I just returned from PyCon 2011, the largest annual gathering of Python users and contributors. The conference was full of energy and I came home with my head stuffed full of new ideas and Python skills. Hillary Mason best described my feelings about PyCon in her opening keynote, “I’m glad I’m in a room where list comprehensions receive spontaneous applause”.
The talks came in many flavors: hands-on tutorials, sessions, a poster session, and open space discussions. Topics included dev-ops, deployment, scalability, concurrency, large scale data processing, science, and much much more. There was a great deal to learn for both novice and experienced programmers alike. Most sessions taught useful skills like:
- Advanced Python I & II
- Through the Side Channel: Timing and Implementation Attacks in Python
- Hidden Treasures in the Standard Library
But some sessions were just fun, mind blowing examples of what you could do with Python:
- Using Python 3 to Build a Cloud Computing Service for my Superboard II
- How to kill a patent with Python
It was difficult to choose which talks to see during most time-slots. There were just too many great topics to choose from, so it’s fortunate that the session videos are already online. Many thanks to the PyCon team for being so prompt.
It’s an exciting time for Python developers whether you are just entering the workforce, or looking for something new and exciting. Part of the exhibit hall was dedicated to startups looking for new employees, but every other exhibitor was looking for employees, too. There is definitely an employer out there to match your individual passions, and I’m glad to know that my students will have many great choices after graduation.
The Hallway Track
This was my first PyCon and did not know many other attendees, so I planned to spend a good deal of time meeting other people. Among the 1380 attendees walking the halls and attending sessions were Python Core Developers, authors of your favorite libraries, keynote speakers, and even Guido. While this could seem intimidating, we all came to PyCon to learn from each other and collaborate. Everyone was welcoming and happy to share knowledge and great conversations.
Six days of talking to random people resulted in many awesome “a ha” moments. Topics spanned programming, technology, science, and art. The ideas I shared in these talks were as valuable as the formal sessions I attended. The best part was making so many new friends. Looking forward to a great PyCon with you all next year in Santa Clara!