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Published: October 17, 2020

Most people know me as a Python book author, speaker, and trainer. To be sure, I've spent a lot of time learning the quirks of the language, diving into its advanced features, and giving various presentations on such matters. However, as Python has matured, it has grown into a substantially larger and vastly more complex language. With this, it has become increasing impossible for me to grasp the entirety of the language and all of its associated tooling--something made ever more clear by my ongoing lack of motivation to update the Python Essential Reference.

As a known teacher of Python, there has always been a certain pressure to stay on top of the latest developments and to steer people towards a kind of reasonable best practice. However, if I step back and ask myself "what is the ultimate purpose of this?", I think the answer is that Python is merely a tool for problem solving and thinking. It is only one such tool, but it is not the only tool. Thus, with that, I've decided to gracefully bow out of the Python world so far as it concerns me worrying about the topic of Python for its own sake.

I've always been more of an independently minded researcher and academic anyways. For instance, I've never been a core developer and even in my earliest days with Python, I was more of a polyglot--interacting with many other language communities via the Swig project. I also didn't teach "Python" as a topic when I was a university professor although I sometimes used it in certain classes. My current crop of courses reflect a return to many of my university interests as well as a broader range of topics that transcend the choice of a specific programming language. This is really where I want to be spending my energy.

Going forward, I still expect to spend a fair bit of time coding in Python. After all, I do rather like the basic core of the language. However, I'm looking forward to simply being a casual Python user as opposed to feeling a constant pressure to wrap my brain around every last PEP. Actually, that sounds pretty good.

-- Dave

P.S. I recently finished what will become a new Python book in 2021. It won't be a comprehensive reference (sorry, no update to the Python Essential Reference), but I think it will still be a useful resource for day-to-day problem solving. Stay tuned.

P.P.S. I've decided to release my Python training material under Creative Commons. "Practical Python Programming" can be found here. "Advanced Python Mastery" will be coming soon.

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