Top 5 Talk Python Episodes of 2019

It’s been a great year over at Talk Python. The podcast has been going strong with many listeners from every corner of the global. We’ve launched a bunch of new courses at Talk Python Training and even did a little good for the environment.

As we near the end of the year, I’d like to take a moment and highlight the top 5 episodes, measured by number of total downloads (nearly 100,000 each).

In reverse order, here they are! Thank you to everyone who has listened in and subscribed to the show.

#5: Learning (and teaching) Python in a vacuum

Rusti Gregory

How do you learn programming when you’re working in a vacuum? Sure there are resources on the internet, but sometimes just bouncing ideas of others in person makes a huge difference. Join me along with Rusti Gregory as we discuss how he is learning and teaching Python in a small town in Vermont.

#4: Modern Python Standard Library Cookbook

Alessandro Molina


[Sorry for the audio quality on this one, if you can handle it, the content is great]

A recent twitter poll went around the web and it asked, what percentage of the Python standard library do you think you know? Someone copied me on it, maybe expecting some really high percentage answer. In reality, what I did answer and my rough estimate is that it’s probably around 50%.

This episode with Alessandro Molina definitely helped confirm that experience for me. He just published a book entitled “Modern Python Standard Library Cookbook” and it’s full of these great little corners of the standard library that you might not have bumped into but you’ll be super glad to hear about on this episode!

#3: Automate all the things with Python at Zapier

Bryan Helmig

Do your applications call a lot of APIs? Maybe you have a bunch of microservices driving your app. You probably don’t have the crazy combinatorial explosion that Zapier does for connecting APIs! They have millions of users automating things with 1,000s of APIs. It’s pretty crazy. And they are doing it all with Python. Join me and Bryan Helmig, the CTO and co-founder of Zapier as we discuss how they pull this off with Python.

#2: Beginners and Experts in Software Development

* Karly Sindy – @karlysindy
* Joy Dantong Ma – @JoyDantongMa
* Tsitsi Flora Munikwa – @tsitsi_flora
* Ned Batchelder – @nedbat

What’s it like to be a beginner in software development? How about learning Python for the first time? This episode is a special panel episode and is the first of a two-part series we are doing on the podcast called Beginners and Experts.

On this first episode, we have a conversation between beginners and experts and how we can close the gap to help beginners get up to speed as quickly as possible. Our panelists are Karly Sindy, Joy Dantong Ma, Tsitsi Flora Munikwa, and Ned Batchelder.

#1: Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas

Chris Moffitt

Do you know or maybe work with people who abuse Excel? Is it their hammer to pound all the computational problems that get in their way? Well, join me to chat about this opportunity to bring Python deeper into their lives. You’ll meet Chris Moffitt who runs Practical Business Python. He works with lots of folks who could make better use of Python to solve their business problems and he has a ton of material on his website. It’s time to escape Excel hell with Python and Pandas.


I think it’s fitting that the most downloaded episode is how to escape from Excel and start leveraging the power of Python’s data science stack. Just one more testament to Python being a full-spectrum language and welcoming beginners while not being too simple for true experts.

If you had a favorite, let us know in the comment section. Which one was it and why?

Thanks to everyone who made this year possible (guests, listeners, and students)!



  • I started listening to your podcast(s) around Jan 2018. I tried my best going back to listen some of the old episodes (mainly based on titles).
    My most favorites, in addition to these 5, are:

    12 lessons from 100 days of web
    Python’s journey at Microsoft
    Flask goes 1.0
    Inside Python’s new governance model
    Modern Python Standard Library Cookbook

    Honorable mention: Classic CS problems in Python. I got the book with your discount code. Though I still haven’t gotten around to read/use it fully.

  • TPTM is without doubt, one of the best podcasts ever created. While I agree that the episodes listed in the article were great, here are a few honorable mentions from 2019.

    #211 – Classic CS problems in Python
    #215 – The software powering Talk Python courses and podcast
    #216 – Digging into Visual Studio Code
    #243 – Python on Windows is OK, actually

    Looking forward to more solid episodes in 2020 :)

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