We here on the Python team at Microsoft are starting a blog. And since this is the first post, we wanted to give a bit of an introduction of who we are, what we do, and what this blog is for.
Microsoft has a Python team?
Yes, we do! We are part of the Data Group in Azure, the same group that brings you SQL Server, Azure ML Studio and Cortana Analytics Suite. Python is obviously a big part of data science these days, and so it's great for us to be located so close to the teams that are really advancing the field.
You may have already seen Jupyter Notebooks in Azure ML Studio and the Cortana Analytics Gallery - that was us. We've also collaborated with other teams to bring the Azure ML data access SDK for Python, so you can programmatically bring your data sets in and out of Azure ML Studio.
Besides our data-focused work, we also work with the Visual Studio team to provide Python support through Python Tools for Visual Studio, which you can get in any of the free (or paid) versions of Visual Studio 2015.
We also help out other teams at Microsoft to improve their Python support, so you can use Python in Azure App Service, for Application Insights, Windows IoT, or to manage all of your Azure services with the cross-platform Azure SDK for Python.
Why do you need a blog?
Because we have so much to tell you! Obviously we want to have our own home to announce product releases and updates, but there's so much more.
As part of, ahem, "testing our products", sometimes our engineers write cool side-projects. So if you want to play with speech recognition and natural language processing in Python, you can grab the Project Oxford package we wrote for a demo. Work with Excel a lot? You may find PyVot interesting. Or if you have a Kinect, you can use our PyKinect2 libraries with them. These are not official products and they are basically unsupported, but they're out there for sharing (by the way - they're all on GitHub if you'd like to help flesh them out).
We also get to speak at various conferences, mostly about Python, and sometimes we just make short training videos. How else are you going to find these if you're not following our blog?
Some members of our team are also CPython core developers, and may have reputations for being snarky Canadians. I'm sure they have interesting things to discuss, but we'll tag them with a "snark" warning so you can choose whether to read them or not.
Finally, we want to capture Python engineering stories. We'll be going around Microsoft to the teams that are using Python for awesome stuff, but we'd also love to share customer stories (with permission, obviously). So if you've done something awesome with Python, Azure, Visual Studio, or Azure ML and want to brag about it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest it. We can't promise to publish everything, but we'd love to hear about it regardless.
How can I keep up to date?
Over to the right of this page (or at the bottom if you're on a small screen) is our RSS feed. You can also follow @pt4vs on Twitter to get notifications whenever we post something new.
Most of our team also use Twitter for everything from Python to puppies, and you can find us on this list. Or comment on any post if you have follow-up questions or suggestions.
We already have a backlog of content to share here, so we hope to see you again soon.