[FRPythoneers] Python for Smalltalkers

Matt Boersma matt at sprout.org
Wed Aug 7 10:07:25 MDT 2002


On Wed, 7 Aug 2002, Wostenberg wrote:
> ...
> It's difficult to draw a living in Smalltalk here in Denver so I was 
> wondering how's the Python market? What types of places use Python? I 
> picture governments and nonprofits going for the opensource way but 
> maybe am wrong.

Hi Alan-

As one example, we have 5 full-time developers here at Array BioPharma 
doing python development for internal chemoinformatics tools, with only 
the occasional interruption to patch up legacy Java or VB code.  We're a 
for-profit biotech company (see yesterday's Boulder Daily Camera business 
section for a flattering article).  We chose python because we wanted to 
narrow the set of languages and technologies we work with, and after an 
internal "language shootout," python won easily based mainly on its 
productivity potential.

So there are at least some people around here getting paid to do python.  
(I wish I could say we were hiring right now, sorry...)  I got to attend 
O'Reilly's Open Source Conference two weeks ago and meet Guido, and it was 
clear that python is quite strong and growing nationally, and even more 
so in Europe.

But it's still a niche technology on recruiters' radar, so I wonder if 
there are actually a few more jobs in the area that involve python but 
don't explicitly say so, either because they assume no one will bite, or 
because the recruiter or HR folk don't know what it is.  And when we were 
filling positions, we didn't bother screening for python skills because we 
felt any moderately experienced developer (especially a Smalltalker) could 
pretty much learn it and start writing code in a day or so.

The python jobs I've seen listed around here in recent memory were 
something at NCAR a year back, and Yellow Dog Linux wanted a contractor to 
write installers in python.  Denver.techies.com doesn't show any hits for 
"python" right now.  :-( 

Just one data point,

-Matt




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