Meet Michael Kehoe: Building Production Ready Python Applications

Ben Hancock
Published in
2 min readJul 20, 2018


This post is part of a series introducing the speakers at the PyBay2018 conference in San Francisco this August. It’s a great chance to learn and connect with an engaged and diverse community of Python developers. We hope you’ll join us!

Michael Kehoe

What are you going to be speaking about at PyBay 2018, and why are you excited to give this talk?

Hi! I’m Michael Kehoe and I’ll be talking about “Building Production Ready Python Applications” at PyBay this year. I’ll be showing attendees how to make your next Python application highly reliable, monitorable and scalable. I’m excited to share my experiences of building highly-reliable production Python applications. It’s my hope this talk will help uplevel thinking about how to make Python applications more reliable and scalable.

How did you get into programming and Python?

Since childhood, I’ve had an interest in computers and was always eager to learn more. I received my first computer magazine when I was 12, which got me interested in programming. After watching a number of online tutorials, I learned how to build applications with XAML and C# using the .NET framework. Through high school, I learned Delphi and started to learn Python in University. It wasn’t until I got to LinkedIn that I started to use Python daily and really was able to focus on improving my craft.

What’s your favorite Python library (core or third-party), and why?

Kazoo is my favorite Python library. It provides an interface to Apache Zookeeper. It’s a great gateway to building highly-available, distributed applications. Kazoo is also very well documented to the point where you can read the example recipe and start implementing the library in your code within minutes.

What can you be found doing when you’re not writing code?

I’m an infrastructure nerd! I spend a lot of time outside of work learning about scalable infrastructure and complex network architectures. I also like to write a lot about SRE processes and practices. You may also find me at some of San Francisco’s best bars sipping on a Caribbean rum or a scotch whiskey.

What’s the best advice you’ve received as a Python developer?

The best advice I received was to write unit-tests. Testing is something that will inevitably save you from doing something silly and is a large part of building reliable applications. The second piece of advice that I’ve really taken to heart is to write documentation. I’m a stickler for in-code documentation, particularly doc-strings. It goes a long way to help someone else understand your code and your thought-process quickly.

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Ben Hancock
Editor for

Data journalist and Python programmer. Linux enthusiast. SF Python volunteer.