Julia Evans

Day 8: Julia writes Julia! And remembers that open source is hard.

At Hacker School this batch there is a wonderful thing called the maintainers program. This means that lovely open source project maintainers come help Hacker Schoolers contribute to their projects!

Yesterday Stefan Karpinski came to talk about Julia. Some reasons I’m excited about working on Julia:

  • The potential for “Julia works on Julia in Julia”
  • Much of the code for Julia is written in Julia, unlike in Python where if you want to write fast code you have to write it in C. This seems pretty huge to me.
  • The community seems really nice
  • I’m into scientific computing & data science, and that’s what it’s for
  • There’s a DataFrames library for Julia, which I’ve already contributed a tiny bit to!
  • I love the IPython Notebook to death, and Julia has a backend for it so that there’s an IJulia Notebook! <3 <3 <3


The thing I forgot about open source is that open source (for me!) is scary and hard. Discussing bugs on mailing lists and issue trackers and submitting pull requests is terrifying. I have gone to awesome code sprints with really lovely supportive people and gone home and cried because being new to a project and trying to get work done is sometimes so frustrating. Like you can spend 12 hours trying to fix a tiny bug and get nowhere. And say ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE CONFUSED AND WRONG. IN PUBLIC.


This is why I’m at Hacker School. And I’m going to work on lots of open source anyway and write code and make pull requests and then it will not be terrifying. I think Julia is a pretty good place to do this. And pairing with people makes doing this stuff way easier.

AND I MADE PULL REQUESTS TODAY. merged, not merged yet.