Adventures in Machine Learning

Unleashing the Power of Python: The PyBites Journey

Background andPyBites, a platform for Python enthusiasts, developers, and learners, provides various resources for learning and honing programming skills. It started with two friends, Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira, who shared a passion for coding and teaching.

They founded PyBites in 2015, aiming to provide a place where people could learn Python and become better programmers through challenges and projects. They’ve both had a unique journey into programming, and in this article, we’ll look into their backgrounds and experiences.

Getting into Programming

Julian’s Programming Journey

Julian always had a passion for math and science, so it wasn’t a surprise when he took up engineering in college. One day, during high school, he stumbled upon a programming bug while playing video games online, and it piqued his curiosity.

He got his hands on a few programming books and started learning the basics of programming languages like Java and C++. His love for programming blossomed in college when he learned Python.

He found Python’s simplicity and clean syntax appealing, and it has remained his favorite programming language to date. After college, Julian began working as a field engineer, a job that wasn’t programming-related.

However, he kept himself updated by reading new books and practicing coding on the side. He eventually got a job as a data analyst in the finance industry, where he used Python extensively for data analysis and modeling.

Julian realized the limitations of learning alone, which is why he co-founded PyBites, a platform where he could share his passion for programming with others and help them enhance their skills. Bob’s Programming Journey

Bob’s journey into programming started when he was working as a webmaster for Sun Microsystems, where he discovered Python and Perl.

It was his job to diagnose and troubleshoot web applications for corporate clients, and he quickly realized the value of automation and efficiency that programming languages provided. With a vast amount of data, scripts that could do the work automatically saved hours of time compared to diagnosing them manually.

This realization led him to learn Python and Perl, which were the go-to languages for web development and automation in the early 2000s. His experience in web development led him to develop an interest in software development and project management, and he eventually built projects from scratch.

Bob’s passion for programming and teaching led him to co-found PyBites, where he could share his knowledge and expertise with other aspiring coders.


Learning to code takes effort and dedication, but with the right mindset, anyone can become proficient in programming. Julian and Bob’s stories are testimonies to the fact that the journey to becoming a programmer is not always straightforward but filled with unique experiences.

By sharing their experiences and providing resources like PyBites, they’ve made it easier for anyone interested in coding to learn and enhance their skills. So if you’re interested in programming, feel free to dive in, there’s no better time than now.

PyBites Origin

Starting PyBites

Bob and Julian’s journey of creating PyBites started in 2015 when they aimed to provide a platform where Python enthusiasts could learn, practice and grow their programming skills. They began by creating a blog, which served as an outlet for them to express their love of programming and their experiences.

However, they soon realized that they wanted to do more than just blogging. They wanted to create a platform where people could learn Python more efficiently.

To achieve this, they decided to use a static site generator, Pelican, to create a site that was easy to manage and maintain. Pelican allowed them to create a site with minimal expertise and to keep the content flexible and dynamic.

With its help, they created PyBites, a platform where people could learn Python by challenges, projects, and blogs.

Creating Code Challenges

One of PyBites’ unique features is its code challenges, which make learning programming fun and engaging. With their combined expertise, Bob and Julian came up with a variety of challenges that ranged from basic to advanced levels.

They realized that most people need hands-on experience to learn programming, and that’s why they came up with practical challenges. One of the first challenges they created was a JavaScript course, which allowed learners to create their own browser-based game.

They broke down the project into bite-sized chunks, making it easy to follow and take action. They also created challenges like “Web Scraper – fight club edition,” which challenged learners to scrape websites and analyze data to predict the winner of a hypothetical fight club.

These challenges provided a way for people to develop programming skills while having fun. Launching

After gaining traction on their code challenges, Bob and Julian launched, a site that housed all of their Python exercises.

They created over 300 Python exercises and called them “Bites of Py.” They categorized the exercises into beginner, intermediate, and advanced level, making it easy for people to choose a category that matched their skills. To make it even more accessible, they created browser-based IDEs so that people didn’t need to install any software.

Learning to Code Together

Julian’s Experience Learning Alongside Bob

One of the unique things about PyBites is that Bob and Julian learned to code together, and this became an essential aspect of their partnership. Through their experiences, Julian felt he gained a deeper understanding of programming concepts and techniques.

He learned more about the Pythons best practices and developed a much better understanding of how it was applied to business management. Julian also realized that he was not alone in feeling a “Pythonic gap” and struggling with imposter syndrome.

His experience working alongside Bob showed him that it was okay to have these feelings, and that by focusing on personal code development and growth, he could overcome them. Bob’s Experience Learning with Julian

Bob and Julian had different levels of programming experience, but they both shared the same passion for computer science.

Bob found Julian’s expertise in project management and business skills, helpful in managing the growth and direction of the PyBites platform. He also appreciated Julian’s ability to focus on detail and create clear instructions, something that was essential for developing PyBites’ various code challenges.

Bob and Julian mutually supported each other, and their different talents allowed them to learn by doing.


PyBites has grown significantly since its inception in 2015, providing many resources for anyone interested in learning Python. The co-founders, Bob and Julian, bring their unique experiences and expertise, which have resulted in a platform that is informative, engaging, and accessible to everyone.

By learning to code together and creating code challenges, they’ve created a community of learners and developers who support each other’s growth. The journey to learning programming may not be straightforward, and perhaps that’s what makes PyBites so essential: it’s a community that supports its members throughout the process.

Balancing Work and PyBites

Managing Priorities

For anyone interested in learning programming, balancing work, family, and other commitments can be a daunting task. Bob and Julian were no exception when they started PyBites, as they had to juggle day jobs, family commitments, and learning.

They found that the key to managing priorities is to create and stick to a schedule, making sure that all crucial commitments are factored in. They allocated time and set specific goals for themselves, ensuring that they remained focused and productive without neglecting their responsibilities.

Having a clear schedule helped them set realistic expectations for the PyBites platform’s growth and development since they knew what they could manage alongside their day jobs.

Accountability and Mutual Support

Bob and Julian approached their work on PyBites using the “accountability partner” system. Being accountable to someone other than themselves helped them maintain focus and productivity.

They acted as accountability partners for each other, asking questions like; what goals have you met this week? What challenges have you faced?

And how can we move forward? This mutual support system not only helped them to be productive but also eliminated any feelings of loneliness, which could affect progress.

They understood the importance of learning new skills continuously, and having an accountability partner motivated them to keep learning and continually improve.

Hobbies and Interests


Hobbies and Interests

In addition to his work on PyBites, Bob spends time engaging in various hobbies and interests that keep him balanced. Spending time with family is always a top priority for him, and he often takes breaks from work to spend time with his wife and children.

Bob is also an avid reader who embraces lifelong learning, and he likes to stay informed by reading books on tech, productivity, and leadership. As a fitness enthusiast, he has a consistent workout routine that involves running, strength training, and yoga.

In addition, he enjoys listening to podcasts and learning new languages. When he wants to unwind and express his creative side, he can often be found drawing.


Hobbies and Interests

Julian also prioritizes spending time with his family when he’s not working on PyBites. He’s an electric guitar enthusiast and often spends time playing music to unwind.

He’s also a video game lover and often plays with his kids. Julian’s interest in home automation led him down the path of learning Raspberry Pi, a microcomputer that he uses to automate certain tasks in his home.

He enjoys solving problems and tinkering with hardware, which provides a break from his programming work. When not working on Raspberry Pi projects, he likes to socialize with friends and have deep conversations about tech, pop culture, and life.


Managing priorities, mutual support, and having hobbies outside of work are essential in balancing work and personal life. Bob and Julian’s experiences demonstrate the importance of setting goals and setting up a support system to keep each other accountable.

They both prioritize spending time with family and learning new skills that keep them engaged and motivated. Understanding how to balance work and activities that bring fulfillment and joy is essential for one’s overall wellbeing and can lead to success in all areas of life.

PyBites Projects

Online Python Coding Exercises Platform

PyBites continues to grow and develop new projects that engage and challenge learners of Python. One of their recent projects is an online platform that hosts Python coding exercises.

The platform caters to beginners and experienced programmers and offers a range of Python exercises that improve the coding skills of users. Users can choose the level of difficulty that suits their needs and interests, and the platform enables learners to work through real-world scenarios that reflect common programming challenges.

The coding exercises are designed to be practical, emulating real-world programming challenges in a way that helps learners understand and develop solutions. The platform provides immediate feedback on users’ answers, which makes learning more effective.

#100DaysOfCode in Python Course

The #100DaysOfCode in Python course is another PyBites project. The project came about via a partnership between PyBites and Michael Kennedy, the person behind the popular “Talk Python to Me” podcast.

The course was aimed at people who wanted to learn and master Python within 100 days. The course is designed to be interactive and engaging, with exercises and assessments that provide immediate feedback.

The #100DaysOfCode in Python course has become popular among professionals, students, and learners alike. It provides its users with an actionable plan and roadmap to mastering Python within a relatively short time.

The course has improved the coding skills of those who’ve completed it and has helped users land new jobs in programming.

Talk Python to Me Training Platform

The “Talk Python to Me” podcast is an excellent resource for anyone interested in mastering Python. Bob and Julian teamed up with Michael Kennedy, the creator of the podcast, and other trainers, to create a training platform of the same name.

The platform caters to people who want to expand their knowledge of Python beyond the basics. Talk Python to Me training covers a range of topics, including web development, data science, and machine learning.

The platform’s courses are designed to be challenging and engaging, providing students with real-world programming scenarios and exercises. In addition, Talk Python to Me features expert trainers who provide in-depth support and mentorship, guiding learners through the mastering of new skills.

The training platform provides users with a range of benefits. Users can work at their own pace, with comprehensive guidance and support whenever it’s needed.

The lessons are engaging and are structured in a way that encourages users to learn by doing. At the same time, trainers provide feedback and mentorship throughout the learning process, which helps students to develop better coding habits and techniques.


PyBites continues to develop innovative projects that engage learners of Python, and their contributions to the Python community are invaluable. Their online coding exercises platform provides accessible and practical exercises that help learners develop real-world coding skills.

The #100DaysOfCode in Python course has improved the programming skills of many, while the Talk Python to Me training platform provides high-quality and comprehensive mentorship to those who want to master Python in-depth. These projects have established PyBites as a go-to platform for anyone who is passionate about learning and mastering Python.

PyBites is a platform co-founded by Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira aimed to provide Python enthusiasts with a place to learn, practice, and enhance their programming skills. Their journey into programming and working together resulted in various PyBites projects, including an online Python coding exercises platform, the #100DaysOfCode in Python course, and the Talk Python to Me training platform.

Bob and Julian’s experiences demonstrate the importance of balancing work and personal life and the mutual support that can drive continuous learning and growth in programming. These projects have made an invaluable contribution to the Python community and provide a place for anyone passionate about learning and mastering Python.

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