Friday, March 28, 2008

It's a good time to be a Python programmer

We had the SoCal Piggies meeting at the Disney Animation Studios last night. It was a great meeting -- great presentations from Disney engineers on how they use Python at Disney (and they use it A LOT!), great food, great turnout, and great atmosphere. Let me tell you -- the Disney Animation Studios are *lush*. Thanks to Paul Hildebrandt for organizing the meeting.

I'll probably blog separately about the technical content of the presentations, but for now I just wanted to comment on the fact that everybody seems to be hiring Python programmers -- Gorilla Nation and Virgin Charter are just two companies in the L.A. area that are aggressively looking to hire Python talent. Another thing: we used to have difficulties in finding venues for our meetings. We used to meet at either USC or Caltech, and around 10-12 people max. would show up. Now companies are clamoring for organizing the meetings at their offices, and we have 20-30 people in the audience, with many new faces at every meeting. Even more: Ruby on Rails programmers are showing up at our meetings, looking for an opportunity to be more involved with Python!

I take that as a sign that Python has arrived. It's a good time to be a Python programmer (or tester, for that matter.)


Josef Assad said...

I am not of the opinion that having Disney staff present is in any way particularly positive.

I understand they are just the geeks inside, but the way Disney has affected the legislative body around copyright terms and their unwillingness to work with the industry to influence GPLv3 is just unforgivable.

I think it's smashing that you had such a good meeting, so I'll limit my screed and end it on the positive note that python is good enough that enterprise adoption is not required for its validation (though some involvement from less caustic businesses certainly wouldn't harm!).

Harlin Seritt said...

Hi Grig!

Man I hope you are right. Ever since I started working with Python seven years ago I have literally been unable to shore up desire to learn another programming language despite the mantra: "different jobs require different tools." It would sure be nice if it became in vogue for many companies to start taking advantage of Python.

At work I began using Python for scripts first (unapologetically -- it is after all easier to beg forgiveness later than ask permission first) and then small web applications. We've been able to do some nice things for a podcasting server and build a sync tool that allows a developer to sync his/her content between staging and production servers.

Since everything is stable and things run faster than most Java apps currently in the environment, I get no complaints.

Duncan McGreggor said...

It's great to hear you say this -- We've been noticing the same thing in the Twisted community. It seems that every day, we have people/companies coming out of the woodwork to tell us how they use Python (and/or Twisted). If this is part of a larger trend, then many in the community should have the opportunity to benefit :-)

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Josef, Harlin, Duncan -- thanks for all your comments. Good to hear that some of you have the same feeling/experience that I have.

Josef -- as for the situation with Disney, I had the same impression as Disney as the corporate behemoth, but that impression changed a bit yesterday when I saw how welcome and friendly the people who work there are. And also how much they like Python and how much they are willing to share their expertise. I understand your concerns about their participation in the larger open source community. Hopefully that will change at some point.


Marius Ursache said...

Hi Grig,

I'm glad you had such a great time with the Python developers from LA and I hope that this ascending trend will migrate to Europe too.


ryan said...

Well they gave Panda3D to the world (kindof) for python. I think lots of companies are realizing the power of getting open langauges and platforms that they dont' have to foot the development bill for, or extending it to help get their products developed.

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Marius -- I hope the Python love will migrate to Europe too. Actually I already know a lot of people there using Python. If you want to continue this discussion in Romanian, send me an email to grig at I'd be interested in helping spreading the word out.


braydon fuller said...

I wasn't aware that there was a SoCal piggies meetup. I might have to try to make the next one :)

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Braydon -- check out our wiki page for links to the mailing list, and for details about the next meeting (which are not there yet, but I'll write them down as soon as I know them):