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Random Interview: Calvin Cheng

We have selected some speakers through random.choice() to be featured on the EuroPython 2011 blog! Today we introduce you Calvin Cheng!

What's your name and what do you do?

Hello, people know me by Calvin Cheng and I am a developer in Odeon Consulting Group ( We build mobile apps (both native and web) and web apps with Python/Django.

We are honoured to be involved in some really interesting scientific projects with reputable universities like ETH Zurich and University of Southern California.

How did you start using Python?

Working in a team required us to be disciplined in organizing our code base. Python, in the context of Django and Git, gives us a wonderful way to keep organized and grow a simple app over time into a complex and still usable solution.

We began as a software team using PHP in 2007 but it simply wasn't good enough to help us collaborate effectively as a team. We discovered Django in 2008 and have never looked back since!

Name one Python feature you wouldn't live without.

List comprehension of course! I use it all the time and cannot imagine Python without this simple, but effective feature.

What is your talk/training about?

I am sharing our experiences working with geodjango, postgis deployed for an interesting applied ecology mobile web app.

This web app is unique because it allows users to compute how biodiversity is affected as a result of land use decisions in developing countries with large tracts of primary forests. Users can plot polygons on a google map showing tracts of forests and these polygons are used to represent areas before and after certain land use decisions are made.

Tease us with one secret that will be revealed during your talk/training

How we use openlayers and jquery for frontent user input in order to save the data into our spatial/django database seamlessly!

Name another talk you wouldn't miss in the same track on the same day, and why.

Developing a Cad application as an hobby. My exciting hobby is now my job! by Matteo Boscolo.

I am always interested in CAD and drawing-related software (such as blender) and it would be interesting to hear about what Matteo is doing in his CAD application.

What would you tell someone who is still in doubt whether to register to EuroPython or not?

Well, there are so many interesting talks relating to Python in this year's EuroPython it will be a shame if you miss it!

This is a huge opportunity to meet up with fellow Pythonistas, learn from each other and upgrade your own skills and knowledge!

Next Interview Online: June 7th.

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Written by
02 June 2011


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