Tag Archives: PyCon

PyCon 2018 – Conference Day 3 (May 13)

Day 3 of PyCon 2018 began with a keynote from one of the longtime core developers of Python, Brett Cannon. He spoke on the struggles of working in open source and how we should treat each other with kindness throughout the process. I completely agreed with all his points as the negativity I see sometimes is quite discouraging. I try hard when I review books to not be too negative, for example.

After the keynote, they had a poster session and job fair. The poster session is reserved for people who weren’t chosen to give a talk, but their proposal was still good enough for a poster. Or at least, that’s how it was explained to me when the first poster session occurred. I did notice that one of the talk speakers had a poster with the same name as her talk from the previous day, so maybe the rules have changed? I don’t know. I think my favorite was one about a Python keyboard where the keys were remapped to make it easier to program in Python. She had certainly done her research at any rate.

The first talk I attended was Type-checked Python in the real world by Carl Meyer from Instagram. He was pretty persuasive in his talk about how powerful the typing module is and its usefulness.

I had planned to go to Ned Batchelder’s talk, Big-O: How Code Slows as Data Grows, but I got distracted by another writing open space and one on education with Python. The latter was one I probably should have skipped as it was a continuation of a previous open space.

There was a photo booth for people who wanted to take Mother’s Day photos for their loved ones and they had also set aside a room for people to call home in.

I met a ton of people this time around, which was really neat. I met a number of core developers and a couple of people who have backed my projects on Kickstarter. I even got a photo with Guido! Overall, I think I learned a lot of interesting things and look forward to interacting with the Python community for many years to come.

PyCon 2018 – Conference Day 2 (May 12)

Day two of PyCon 2018 was kicked off with a few lightning talks. Next up were the keynotes. The first keynote was given by Ying Li from Docker. She spent her keynote talking about good security practices in the web and used a children’s book to illustrate her topic. It was kind of a fun talk and well delivered.

The second keynote was the best keynote I have seen in a long time. It was given by Qumisha Goss who is a librarian at the Detroit Public Library where she specializes in technology. She is a certified Raspberry Pi teacher and teaches Python to 6-17 years olds. It was an inspiring keynote and talked a lot about how we need to reach out across boundaries and ages and teach one another to break down barriers. I highly recommend you watch this keynote if you have a few minutes to spare! Continue reading PyCon 2018 – Conference Day 2 (May 12)

PyCon 2018 – Conference Day 1 (May 11)

PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio kicked off their first conference day with an introduction from one of Cleveland’s natives, Ernest W. Durbin III. Then we moved on to the keynote of the morning which was given by Dan Callahan from Mozilla. He talked about tooling and how Python currently doesn’t have a big presence on the web. It was actually quite interesting and also a bit disappointing as there wasn’t really a true solution given. However his talk was quite good and insightful. Continue reading PyCon 2018 – Conference Day 1 (May 11)

PyCon 2017 – Second Day

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.

PyCon 2017 – First Day Impressions

This is my first PyCon in 6 years. My last being in Atlanta. This year, PyCon is in Portland, OR. My first conference day I managed to miss the morning talks due to rooms getting overly full. So I ended up on the hallway track instead and got to speak with various members of the Python community. For example, I was able to speak with Al Sweigart, author of “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python” and Eric Matthes author of “Python Crash Course”. It was fun getting to know fellow authors.

Backing up a bit, the keynote was given by Jake Vanderplas and he spoke on how Python is used in science, specifically astronomy. It was extremely interesting and really neat that so many astronomy programs are using Python for data analysis.

For the afternoon, I spent some time working as a volunteer in the “Green Room”. These are the behind-the-scenes people who make sure the talks go off without a hitch. It was fun and pretty busy.. I met a lot of people and I thought that it went quite well.

My first talk was Nicole Zuckerman’s (@zuckerpunch) The Glory of pdb’s set_trace. She works for Clover Health and discovered that people were still using Python’s print() statement for debugging rather than using pdb. She is a huge advocated of using pdb’s set_trace() method. This method is useful for setting breakpoints in your code, traverse frames in a call stack, inspect variables, etc. You can read some more about pdb in Python’s documentation. Personally I like the debugger that comes with Wingware’s IDE, however pdb can be useful when you’re on a machine or remote server that you can’t use a more powerful debugger on. Anyway, this was an interesting talk that might be useful for people who need to learn more about the pdb module and how to use it constructively.

Miss PyCon 2014? Watch the Replay!

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.

PyCon USA 2013 – Call for Proposals are Open

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!

PyCon 2012 Videos Are Up!

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!