PyCon 2011

This year Glen and I were asked to go to SXSWi. Thank you Schipul.

We turned it down for the opportunity to go to PyCon (the Python Conference).
Once again, thank you Schipul.

It was, in a word; amazing.

In it’s simplest form, Python is a programming language. It’s what we’re using to build our brand spankin’ new Tendenci 5 technology.

Python was not originally designed for web development. It’s capable of so much more, but we’ll get back to that later.

This year the conference was 8 days. March 9th-17th. The first 2 days focusing on training, 3 days on conferencing and the remaining days left for sprints.

Sprints are coding sessions: problems are given out and we use your mad skillz (z for emphasis) to solve what we can. Glen and I only attended from March 9th through the 13th. It was our first run and we wanted to get our feet wet. We’re hoping to get the full affect next year, but simply attending is epic.

Oh man, where to start.

We would wake up every morning around 7a and take the warp speed elevator down to the Ballroom where the conference was being held; convenient — oh yeah.

 

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Hyatt Regency Elevator - Photo taken by Kenneth Reitz

The conference this year was made up of about 1400 Pythonistas. That’s what we call ourselves. I’m not making this up.

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Pythonistas Await - Photo taken by Kenneth Reitz

Every day started with a nice healthy breakfast and mingle time. When we had training days we went straight to training.

Our Keynote was Hilary Mason, lead scientist at bit.ly. She’s a computer science professor with a background in machine learning and data mining. Bit.ly is a URL shortener. Learn more about URL shorteners.

We also heard from Rian Hunter. An Engineer for Dropbox. If you’re not using this, do it now. I’ve used Dropbox for over a year and it’s made my life so much easier.

Guido Van Rossum. He’s only the guy who CREATED the language. Also known as the Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL). I’m not joking. Google it.

We also heard from Threadless, Disqus, and OpenStack. Amazing companies all using Python in amazing ways.

The smaller sized sessions would start at about 10a.

Sessions lasted between 30 to 45 minutes with about 15 minutes to walk between rooms. It was all located in the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Alex Gaynor Excited - Photo taken by Kenneth Reitz

Then lunch. Unlike most conferences, the food arrangements where the best I’d ever seen. We’re talking white linen, gourmets meals, and waiters. We would also get in-between snacks like parfaits, mMmMmm yommi.

Somewhere between ’97 (~ the time that I started) and 2011 things matured. I remember getting excited about markup, styles and javascript. Then fainting at the idea of sprites, caching, indexing, and load-balancing. Only to find myself today hearing buzzwords like coroutines, configuration managers, event based programming, and continuous integration.

It’s not fair to call all of this stuff new age, because many of it has been around for some time. There’s a difference between hearing the jargon and seeing it in action. Let alone getting trained on it.

This conference has definitely opened my eyes to what I don’t know. The initial hit is intimidating, but like most scary things in life it quickly turned to interesting. Well aware that we’re more than capable of working and benefiting from these technologies.

For those of you want to see the sessions in action. You can find most of the PyCon videos at http://pycon.blip.tv/posts.

Overall we had exciting time and made some new nerd friends along the way.

Leaving PyCon 2011

Check out this Video recorded by Glen. Python along with Xbox Kinect being used to make eyeballs that follow you. Web development is only one of Python’s many powers.

5 Replies to “PyCon 2011”

  1. “There’s a difference between hearing the jargon and seeing it in action. Let alone getting trained on it.” – Love that. Great post and thanks for sharing Eloy, I can't wait to see all that you learned in action!

  2. Super geeky and fabulous – great post, Eloy! NOW I know what you Pythonistas were up to 🙂

  3. Eloy! Your excitement and enthusiasm is captured so beautifully in this post. Thanks for sharing the PyCon experience! LOL Glen! Love the video! That is amazing.

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