foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

No Python in New Zealand?

, posted: 13-Sep-2007 07:42

My favorite language of late is Python. It's powerful and can greatly increase developer's efficiency. Yet, here in New Zealand I don't notice much activity around that language. Not many job openings, no Python user group that I know of. Is there anyone out here that also works with Python? In Australia they have Python user groups, and certainly also in the US and in Europe. You could say that New Zealand is a very small country, but consider that in Australia they even have Python user groups for individual cities!

Considering what the language has to offer, I'm a bit surprised that not more people are using it here. I am developing with Python in a few projects I am involved in, and I am amazed at the efficiency and speed of writing code with it. For the most part, you just write down what you think should happen and you end up with an executable program! Some people have compared Python to 'executable pseudo-code' for that reason. The effect is that in the end you can write your program with maybe one half or even one tenth (or so) of the lines of code you would have to use for an equivalent program in Java or even C++. Consequently, you have less opportunities to introduce bugs, reducing development cost in the short term and maintenance cost in the long run. Python runs slower than C++ or even Java, but hardware is getting cheaper, while developer's time is not. So, for most people and many different sorts of applications this is a very fair trade-off.

Coming from a C/C++, Java, Pascal, Assembly, etc. background, it can be quite startling to experience a dynamic, 'power scripting' language like Python. There are other languages like it, for example Ruby. which supposedly provide a similar experience. I don't speak Ruby, though. And even though from what I hear it's very good, I certainly like the Python approach of 'explicit is better than implicit', clear syntax, emphasis on human readable code and so on. That's my cup of tea and I'm happy with it.

Python is actually much more than a scripting language, and is used by some very large organizations for some very serious lifting and complex applications (Google for example). It has a wonderful rich set of libraries, which provide access to many necessary features such as threading, multi-processing, IPC, low-level (sockets) and high-level (http, ssl) networking, interrupts, synchronous and asynchronous IO, as well as numerous libraries for handling of different data formats, XML and more. It also allows easy integration of C code into a Python program, for those cases where extra speed is needed.

Someone even wrote an article about Python as the first and last language you will ever need.

So, considering all of this, I am surprised about the lack of Python activity in New Zealand. Does anyone know why that is? And if there are any Python developers here in New Zealand, I would love to hear from them.

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Comment by chris021, on 13-Sep-2007 13:56

I use python! it is my primary language for pretty much everything!

Comment by Carl Cerecke, on 13-Sep-2007 15:47

I've been using python for about 7 years, and I agree more or less with what you've written. There are a growing number of us in Christchurch. But yes, jobs are few and far between: managers don't get fired for choosing Java (at the present time, anyway).

Comment by Sinn, on 13-Sep-2007 16:35

We had a brief spell with using Python and Ruby back when I was in university a few years back. It was a nice language but you're right. there's not much use of it out there in the workplace..

Comment by barf, on 13-Sep-2007 17:08

I'm new to python, only picked it up this year but I'm loving the consice code!

Incredible what you can do with it, add NASA and the International space station to the list of python users btw ;-)

Comment by Jim, on 13-Sep-2007 17:31

We have small teams of Python programmers in Gisborne and Auckland working on eXe (an XHTML editor for teachers/tutors).

Comment by Sam, on 14-Sep-2007 01:55

We use Python as our high level language in the WAND Research Group in Waikato University.

Comment by Danny W. Adair, on 27-Nov-2007 14:29


The New Zealand Python User Group - in discussion for months, finally started in September. We'll have our first meeting in Auckland, check out the discussions for details.

Just sign up and stay informed if you are interested. Oh, and please: Spread the word!

Comment by emma, on 20-Oct-2012 20:57

Hi There,
I am really needind to find a Python developer based in Auckland preferably.
Can anyone help? They seem hard to find.

foobar's profile

New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.

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