me: What is the first thing I need to know about Python?

Pythonista: Ok, first, open a command line…

Me: Alright, I’m ready…

Pythonista: Now start Python… so type python and then press return

Me: Cool, Python is already installed…

Pythonista: Run import this

Me: (long delay… reading…. now fighting back tears) It’s… It’s beautiful … Who… What…. Where did it come from?

Pythonista:  These words are inspired by His design for us.

Me: Tell me more…

First of all to understand what Python is, you gotta understand who Python the language is. Now Python was born to a benevolent dictator for life named Guido van Rossum. –But don’t get the wrong idea, the cathedral that Guido founded is indeed a community process, it’s just that the community works together under the common vision of “There should be one– and preferably only one –obvious way to do it.” To fully understand the vision, and join in the quest for great code, it is also important to know that a moose once bit Guido’s sister.

More Resources/Reading Links that I send in your general direction:

The Python KC Hackathon: 2012-02-11

  • Started at 10am on Saturday, in Corporate Woods, Overland Park
  • Sharp building, super-easy parking on the weekend
  • All the basics – coffee, soda, donuts, bathrooms, wifi, tables, chairs, plugins – and more, the offices were nice
  • The organizers help compose the rooms with attendees of aligned expectations/capabilities
    • This room I called the “guru room.”  I’m not worthy yet, so I took a blurry picture and then bravely ran away.
    • This is where I was – a mix of mentoring experts (not me) and kids with training wheels (me)
      • I’ll bring a helmet to the next user group – safety first.
  • One of the organizers, Pythonista Juan Gomez, helped us newbies feel welcome
    • He explained why new developers could feel confident in investing time in Python as their first programming language
      • It has a growing community
      • It supports multiple paradigms –  OOP, imperative, and some functional
    • He helped me understand some of the Python culture and history
    • Juan felt that the KC User Group culture is great – but he thinks that there is still a hidden wealth of technical talent that isn’t connected to the local community
  • A KC User Group Tour Success Story – I overheard Pythonista Mark talking about the lack of Perl community in KC. He was happy to hear about my recent visit to the Mongers. (True story, for real.) He hopes to attend their meeting soon.
  • Aside from the general interest in KC User Groups, I did have a specific interest in learning a little more Python – I want Sikuli in my tool box.
    • It lets me script with screenshots
    • It has a Python (Jython) based scripting engine

Update – Q&A with Juan Gomez:

Q. How would you describe the Python community in KC?
So far the community has been awesome and the response overwhelming. When the group started, we would’ve been happy with 5 or 6 people showing up for our meetings, but we’ve been fortunate enough to see 20 or more attendees on almost every monthly meeting, not only from the metro area but from nearby cities in both Missouri and Kansas (this weekend we had two Pythonistas visiting from  Abilene, KS). We’ve also recently passed the 100 members mark on, all in less than a year!
We’re both humbled and excited with the tremendous response from the KC community and hope to grow in many aspects to serve them better in the future.
Q. How does Python improve a developer’s toolkit?
I can write pages and pages about all the advantages of the language and why big companies like Google or Amazon use it, but for me, the main reason to learn Python is that is fun to use and it helps you rekindle your passion for programming, bringing back joy to your daily work.
Q. What… is your favorite color? 
Blue … yellow (Movie reference and also the colors of the Python logo 😉

Thanks Juan!

Next Up: KC Rubyists, and their next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21st. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to receive notifications of the future happenings in this series.

— Luke Patterson,

Other Stops On The KC User Group Tour

Part 1: Perl Mongers

Part 2: Atlassian User Group

Part 3: Pythonistas

Part 4: Rubyists

Part 5: NodeLabs, by NodeKC (a guest post located on the Joyent blog site)


Leave a Comment
  1. Madelaine G (@mmarchin) / Feb 23 2012 10:22

    This is an enjoyable series. If you swing by the KC R Users group sometime, I’ll totally give you a monkey. We’re small but mighty?

    • lukewpatterson / Feb 23 2012 13:42

      Hello useR Madelaine! Thanks for the monkey offer, but I’ve learned to not get my hopes up about these types of promises – I’m still angry about a chicken dinner that never materialized.

      Seriously though, thanks for the invite. I’d like to attend this weekend’s meeting, but the timing doesn’t work out. I added myself to the mailing list and hope to be there for April’s meeting.

  2. Madelaine G (@mmarchin) / Feb 23 2012 16:38

    Okay, sounds good, maybe we’ll see you in April. The monkey is for real, it’s like this:

    But with a (detachable) revolution analytics cape. Nobody seems to want them, I have no idea why!


  1. KC User Group Tour, Part 1: Perl Mongers « Keyhole Software
  2. KC User Group Tour, Part 2: Atlassian User Group « Keyhole Software

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