The Shining Path of Least Resistance


Archive for the ‘python’ Category

My New Gig

Posted by mattray on April 18, 2008

In case you hadn’t heard, I recently left my old job for a new job at Zenoss, an Open Source Enterprise Systems Management company. I am now the Community Manager, which is essentially a technical liaison between Zenoss and the Open Source developer community. My job is to help build, strengthen and support Zenoss’ community because they are the ones who use and help support, direct and write the software we provide as a company. I’ll be active in every community-facing aspect I can, and you’ll find me on the forums and mailing lists, IRC, blogs and email asking lots of questions and trying to find as many answers as I can.

While my last job was at one of “The Big 4” as a Java developer, I had a Linux consulting company on the side and I’ve been involved with the Open Source community in one form or another for over 10 years. I’ve worked in Systems Management, retail, distributed computing, banking, scientific and educational software over the years and I’ve been at several startups and founded a few myself. While I’m a fairly new to the Python community, I’ve coded in Java, Ruby, Perl, C, Lisp and many other languages professionally and for fun so I hope to get into the swing of things pretty fast.

I’ll be posting stuff here and at the Zenoss Blog from time to time on my experiences. Feel free to contact me with feedback, questions or answers:

  • Email:
  • AIM: mrayzenoss
  • Twitter: mattray
  • IRC: #zenoss on as mrayzenoss

Posted in career, community, python, zenoss | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

BarCamp Austin Presentation, Part 2

Posted by mattray on March 27, 2008

Picking up where I left off, my Python screen scraper was working, iCal events were getting published for general consumption and I was on my way to BarCampAustin. Pleased with my script, I figured everyone would be using it and my session would be well-received.

The Big Board
The Big Board
Once I got to there, I noticed the crowd mulling about The Big Board, adding their entries and shuffling around sessions. Much to my chagrin, I realized no one had bothered syncing up the board with the wiki entries, so the 10 or so entries there weren’t represented. I asked a volunteer who was syncing them up and he said nobody was. So unless I felt like syncing the Big Board back and forth between BarCamp and the wiki, my script was screwed.

My script was screwed.

Changes were happening all the time, between sessions, all day long and there were way too many for me to track so I gave up. I figured it would be a good reminder about the fragility of screenscrapers for my presentation.

I attended a handful of sessions, ranging from managing social media to interacting with social media (apparently it’s a popular subject). I should have realized I was in trouble when the session I was in before mine got hijacked:
Twitter dominates all
Yes, I had the misfortune of scheduling head-to-head with the most popular session of the day.

My session started poorly, technical difficulties in the fact that I didn’t have a VGA adapter for the projector (I had the fore site to bring my DVI adapter though). Luckily for me, Cote’ loaned me his laptop and we transferred the source over and got started. Attendance was sparse, besides Cote’ and I there were 5 people, but at least they were all Python hackers and participated in the review. I walked through my code, asking questions about proper Python technique and explaining decisions and code throughout. I picked up a couple of good pointers and at one guy said I showed him a better iCal library. A minor success, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Source is available here: barcamp.tar.gz

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BarCamp Austin Presentation, Part 1

Posted by mattray on March 19, 2008

I recently attended the third Austin BarCamp and gave a brief presentation on “Hacking iCal and Python”. Since I was in the process of learning Python, and there seemed to be a dearth of technical subjects (lots of social media type stuff), I figured I’d look for a presentation subject.

Thursday night before BarCamp (Saturday) I started brainstorming. There it was, the BarCamp Schedule, a wiki of presentations and times, updated regularly with planned presentations. I figured I could write a script to parse it, convert it to iCal format and publish it and everyone would have access to an up-to-date schedule and sync it to their iCal/iPhone/Google calendar. Plus I’d get a presentation that I’d like to see myself.
Read the rest of this entry »

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