The second day of the PyCon 2017 conference was kicked off by breakfast with people from NASA and Pixar, among others, followed by several lightning talks. I didn’t see them all, but they were kind of fun. Then they moved on to the day’s first keynote by Lisa Guo & Hui Ding from Instagram. I hadn’t realized that they used Django and Python as their core technology.
They spoke on how they transitioned from Django 1.3 to 1.8 and Python 2 to 3. It was a really interesting talk and had a pretty deep dive into how they use Python at Instagram. It’s really neat to see Python being able to scale to several hundred million users. If I remember correctly, they also mentioned that Python 3 saved them 30% in memory utilization as compared with Python 2 along with a 12% boost in CPU utilization. They also mentioned that when they did their conversion, they did in the main branch by making it compatible with both Python 2 and 3 while continually releasing product to their users. You can see the video on Youtube:
The next keynote was done by Katy Huff, a nuclear engineer. While I personally didn’t find it as interesting as the Instagram one, it was fun to see how Python is being used in so many scientific communities and in so many disparate ways. If you’re interested, you watch the keynote here:
After that, I went to my first talk of the day which was Debugging in Python 3.6: Better, Faster, Stronger by Elizaveta Shashkova who works for the PyCharm team. Her talk focused on the new frame evaluation API that was introduced to CPython in PEP 523 and how it can make debugging easier and faster, albeit with a longer lead time to set up. Here’s the video:
Next up was Static Types for Python by Jukka Lehtosalo and David Fisher from the Dropbox team. They discussed how to use MyPy to introduce static typing using a live code demo as well as how they used it at Dropbox to add typing to 700,000 lines of code. I thought it was fascinating, even though I really enjoy Python’s dynamic nature. I can see this as a good way to enforce docstrings as well as make them more readable. Here’s the video:
After lunch, I went to an Open Space room about Python 201, which ended up being about what problems people face when they are trying to learn Python. It was really interesting and gave me many new insights into what people without a background in computer science are facing.
I attempted my own open space on wxPython, but somehow the room was commandeered by a group of people talking about drones and as far as I could tell, no one showed up to talk about wxPython. Disappointing, but whatever. I got to work on a fun wxPython project while I waited.
The last talk I attended was one given by Jean-Baptiste Aviat entitled Writing a C Python extension in 2017. He mentioned several different ways to interact with C/C++ with Python such as ctypes, cffi, Cython, and SWIG. His choice was ctypes. He was a bit hard to understand, so I highly recommend watching the video yourself to see what you think:
My other highlights were just random encounters in the hallways or at lunch where I got to meet other interesting people using Python.
If you’re like me, you missed PyCon North America 2014 this year. It happened last weekend. While the main conference days are over, the code sprints are still running. Anyway, for those of you who missed PyCon, they have released a bunch of videos on pyvideo! Every year, they seem to get the videos out faster than the last. I think that’s pretty awesome myself. I’m looking forward to watching a few of these so I can see what I missed.
Not sure how I missed this, but PyCon 2013 is already open for proposals, which means if you like to talk about Python, now’s your chance to show your chops! You can propose a talk, a tutorial or a poster. Head on over to their prospectus for more information. PyCon is a lot of fun and a good place to go to expose yourself to new things in Python. You can learn a lot just in the hallway circuit, let alone the actual talks! Put your thinking caps on because they’re only accepting ideas until September 28th!
The PyCon USA talk videos are finally starting to come online. You can check them out here: http://pyvideo.org/category/17/pycon-us-2012. I’m wondering why they chose this over the miro site that they’ve been using for the last few years. Maybe someone in the know can comment on that.
I noticed the streams I linked to seemed to be pretty hit or miss, so hopefully this will work better for those of you who missed out on PyCon like I did. Enjoy!
In case you didn’t realize it, PyCon has officially started today in Santa Clara, CA. Sadly my organization was too slow footed to secure a ticket for me, so I won’t be there to report on what’s going on this year. Instead, I’ll try to post links to other people’s blogs so you can get an idea of what it’s like there. You can also follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/pycon. Finally, the PyCon blog seems to be staying fairly up-to-date with fun announcements. Hopefully next year, I’ll be able to return to PyCon and give it some live coverage once again.
The 2012 Python Conference USA opened Registration today. The official announcement doesn’t mention it, but I’m pretty sure there’s an attendance cap on this conference too of 1500 just like last year. You should sign up early not only because of the limited attendance, but because there are “Early Bird” rates which are cheaper!
The complete schedule isn’t done yet, but you can whet your appetite by checking out the list of tutorials that were released last week.
I have enjoyed all the PyCons I’ve attended so far. They are a great place to learn new things, show others your talent, network with like-minded people and just relax too. This year, the conference will be in Santa Clara, California. If you can’t afford to go, they even offer Financial Assistance. So why are you waiting?