Hackers and Slackers
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Todd Birchard

New York City Website
Former product manager turned architect with ongoing identity crisis. Does everything incorrectly before coming to realizations known as best practices. Completely normal and emotionally stable.

Structuring your Flask App Like an Adult

Leverage Blueprints, Flask-Assets, and the Application Factory.

When we first started developing in Flask, most of us took the 5 lines of code in the quick-start guide and ran with it. Compared to every other web framework, getting a "Hello world" to flash on screen without being

Flask Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Oct 15

Extract Nested Data From Complex JSON

The Pythonic way of working with JSON objects

We're all data people here, so you already know the scenario: it happens perhaps once a day, perhaps 5, or even more. There's an API you're working with, and it's great. It contains all the information you're looking for, but

Python Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Oct 10

Compile JavaScript with Babel and Gulp

Using ECMAScript functions on the frontend the quick and dirty way.

As you may have already deduced from the occasional glaring holes in my programming knowledge, I haven’t spent as much of my life programming than, well, anybody who haphazardly threw away an 8-year product management career. Apparently, a lot

Javascript Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Oct 06

Reading and Writing to CSVs in Python

Playing with tabular data the native Python way.

Tables. Cells. Two-dimensional data. We here at Hackers & Slackers know how to talk dirty, but there's one word we'll be missing from our vocabulary today: Pandas.Before the remaining audience closes their browser windows in fury, hear me out.

Python Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Sep 27

Flask Routing & Sessions: A Subtle Symphony

With great flexibility comes great responsibility

It isn't often you find somebody sad or miserable enough to detail the inner workings of web framework features, such as sessions or routing. This is understandably so; we use frameworks because presumably hate dealing with these things from scratch.

Flask Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Sep 19

So You've Fucked up your Python Path

A timeless hazing ritual for new Python devs, and how to fix it

I remember back to when I first learned Python. It was a strange decision for a happily employed post-graduate to make, especially for a time when many were screaming for the death of the language with Guido's (outrageous?) grand reveal

Python Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Sep 12

Connect to your Google Cloud Compute Engine

Configuring SSH and file transfers in Google Cloud

So you've taken a leap and decided to host your VPS on Google Cloud: let me be the first to congratulate you on joining the clearly superior cloud platform of our modern era. I would apologize for being so openly

Google Cloud Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Sep 05

Create a Custom JIRA Service Desk Portal in Python

When SaaS doesn't cut it, beat it down and take everything its got

When it comes to SaaS products in the realm of Service desks, JIRA Service Desk is at the very least, just as powerful as the next solution (Zendesk comes to mind). This naturally begs the question: Why is JIRA Service

Atlassian Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Aug 31

Pipenv: Better Environment Management for Python

Effortlessly manage your Python environment

As a shoutout to my fellow Data Engineers, I'm going to take a step back from typical data science workflows. When we build standalone applications, we probably don't want to be tossing around Miniconda's 720 software packages in production, nor

Python Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Aug 30

The End-to-End Guide to Building Forms in Flask

The subtle art of consenually capturing personal data

Happy Tuesday everybody! To start this week hot, let's talk about something that everybody hates: forms. The only thing more painful than filling out a web form is creating one, much less a functional one with feedback. Listen, if you're

Flask Author imageTodd Birchard Author imagetodd Aug 15