Keynote Interview: Melissa Lewis!

Melissa has worked in data analysis and visualization at Periscopic, as a volunteer for Hack Oregon, and as a workshop instructor and co-organizer for PDX Dataviz. She is currently a member of the data engineering team at Simple and of PyLadies PDX!

Her keynote, Beginner's Mind, will be at 9:00am Saturday, October 10th.

Tell us about your talk, "Beginner's Mind"

From the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: "In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few." At every stage of your career, to every degree you’re working with people or ​code, beginner’s mind is a crucial perspective to access. The Python community is as robust as it is today because it’s baked into the culture, and its robustness in the future relies on our continued commitment.

What is your favorite way to make coffee?
​I used to work in cafes and always loved pulling espresso shots!​

What have you been working on lately?
​I just finished reviewing the new edition of Think Python, and I'm excited to see other people use it!​

How’d you get started with python/what’s your history with python?
​I got started ​​because I needed to analyze data for my undergraduate thesis and a criterion I'd set for it was using open source tools. ​

Did you like Python before it was cool?
​No! My excuse is that Python was immediately cool, but in 1989, I was in my "crayons and lincoln logs" stage.

What do you like about python/what’s your favorite thing about python?
​I love that it's multi-paradigm and whitespace delimited! I love the community too, of course.

Python 2.7 or Python 3?

​I love 3! I appreciate how Python's evolving​. I'm just sad not to be importing things FROM THE FUTURE anymore.​

What is your favorite underground library? Tell us about your favorite obscure tool.
​Snowballstemmer: stemming in 15 languages!​

What’s your favorite python?
​The reticulated python, the longest snake species in the world and also apparently a very good swimmer! But if I were to have a pet it'd just be a lil' ball python.