### Another talk at the local PythonPune meetup

I rehashed the workshop I conducted at SciPy last weekend into a 20-ish minute talk today at the local Python meetup group. I've been following their activities for well over 4 months now and every time it so happens that I'm traveling when they organize the meetup. Every month for the last 4 months. And finally. Finally. Today, there were no conflicts.

It couldn't have happened at a better time either. I already had all of the material because I used the same slides as those I used during the workshop. Ohh, if you don't know, the workshop I conducted was on Automated Testing using Python. I talked about the unittest module and the mock module and I briefly mentioned the pytest and nose test runners in passing.

Overall, the talk was well received. A few people came up to ask me about follow up questions, about how mock can actually help with testing a large code base and I tried my best to give them examples. I also talked to a few of the regulars and the organizers about the Python meetups in general and that I was interested in talking pretty much every month and that I was going to try be a regular.

Also. Shout out to Screen Magic (http://www.screen-magic.com/) for hosting the talk and for an awesome lunch. Thanks a lot :)

It looks like the Python community has a very clear split - the part of the community that does web development using Python and uses tools like Flask, Django and so on and the part of the community that does scientific computing or Machine Learning (ML) using Python. From what I've seen, these two communities have very few people in common. I personally wish there were more scientific computing and machine learning talks at the next meetup. Only time will tell, I guess.

Finally, there were a bunch of interesting people I met. A few people interested in being hired. A few people interested in talking about how they are using Python at their day job or on their weekends and side projects. One person piqued my interest, who talked about wanting to understand the ML scene in general and wanted to meet people who were pros. Maybe he was interested in hiring. I wouldn't know because I have no understanding or experience in ML/AI. I prolly should though. For the sake of my future.

And finally, I met an interesting person who told me something that kinda surprised me. She told me that she had been working at the same company for about 8 years and that she was now finding it difficult to crack interviews and move jobs. Mind you, not because she isn't technically sound. Because the people interviewing her are questioning why she stayed at the same place for 8 years and what all she learnt in that time. Make of that what you will. Personally, I dont like what's happening on the other end of the spectrum, where developers are changing jobs roughly every year.

Anyway. That's enough commentary. If you came here for the slides, well here they are http://scipy.in/2016/downloads/workshop/. As always, any and all feedback is highly appreciated :)

### Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

### on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

### On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…