If it won't be simple, it simply won't be. [Hire me, source code] by Miki Tebeka, CEO, 353Solutions

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Naming "with open" Variable

Python''s "with" statement is great for resource handling. However I find my self struggling with naming (and naming is important) the context manager variable.

When you write "with open(''/path/to/somethere'') as X", what''s the best name for X? In some cases it''s obvious, but in most cases I find myself using the generic "fo" (stands for "file object").

I decided to run a little script on Python''s 3.4 Lib directory and find out what is the most common name. Here are the results:
Seems like f is the most common, but I really don''t like single letter variables. I''ll go with the 2nd place - fp.

Here''s the script used to generate this chart:

Friday, June 26, 2015

353Solutions - A Year in Review

353Solutions was founded a bit more than a year ago. I wasn't planning on doing consulting, I'm a techie and love the development abstraction layer that companies give you and let you code most of the time. (If this is not the case in the company you're working at - consider finding a better one :)

However as the old saying goes - "Man plans and god laughs". I found myself owning a teaching/consulting company called 353Solutions. So far it's fun and provides for the family - what else can you ask for?

Here are results from a short retrospective we did lately.

The Numbers

  • 6 clients
  • 204 work days
  • 204 hours teaching Python (7 courses)


I like working from home, however most companies I talked to wanted some office time. This is understandable since I don't only code but also do system and process design - these roles require more face to face communication. I'm still looking for something that will allow me to spend most of my time working from home.

Teaching is fun! I did that on and off most of my professional carrier, but now it's a big chunk of my time. I'm grateful to Raymond Hettinger who started me off and showed me what a top-notch class/workshop should look like. So far I'm mostly going to companies and teaching there, but just now we launched our own classes - it will  be awesome!

The downside for teaching is that it takes me away from home. For a limited amount this is great (I spend about a week every month teaching Python in the UK). However I'm looking for opportunities that will let me teach from home - stay tuned.

The social network is by far my biggest source of new jobs. Talking to other people - it's not just me. Investing time in making connections and keeping them will pay off. The main downside for is that people want to hire me and not 353Solutions. This means I need to work harder to market the other people who I work with - I can't do everything.

Learning to say "no" was the hardest thing for me. So many interesting things to do, so many cool companies ... But I like spending time with my family, friends and hobbies. You need to find the things that make you happy and pay enough, going cheap is not a good thing in most cases. What I did in some cases was to take less money and get equity instead. Something like "technical" investing in startups.

The main point I need to improve is marketing. It's not something I like to do but feel the need, especially now that we have our own classes. I'm learning and looking for the best thing that will get maximal impact with minimal amount of time. Or maybe hire someone for that? If you know a good option  - please let me know :)

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Use contextlib.closing to Handle "Legacy" Resources

Python''s context managers (with statement) are very handy at handling resources. (You see way less finally in Python code due to them). Maybe objects in Python can be used as context mangers - files, locks, database drivers and more. But some objects still do not.

To handle these "legacy" objects you can use contextlib.closing function which will return a context manager that will call obj.close() once the context manager exists.

Here''s an example of using contextlib.closing with sockets. We''ll be doing a simple HTTP request (Yeah, you should probably use requests or urlopen - this is just an example :)

Note also the user of iter with sentinel to read chunks up to 1K from the socket.

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