About Marty Alchin

I'm a full-time Web developer working in Lansing, Michigan. I spend my days working mostly with client-side technologies, including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. When I do server-side work, it's Java and JSP. There's a lot more alphabet soup, of course, but I've always thought rattling off the whole list was terribly pretentious. Besides, if you know what the abbreviations mean, you probably already know what they all are.

At home, I work with Python and Django. I've learned a lot about these technologies in these recent years, and I'm always looking for new ways to use them and new things to do with them. I try to write about what I've learned, which has resulted in the articles you'll find on this site, as well as in my book, Pro Django, published in December 2008 by Apress.

Other interests

In addition to programming for the Web, I'm very interested in data analysis and visualization. I won't pretend to be very good at it yet, but I'm combining my interest in data with my interest in Web technologies, mainly SVG. With SVG, I find it's really easy to programmatically create real-time data visualizations, such as those needed for information dashboards. For that, I'm definitely a student of Stephen Few, trying to take advantage of what computers do best to create simple, informative displays.

I've also developed quite an interest in design. As a technical guy, art always seemed incomprehensible to me, but design is a king of intersection between art and engineering. Design, while artistic on the surface, is far more technical than most other forms of art, so I'm finding that I can actually wrap my head around it a bit better. I've been trying my hand at graphic design, typography, web design and data visualization, with moderately promising results. In the process, I've become quite a fan of Inkscape, which remains the only graphics application I've been able to wrap my head around and use successfully.