Quartz: Meet the Man Behind the Most Important Tool in Data Science

Wes McKinney hates the idea of researchers wasting their time. “Scientists unnecessarily dealing with the drudgery of simple data manipulation tasks makes me feel terrible,” he says. Perhaps more than any other person, McKinney has helped fix that problem. McKinney is the developer of “Pandas”, one of the main tools used by data analysts working in the popular programming language Python.

Today, McKinney works full time on Pandas and other open-source data science projects as a software engineer for the investment fund Two Sigma. Two Sigma has many Pandas users, and McKinney says they hired him to make sure data science tools for Python continue to develop. He thinks more companies should follow Two Sigma’s lead by hiring the developers of the open-source projects they rely on.

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