Laptop Lids – Individualism for every dev

Laptop lid with stickers on it.

I was recently asked what are the stickers on my laptop lid for? It took me a while to give an answer but I felt that there was more to it than the answer I gave. I myself was not satisfied and so I carried the question along until I now think that I found a better answer and the cause why I struggled to give a good answer. I want to share it with you but I want to give you the same opportunity to think about it and answer the question yourself: 
Why do you modify one of your belongings if it does not increase functionality or increases the ease of use?

Individualism

That was one easy part of the answer. Individualism. We all fall for habits and actions trying to differentiate from our peers. I do so, too. The stickers are a way to show everyone that I am different even if there is someone also putting stickers on hers laptop lid. But does it really differentiate me and is this really the only thing I want to achieve?

“Birds of a Feather” & “Opposites Attract”

There is plenty of chances that every other developer who is confronted with my laptop chooses one of the following. She can decide to be appealed or repelled by what she sees. Nonetheless it results in an easy way to start a conversation. Whether about commonalities or challenging the statements I present on my laptop. I especially like this thesis as I am eager to get to know new people on conferences and similar occasions. Even at work it is a great conversation starter. Some of my colleagues agree with my choices, some recommend additional things and a few try to convince me of opposite things to what they see on the lid. But they all have in common that they are talking to me because of the stickers.

Pride & Prejudice

The former paragraph is not only about commonalities and opposites, it is also a bit about pride and prejudice. I am proud on some of the things I stick on the lid and a few others I present to not mistakenly be pegged as something wrong. For example I like my job and therefore I am proud to wear my employers brand on my laptop. I also had a great time on PyCon.DE and AnacondaCON, just to name a few.

Support

A few of the stickers are the logos of libraries, initiatives or even podcasts I absolutely endorse and want to support. By sticking their recognizable labels on my lid, others are going to speak about it (see above).

Reminder

The last function for some stickers on my laptop’s lid is that of a constant reminder. Frameworks and libraries I wish I would use more often but haven’t found time or a suitable project to be used in.
Not every library I encounter can directly be used in every project. As I am constantly less concerned with programming new and shiny things but more with refactoring, user training and maintaining software infrastructure, there is little time and space left to thoroughly test and apply those libraries. Sometimes when I pull out my laptop and have a look on its lid, I take the time after starting it up to have a look into the project site of one of those software gems.

The actual projects

Now let’s explore what you can see on my laptop. I tried to sort them using different colors in the following picture and I will give an overview on every item or category in the paragraphs below.

Laptop lid where every sticker is color boxed and labeled.

Python (white)

Python is a programming language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively.

NumFOCUS projects (red)

NumFOCUS is an organization which promotes and supports
sustainable high-level programming languages, open code development, and reproducible scientific research. A lot of projects I use and find really helpful are supported by NumFOCUS. That’s why you can find few of them on the lid, next to two stickers for the organization itself.

SciPy

The term SciPy can refer to several different things. I often understand it as the SciPy ecosystem, a collection of open source software for scientific computing in Python. This ecosystem builds upon a small number of core packages, as well as a few more general and specialized tools for different fields of application. NumPy, the SciPy library, Matplotlib and pandas are not only supported by NumFOCUS, but they are also part of the SciPy ecosystem.

NumPy

NumPy is the fundamental package for scientific computing with Python. It contains among other things a powerful N-dimensional array object.

Matplotlib

Matplotlib is a Python 2D plotting library which produces publication quality figures in a variety of hardcopy formats and interactive environments across platforms.

pandas

pandas is an open source library providing high-performance, easy-to-use data structures and data analysis tools for the Python programming language.

Project Jupyter

Project Jupyter exists to develop open-source software, open-standards, and services for interactive computing across dozens of programming languages.

conda-forge

conda-forge is a github organization containing repositories of conda recipes. Each repository automatically builds its own recipe in a clean and repeatable way on Windows, Linux and OSX.

The built distributions are uploaded to anaconda.org/conda-forge and can be installed with conda.

xarray

xarray is an open source project and Python package that aims to bring the labeled data power of pandas to the physical sciences, by providing N-dimensional variants of the core pandas data structures.

DISC (Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing)

This sticker is a special one to me, as it stands for much more than another software library. DISC is an initiative to strive and create a more diverse community.
I think such an initiative must be supported at all times as the benefits from a diverse environment are irrefutable. It is no option to allow sexism, discrimination, harassment, disrespect or any other kind of psychological or physical violence against others!

Anaconda (orange)

The disambiguation Anaconda stands for the company Anaconda Inc. as well as for “The Most Popular Python Data Science Platform”, which they develop and provide.

conda

Conda is an open source package management system and environment management system that runs on Windows, macOS and Linux. Conda quickly installs, runs and updates packages and their dependencies. Conda easily creates, saves, loads and switches between environments on your local computer. It was created for Python programs, but it can package and distribute software for any language.

Commercial Products (green)

PyCharm

JetBrains, the company behind PyCharm, advertises it as: “The Python IDE for Professional Developers”

MongoDB

MongoDB is a free and open-source cross-platform document-oriented database program. Classified as a NoSQL database program, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with schemata. MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc.

Employer Brand (blue)

As I am working for a company called “ROSEN“, it is no wonder that you can find its logo on the laptop lid.
Among other things, we are providing nondestructive inspection technologies for the oil and gas industries for integrity management and risk assessment.

PyTest (turquoise)

The pytest framework makes it easy to write small tests, yet scales to support complex functional testing for applications and libraries.

Conferences (yellow)

PyCon.DE

PyCon.DE is where Pythonistas in Germany can meet to learn about new and upcoming Python libraries, tools, software and data science.

My employer ROSEN supported the conference in 2017 and 2018 as “Gold Sponsor”. For this reason you will find a few talks on YouTube from me and my colleagues.

AnacondaCON

With over 6 million users, the open source Anaconda Distribution is the fastest and easiest way to do Python and R data science and machine learning on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. It’s the industry standard for developing, testing, and training on a single machine. 

Podcasts (grey)

Talk Python to Me

Talk Python to Me is a weekly podcast hosted by Michael Kennedy. The show covers a wide array of Python topics as well as many related topics (e.g. MongoDB, AngularJS, DevOps).

I’m a “friend of the show” and the sticker is to support the podcast and spread the word about it. In my opinion it is a perfect fit for everyone interested in background info and whoever wants to get insights into the Python community and ecosystem and its open source projects.

Other Individuals (magenta)

Those stickers are just for fun. Feel free to share or criticize my taste, it won’t change a thing!

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