How I helped fly a helicopter on Mars

Joost Lek

Development Open-Source python

See in schedule: Fri, Jul 30, 13:15-13:45 CEST (30 min)

Open source code is the foundation for a lot of my own work, but of course also the work of others. And the beauty of open source is you never know where your contributions end up. This story begins in the summer of 2019 when I wanted to see if I could contribute to the python project I’ve been using so much. In this talk I’ll walk you through the challenges I faced making my first contribution to cpython, picking a bug and squashing it. I’ll end the talk explaining the title: after viewing the 2020 mars helicopter fly on the red planet I realized I have a new badge on my github page. I never started out thinking I could have my code flying in space, let alone flying on mars. But it does. I hope to inspire others to step over the hurdle and contribute back to the open source tools they use.

Type: Talk (30 mins); Python level: Beginner; Domain level: Beginner

Joost Lek


I am an application engineer programming in Python, automating the deployment and monitoring tools for a complex trading system. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge in programming by teaching beginner and intermediate Python courses.