1. What's the coolest Python application, framework, or library you have discovered in 2012?
matplotlib - This library is a python 2D plotting library that creates great figures that you can use to provide a visual representation of many data. You can generate plots, histograms, bar charts, etc. The API for figure creation is very simple and straight forward and I have really enjoyed using it over the last few months.
2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2012
The programming I do is a pretty equal mix of brand new code and extensions to existing code. This year I took the time to learn how to better refactor existing code. That can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but I specifically focused on refreshing my knowledge of code smells as defined in Refactoring - Fowler (1999) and taking the time to learn how to make better code from the start by re-reading Clean Code - Martin (2008).
Everytime I re-read books such as these, they almost feel completely new. The years that have passed have given me a completely different learning expereince from the exact same text.
3. Which open source project did you contribute to the most in 2012? What did you do?
Allura - To be fair, I work for SourceForge so I get to contribue to Allura as part of my day job. The contributions range from bug fixes to backend updates to tools and extensions.
Pyramid - This is the project I contributed to the most that was not part of my day job. That said, the overall level of contributions wasn't that high, just a few bug fixes, minor JSON renderer update, documentation tweaks, and some Pyramid related blog posts. You can see them here.
4. Which Python blog or website did you read the most in 2012
Reddit, but to be fair, a lot of the stories I went to on Reddit were because they were linked in the Pycoder's Weekly newsletter. So maybe Pycoder's Weekly should take the credit.
5. What are the top things you want to learn in 2013
In 2013 I hope to continue learning more about mobile development, use AngularJS for something other than a trivial demo, and continue my general quest to always be a better developer than I am today. I've also been learning a lot of nutrition and other health sciences and will probably contintue to focusing on learning more about them in 2013.
6. What is the top software, application, or library you wish someone would write in 2013
I think it would be really awesome if there was a recipe application that allowed you to enter in your macronutrient needs for the day (Protein, Fat, Carbs) and spit out a list of recipes, based on a selected meal frequency, that would make you hit all of your requirements.
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