Butter Berries, Chess, and Timezones | September in Review

The Python Coding Stack travelled across timezones, through supermarket aisles, and across a chess board in September.

The month started with Butter Berries, An Elusive Delicacy. The inspiration for this article started with a text message from my wife while I was shopping at the supermarket:

“Get butter berries and flour. Will be there soon.”

As I searched in vain for “butter berries”, I found my mind meander to the topic of data structures. The whole supermarket become a data structure.

And in case you’re wondering, there was a missing comma in my wife’s text:

Get butter, berries and flour. Will be there soon.

The next article was rather unusual for me and for The Python Coding Stack. Coding, Fast and Slow, Just Like Chess is an essay discussing my newly-found fondness for chess, and how I recently started playing games with slower time controls.

Just like the supermarket trip, this got me thinking about coding. I seem to think about coding often! Fast chess was leading me to tunnel vision, focusing on the pieces I’m moving. But slow chess forced me to see the whole board. There are many similarities with coding—relying on short-term working memory while focusing on the code I’m writing, but also taking a step back to look at the whole program or code base.

The next article is A Slicing Story. Slicing in Python is one of those topics. People learn about it early on. Most people know how to use slicing.

But there are some hidden quirks and features that are not as well known. I explore these in this article.

And the final article in September dealt with timezones. 5:30am • Timezone Headaches (Part 1) discusses my ongoing difficulties with working out dates and times across timezones, especially when daylight saving enters the scene.

This is the first article in a two-part mini series. More on timezones soon.

And as always, I also have a few more articles about my ideas and experiments in making technical writing more interesting and exciting. You can read these in Breaking the Rules.

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