I just started work on a new Django app to allow me to define my musical practice goals, then record my sessions and the progress I make. This will eventually find its way into the Out of the Darj website so that all of the students can use it as well. The plan is to include a profile of sorts where you can define your goals and show your progress toward making your goals a reality.
The project is named ‘stanton’ after the great Stanton Moore. You can find the repo here: http://github.com/markfreeman/stanton
Looking back, I have generally been the type of person who lets people dictate to me what it is that I am going to do. I make my desires known, but don’t do anything to make it a point that my desires will be the outcome. Today I took a big step and stood up for myself. After a couple of years of being led to believe that I would finally move into a full time development position, and then being stuck in a designer/analyst position, I laid it all out on the table. I let my boss know that either we start making the move, or I would need to look at other opportunities.
I’m very happy to report that it actually went over well. As I understand, we will be developing a plan to train someone to start stepping into my position as I start stepping into a much more development focused role. It was the perfect time to make the move as I am currently needed and we are about to be in a position that we will be short on developers. I’ll continue to post and update on how things go over the next few weeks. I’m tired of getting stepped on and ready to take my destiny in my own hands.
Only two more weeks left until PyCon! I’m excited to get out and see the greater Python community.
Lesson learned: You don’t get anywhere without taking risk. It was really scary to make a play like I did today, but the outcome may be worth it.
This past Thursday was the first official meeting of the Birmingham Area Python Users Group (PyHam). I volunteered to do the first presentation, which was an overview of unit testing frameworks in Python. I thought the presentation went very well. I’m very interested in testing, and know that I should be, but getting started can be the hardest part. It was very interesting to hear the take others have on the subject and to hear most everyone else admit that they feel the same way I do. The biggest lesson I took away from the meeting is to always make sure you right your code to be tested, or you will never write the test.
The last few weeks have been quite busy. I’ve been preparing for the first PyHam meeting, where I will be giving a presentation on common testing frameworks in Python. I have a tendency to volunteer to talk about subjects I’m interested in, but don’t know much about. This should be interesting. I’ve certainly learned quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. Our first official meeting will be next week (1/21) at Birmingham Southern College, at 6:30pm.
I had some down time over Christmas and decided to use it learning the basics of sqlalchemy. Since I like using the command line to get around and I have been wanting to try my hand at a basic to do list program, I decided I would try to mimic Gina Trapani’s todo.txt.
The commands are slightly different than those used by todo.txt, mostly due to some limitations of using optparse. Currently, the program supports adding task, deleting task (completing them), updating task priority or description, and listing all task or searching the task for a keyword.
Running the program for the first time will create a database and settings file for you. This may be changed in the future to where only the db file is created and the settings file is already included. Additionally, there are some path issues that will be addressed in the near future. Once these issues are addressed, I plan on packaging the program up for listing on pypi.
You can see the source and download the program on github.
Quite a bit of work has gone into this over the weekend. The program will now read from an input file and generate a lilypond score. I’ve tested it on several 2/4 and 4/4 rhythms and it seems to do well. Special care must be taken for use of rest, ‘_’, to make it formats correctly in some rhythms. For anyone who is interested, check it out on github and leave a ticket or email me if you find bugs. Feature request are welcome!
Tonight, I begin work on a new project, pyLilyDTK. I will be writing a python program to convert the typical d-t-k rhythm notation to LilyPond scores. Thanks to a friend who did a lot of legwork in understanding how LilyPond scores are laid out, I don’t believe this will be a terrible task. It will sure save some time when preparing for my percussion classes! The intended goal is that once it is done, it will be ported as a django app so it can be used directly from the outofthedarj.com website.
That’s a heavy title for this post. I’m referencing an article by Justin James. In the article, the author makes the point that, in today’s world, you can never really become an expert programmer, due to the complexity of the languages and frameworks. He makes a great point. This is one of the reasons why I’ve found it so difficult. It isn’t just a matter of knowing Java, you have to know a laundry list of frameworks to really do anything or get that next job. He says the trick is not knowing everything, but being enough of a generalist that you know where to look. I’m finding this especially true in web development where it takes two to three different languages just to work on the GUI. It’s a good thing we love learning so much…
Lesson learned: You don’t have to be an expert in everything. Get good at a few things and make sure you know where to find the answer for the rest.