PyCon Roundup - Days 2-4

As I said in my last post PyCon was completely and utterly awesome, but it was also a bit of a blur. Here’s my attempt at summarizing everything that happened during the conference itself.

Day 2

Day 2 (the first day of the conference itself) started out with Guido’s keynote. He did something rather unorthodox, instead of delivering a formal talk he just took audience questions via Twitter, starting out using Twitterfall, but it was a tad slow so Jacob Kaplan-Moss switched it out for the PyCon Live Stream that Eric Florenzano, Brian Rosner, and I built, switch was very awesome (seeing your creation on four projectors in front of an audience is a pretty good ego boost). Next up I had to deliver my own talk, it went well I think, you can find my slides and a video on the PyCon website. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, but I enjoyed James Bennet’s talk, the Form generator’s panel, Jonathan Ellis’s talk on database scalability, and Alex Martelli’s talk.

That evening I got to visit the Django restaurant, I can’t help but imagine what the staff there thought about the crazy groups of programmers visiting (I think we mobbed the place every night of the conference), many of us wearing our Django shirts.

Day 3

Day 3 was really about the VMs. It started with the Iron Python and PyPy keynotes. These were followed by Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote, his slides weren’t working (the perils of using an operating system alpha release), but he still delivered an awesome talk on software development processes. From there I went to the single best stretch of talks at PyCon. The Speed of PyPy, Unladen Swallow: fewer coconuts, faster Python, and Understanding the Python GIL. Three great topics, three great speakers, three great talks, one room. Simply put, you should drop whatever you’re doing and watch each of these talks, they’re all great. I was sad to miss Raymond Hettinger’s talk for the Django Software Foundation meeting, but I caught the video and it was excellent (as usual for Raymond). The DSF meeting was interesting, but not super exciting, a lot of “action needed” tasks, some of which are already happening (like getting better buildbots running). Finally I caught the tail end of the Neo4j talk, I’d need to watch the full thing, because the ending caught my attention.

I ended up back at the Django restaurant again, this time for the speakers, volunteers, and sponsors dinner. Django wasn’t quite equipped to handle the sheer number of us that showed us, but it was a good time nonetheless. Once again I was blown away by how many Google people there were. There were far too many awesome people to list, but suffice it to say that you should volunteer or speak at PyCon, if for no other reason than to get to attend this dinner, there are awesome people to have a conversation with as far as the eyes can see! After dinner I ended up staying up far too late with another group of awesome people. I’m told the testing birds of a feather was also great (I suppose events that aren’t completely awesome don’t invent things like the Testing Goat).

Day 4

Here I suffered the effects of the aforementioned late night. I missed all of the keynotes, which is unfortunately considering they all looked quite good, I’ll have to catch the videos. The poster session was very cool, I only got to see about half of it, but it’s definitely something I’m going to look forward to at future PyCons. Next I saw Donovan Preston’s talk on eventlet, a talk on teaching compilers with Python. I missed Scott Chacon’s talk on hg-git, though I can’t remember what for. I’ll have to catch it in video because I was really looking forward to it.

After that there was time for a final pizza with friends, and then I had to head home. I sprinted remotely, but it’s not quite the same as being there. It’s my hope that next year I can attend the sprints in person, but school never seems to work out for me in that respect.