A Beginner’s Guide to REST APIs with Python

I first learned how REST APIs worked during an online web development course I was taking a couple of years ago. We were using the Goodreads API to make our own book review web application. I was amazed at how with only a few lines of code I was able to collect massive amounts of data and pass them through to my app. Now I use APIs for all sorts of data-related projects, so I wanted to share my experiences with them and help some beginner Python users get started with resources and code.

What is an API?

API is the acronym for Application…

My 3 Favorite Python Packages for Video Game Development

Many people first get into programming out of an interest in making video games. You may not have thought of Python as an option for developing video games as it is primarily promoted as a language for beginners and data science applications. Indeed, according to gamedesigning.org, the most common programming languages for video game development are: C++, Java, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, SQL.

Python didn’t make the cut on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good choice for learning the ins and outs of game development. In fact, there are many great Python packages out there for video…

Predicting my cat’s species using TensorFlow and Python

I decided to try my hand at a classic image classification problem this week. I wondered how well I could train a neural network model to tell if an image contains a cat or not. I have come across many examples of CNN projects identifying cats and dogs in images, so I decided to try to solve the problem on my own using a few tutorials as a reference. I will share the sources I used to develop this neural network model and fine-tune it for the best results.

I have a cat at home, and she has been an…

My experience writing an algorithm a day for 30 days.

Programming is more of a hobby for me than anything else. It ties into my day job here and there but is more often just an outlet for me to keep learning and working on interesting projects in my spare time. I love programming and have ever since my first ‘Coding for Engineers’ class back in University, but a few years ago I found myself unmotivated to work on any projects outside of my job. …

Why VS Code is my Favorite Code Editor for Python

Over the past several years I have played around with various code editors to try to find out which one would work best for me and my workflow. This can be a controversial topic, as there are many great options out there to choose from. After some trial-and-error my absolute favorite general-purpose text editor and Python IDE is Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code or VS Code for short.

What is an IDE?

IDE stands for ‘integrated development environment’, and for most people is a fancy word for a text editor with a focus on programming. Unlike Notepad, the classic default text editor for Windows, IDEs…

A couple of months ago I trained my first image-classification deep neural network. Up until then, I had worked with and around data scientists and AI researchers for several years without ever taking the plunge myself and learning how it all worked. Having recently taken on some machine vision projects, I finally had the push I needed to crack open some Tensorflow and PyTorch tutorials. I am proud to say I’ve mastered the basics of training image classification models and would love to share some interesting and accessible projects to help get others started!

What is Image Classification?

Image classification is the process of…

A few years ago I tried my hand at baking for the first time. It was a simple pizza dough created from a recipe I simply found on the internet. That first homemade pizza was nothing special as far as pizzas go, but it taught me that making bread could be a lot of fun and gave me something I, as a working Engineer, was missing at the time.

What was Missing?

As a Mechanical Engineer, I spent a lot of my education and training building and tinkering. When I moved to Germany I took a job that was not particularly hands-on. I…

Combining Python and HTML for Maximum Flexibility

I was recently asked to help implement an inventory monitor for a small business. The client’s shop worker needed to quickly determine how much remaining stock he had for specific items, but his workflow did not allow him to easily check their inventory database. My idea was to introduce a monitor displaying the specific items he cared about. To this end I decided to make a Raspberry Pi-based dashboard using Flask and Python to request inventory values from an API and display the results.

Flask is a simple but powerful web framework written in python. It is often used for…

When I moved to London I started cycling to work to avoid the costs of public transport and owning a vehicle. I picked up a used single-speed and invested in some gear to keep me warm and dry throughout the colder winter months. For the hazy days and cycling at night, I also needed to invest in one of the most crucial pieces of equipment: a good commuting light. I felt that the light I chose was lacking in certain areas, so I decided to try my hand at 3D printing a better bike light mount for myself.

Being on…

Making a Simple Rock Paper Scissors Game

Developers often want users to input information to influence how a program behaves.

A graphical user interfaces (GUI) is a system of interactive visual objects or widgets that convey information to the user and allow them to control or influence some underlying program or script.

A simple example is a calculator app that takes in user inputs and performs some operation. You could simply write your script to take inputs from the command line and print the results. GUIs provide a much more intuitive way for users to give/receive information and make choices.

If you are developing a program to…

Mason Landry

I am an Automation Engineer and hobby tinkerer. I write about mechanical, electrical, and software engineering topics!

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