Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Getting to Know: Matt Davis

The subject of the first of our "Getting to Know" series of contributor profiles is Matt Davis, a long-time Software Carpentry team member. Matt is the vice-chair of our Steering Committee, and the Software Carpentry Foundation liason for the Lesson Organization and Development subcommittee.

How did you become involved in SWC?

In January 2012 I enrolled in a workshop Greg Wilson did at the Space Telescope Science Institute. I ended up helping at that workshop and guiding some exercises for the class afterwards. A month later Greg invited me to Toronto to teach Python and help at a workshop there. I've been teaching for SWC ever since!

What is your most memorable SWC moment?

There have been lots of adventures with SWC. On my way to my first workshop in Toronto I missed my flight and made it to the workshop as my lesson was starting. I once taught an entire two-day workshop solo (plus one helper). (I'm not keen to do it again.) And I'll always remember the times I've taught at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab and stayed in their guest hostel with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay.

If three phrases/words described you, what would they be?

Chill, outside, California

What research or work do you do?

At my current job I write Python software used in urban planning and modeling. (So lots of orchestrating data flowing through statistical models.) At previous jobs I've worked on web applications, astronomy data pipelines and observation planning tools, and on data analysis/visualization in atmospheric science.

What programming languages and other technology do you regularly use?

I use the scientific Python stack (NumPy, SciPy, pandas, matplotlib) for almost everything, with occasional use of web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Do you have any projects you'd like to shout out?

I've made a few projects, mostly related to, or in, Python:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I'm in the lucky position of doing what I love: being a software engineer and working in Python. As I grow in my career I'd like to become a team lead and mentor people starting their careers. Oh, and I want to always keep learning and helping.

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