PyCon 2008 (Chicago) – Tutorial Day

Tutorial Day, as the name implies, is a day where PyCon attendees get to attend tutorials on all kinds of Python topics including Django, Plone, wxPython, Python 101, SQLAlchemy , Python Eggs, Python and the OLPC and much more. According to the keynote the following day, more people attended the Tutorial Day than have attended PyCon itself in past years.  Also, most people that took tutorials attended three.

I attended 3 myself: Eggs and Buildout Deployment in Python (Jeff Rush), Advanced SQLAlchemy (Michael Bayer, Jason Kirtland, and Jonathan Ellis), and Tail Wags Fangs: What Python Developers Should Know About Plone (Rob Lineberger).

The Eggs tutorial was the best one I attended. Mr. Rush is very knowledgeable and good at communicating said knowledge. While it was very fast, I think I learned the most at that one.

Advanced SQLAlchemy had the author (Michael Bayer) of the module presenting. While obviously extremely intelligent, he had a tendency to talk too fast. I’m not a SQL guru by any means, so I wasn’t always able to follow anyway. I probably would have done the same thing though. He tag-teamed with Jason Kirtland and it was pretty cool to listen to even if I couldn’t always follow everything.

The last class was probably the biggest disappointment for me. The Plone tutorial seemed to be aimed at users and designers more than developers except for a section on Archetypes. I was hoping for more on the ZPT than anything. Also, while the presenter seemed knowledgeable, he changed my mind by constantly making little mistakes or by telling us one thing only to tell us to disregard what he said a few moments later. This made taking note’s nearly impossible.

By the time that tutorial ended, it was time to go to the hotel and sleep. The “real” start of PyCon would begin on the morrow. Don’t change that channel! I’ll be talking about that soon…