fizz_buzz (and find out why 1,485,294 is divisible by 3)

February 18th, 2018 · 16 mins 7 secs

About this Episode

Episode 1 Show Notes:

These show note were written on the Shinano Train, on Kevin's smartphone, steaming toward the Snow Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan.

In Episode 1, we discuss the infamous programming challenge known as FizzBuzz (no space), Fizz Buzz (with a space), or fizz_buzz (in PEP8-friendly syntax). We start off with its origin story, a math game used to teach children division. We then debate whether sitting around in a circle and taking turns saying “one, two, fizz, four, buzz, ...” is as fun in the digital age.

Even less fun? Fizz Buzz's reputation as a job interview question. For more about this version, see the well-known blog post by Jeff Atwood at

We're still not sure whether Fizz Buzz, or any other math-heavy question, is suitable for determining someone's capacity as a programmer. But as a learning tool, Fizz Buzz does provide a compact way of demonstrating a wide range of programming topics, including variables, conditionals, and loops. The only downside is also needing to learn modular arithmetic:

And if you need even more math in your Fizz Buzz solution, look no further than this blog post by Joel Grus:

Rounding out the episode, we share some project updates, including Kevin's recent Medium article on "Automating Surveys with Python, Qualtrics API and Windows Task Scheduler":

Neither of us is affiliated with Qualtrics in any way, but we did publish a qualtrics-mailer package on PyPI a few months ago:

This episode features the song "Happy Ukulele" by Scott Holmes and the songs "And So Then", "Curiousity", "Manhattan By Moonlight" and "Puzzle Pieces" by Lee Rosevere.

Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for Episode 2. We plan to continue discussing problem solving in Python, focusing on

If you’re still reading, there's a statistically significant chance you want to help us build a community and support our cause! If our prediction is correct, please visit We want Python Out Loud to be community driven and non-profit oriented, which is why we pledge to be transparent and donate anything in excess of our operating expenses to the Python Software Foundation (PSF). For just $3, we'll even mail you a limited-edition Python Out Loud sticker!