Python hacker envisions more inclusive hack community

Simon Cross, an experienced Python developer based in Cape Town, has his mind set on growing local Python hacking groups where everyone feels welcome.

 “I’d love to see the Cape Town group become more inclusive,” Cross told HumanIPO in a pre-hacking event interview on Tuesday, January 15, in Woodstock. “It is easy to develop blinkers in this field, but it would be great to interact with other communities,” he added.

The group is attended by a diverse group of people from various fields, but who all have an interest in the Python programming language in common.

The second Python hacking session hosted approximately 20 attendees at the Woodstock Exchange, in Albert Road, in the 88mph accelerator office space.

Cross said: “We have about the same number of people as last time but about half were new people I hadn’t seen before, which was encouraging. Some of the new people got started with Python and some of the regulars worked on Pyntnclick (a point and click adventure game engine that we’re writing). It can already run one game.

“There are those that want help from others, those who want to master and those who are pretty good and will hopefully help.”

The first Python hacking event occurred on November 16, 2012, attended by 20 people.

The idea of local group sessions emerged after Cross organised the national Python summit in South Africa PyConZA 2012 “with help from lots of cool people”.

Cross, qualified with a Honours degree in Physics and Masters in Applied Mathematics (UCT), started his journey with Python about a decade ago at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute where he worked with the software. He currently holds the position of Software Developer at a non-governmental organisation called the Praekelt Foundation – a mobile incubator that offers services for the underprivileged through online and other mobile services.

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