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PyCon US 2013: Highlighting Metacloud, Netflix, AWeber, and Project Gado

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
PyCon kicks off in under 24 hours, and it’s kicking off at all thanks to our generous community of sponsors. We hope you’ll browse the expo hall and see what they’re all up to, chat with their developers, learn about their products, and maybe even pick up a job lead.

Here’s what a few of them have been up to lately.

Metacloud

At Metacloud, we live and breathe OpenStack which means we also live and breathe Python,” says Todd Cranston-Cuebas of Metacloud. Their Python and Django expertise go a long way when it comes to building up their private cloud product. The combination gives them the ability to build, deploy, and support their OpenStack-based solutions for enterprise-level clients. The service runs on the client’s hardware, with a lot of care put into security, redundancy, and high-availability.

“A big part of what drives open source projects is the fostering of an altruistic environment, a community that is driven by many different unique needs leading, ultimately to a refined product for all,” says Todd of their commitment to open source. Supporting PyCon 2013 is another commitment they’ve gotten behind. As their team continues to grow, they want to be a part of action and

Netflix

We’ve chosen to use Python to solve some of our complex challenges for its rich batteries-included standard library, succinct and clean yet expressive syntax, large developer community, and the wealth of third party libraries,” says Betty Tsan of Netflix. They’re using Python in a lot of places, especially in their infrastructure management and data processing teams, along with using it for building and communicating with RESTful APIs. They’ve also building Python tools into their Simian Army suite of cloud tools.

As with a lot of sponsors, Netflix is looking to recruit great Python programmers, and PyCon is surely the place to find them. PyCon is so much more than recruitment, though - it’s a great learning environment. “We have a lot of folks from Netflix attending the talks and learning from their peers, so it makes sense to continue to support the community in this way,” Betty said of Netflix’s choice to sponsor the conference and send their employees out to learn from our great selection of talks and tutorials.

They’ve created a Meetup for those interested in learning about and contributing to Netflix’s Open Source Platform components, with a meeting happening on Wednesday in Los Gatos, CA. Soon they’ll be introducing their Python work at one of the meetings, so check them out if you’re in the area!

AWeber

AWeber, makers of email marketing software and services, use a lot of Python. A lot. It’s at the heart of their technology stack in their core products and services, internal and external APIs, deployment tools, and more. “Python is important for us as an organization for both technical and non-technical reasons: on the technical side, we like the speed at which we can produce and innovate as a team, and we like that the language is easy to pick up for new engineers coming from non-Python backgrounds,” said AWeber CTO Brian Jones.

“On the non-technical side, we place a tremendous value on the community of developers that evolve, grow, and maintain the language. The level of transparency and accessibility of channels where core decisions are made, the ease with which we can become involved, and the overall maturity and friendliness of the community are what really, in my opinion, make Python a no-brainer.”

AWeber uses a lot of open source tools throughout their set of projects, with Python at the heart of it all. When we asked Brian why they chose to sponsor PyCon, he said “Python has been a key language in all of those pursuits, and PyCon is a conference that really does a great job of serving all of the diverse needs of our team.”

Project Gado

Project Gado is quite an interesting project. Getting its start in 2010 as part of the Johns Hopkins University Center For Africana Studies’ East Baltimore Oral History Project, “Project Gado aims to create a powerful, durable Open Source robotic scanner for sensitive archival materials which can be built using simple tools for less than $500,” with Python at the center of it all.

“Using the language allowed us to leverage existing modules to make tying in some tricky hardware (scanners, cameras, an Arduino board with custom firmware, etc.) way easier,” says Tom Smith of their use of Python.

One of Project Gado’s favorite parts about Python is the community. Tom went on to say, “we needed to use a language with an active and enthusiastic development community, and Python delivered!”

They recently released a ton of code, schematics, and parts lists on their site at http://www.projectgado.org, so go check it out. They also have kits for developers to build their own Gado robot!

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