I am Kenneth Reitz. Ask me anything.

Kenneth Reitz is a well-known software engineer, international keynote speaker, open source advocate, street photographer, and electronic music producer. He is the product owner of Python at Heroku and a fellow at the Python Software Foundation. He is well-known for his many open source software projects, specifically Requests: HTTP for Humans.

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Hi Kenneth, thanks for hosting this AMA. I love requests, thanks for creating it. What other open source stuff are you working on next, that the world still doesn't know about? :)

Thanks for using it! ✨🍰✨

Honestly, I don't have any explicit plans for new projects at the moment. Maintaining what I have now, even with help, is quite time-consuming, and adding more projects to the mix isn't always the wisest of decisions :)

However, I do have some great ideas for a Datetime for Humans library. Honestly, I don't think I'm going to do it—there are so many corner-cases with dates and times and datetimes—and datimes. I also really value my sanity, and do my best to avoid timezone algebra at all costs.

Ideally that's why I'd write this library, is to solve that problem — but, that's not a problem I personally have often, at all. I've encountered it, and wanted to fix it, but writing the library would have no direct benefit to me, other than helping the community and the benefits of releasing another "for Humans" module :)

And, to be completely honest with you — I have a lot of fear that I'd fuck up writing a datetime module, and having as many eyes on me as I do, I don't want to do that. I know things would be totally fine, if so, but it's a strangely strong reason for why a lot of well-known developers don't do more crazy things than they used to. They're on stage.

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What does your typical day look like at Heroku?

  • Wake up whenever.
  • Answer support tickets.
  • Go for a walk to get lunch and coffee downtown.
  • Proceed to work on some of the tasks that I have planned for the week (like improve some component of the Python build process, submit a conference talk, or something like that).
  • Engage with community intermittently.
  • Engage with company intermittently.
  • Email, email, email (intermittently).
  • Answer support tickets.

That's your run-of-the-mill day :)

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Can you type "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" without looking at the keyboard?

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog


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What are your first few memories with Python? What was the result of your first ever written piece of Python code?

The first time I ever saw Python was when I was a young kid, in elementary or middle school, installing random Linux distributions on my machine that I had the CD for. One of them had "Loading Python" or something similar during the bootloader.

For actually writing Python, I started that in 2007. I had done a lot of really amateur toy programming as a kid: C, Pascal, etc. Python was the first language I picked up and learned how to do things beyond a loop and a function.

I have the first piece of Python I attempted to write. Enjoy: https://gist.github.com/kennethreitz/241997

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Hey Kenneth, where do you see the python landscape in ten years time?

  • Everyone using Python 3 (or 4, by then).
  • PyPy being far more prevalent, but not the default.
  • More serious datascience users. Much more.
  • Ideally, the standard library will start to shrink in size.
  • PyCon, if it is to somehow remain a single gathering as it is today, will reach the size of 8000+ attendees.

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