This is Part II in a series of blog posts about PyCon US
2013. The goal is to provide a handy
reference guide for first time attendees of the world's largest
Python conference. Part
mostly about tutorials,
this post will be about registration and the first day of talks.
If you haven't done so yet, please
register now. Last
year PyCon sold out way in advance, and hundreds missed the event. Which
is a shame, because the conference is awesome!
Keep in mind that the money you spend on registration will go towards a
very good thing. You see, after the costs for running PyCon are
subtracted, the rest will go to the non-profit Python Software
Foundation (PSF). In addition to supporting
the Python language itself, the PSF provides financial aid and grants
for aspiring developers around the world. Which means the money you
spend registering for PyCon will literally change people's lives. This
isn't an idle exaggeration, this outreach has made a difference for
you, me, and arguably the world. I would love to say more, but that's
an article for another day...
Alright, on to the talks!
Talk Attendance Guidelines
At PyCon, talks are either 30 or 45 long. They represent the best and
brightest in both old hands in the community and rising stars. Some
- Ask Questions! If the speaker leaves time for questions at the
end, go and
- Shut the Laptop and Turn Off the Device. It's disconcerting to
give a speech to hundreds of people staring at their portable
electronics and not responding to your banter. Unless you are using
electronics to actively take notes on the talk, consider turning
them off to look at the speaker.
- Don't Heckle. It's nerve wracking going up in front of
hundreds of people live and tens of thousands on streaming video.
Heckling is never funny and it's a good way to lose friends and
make enemies. Unless the speaker asks for commentary during the
talk, wait until the end and then ask your questions.
Alright, that out of the way, let's take a look at what Friday, March
15th, has to offer in terms of beginner friendly talks...
The registration desk opens at 7:00 AM. Breakfast begins at 8:00 AM.
From 9:00 AM to 10:20 AM is the welcome and initial keynote speeches.
PyCon keynotes aren't boring - they are crazy awesome!.
In selecting these talks, I've tried to focus on the more technical
10:50 AM talks
- How to Except When You're
(Esther Nam) - One of the rising stars of the community, Esther
works for a group that demands 100% test coverage. She's going to
cover the fundamentals of writing tests and why tests are a good
- How the Internet
McKellar) - Want to know how the internet actually works? Jessica
McKellar (also giving two tutorials and a keynote speech) will use
Python to help you understand what's really going on.
- Gittip: Inspiring
(Chad Whitacre) - Gittip is an open source Python platform for
sustaining open source development via small, anonymous donations.
This is a technical case-study about the story of community.
11:30 AM talks
- Scrapy: it GETs the
Laroia) - In 2009 I took a web scraping tutorial by the author. He
impressed me with his energy and knowledge. While technically this
is an intermediate talk, I know everyone will get something out
of this talk
12:10 AM talks
- API Design for Library
McDonough) - Well designed APIs are critical for how other
developers interact with your code. Chris is one of the talents in
the community when it comes to creating easy-to-use but extremely
powerful tools. I'm delighted he's made this an introductory talk.
- Don't forget to keep your PyCon meal tickets you got when you
registered in the morning or they won't let you into the lunch
- Sit down to people you don't know and introduce yourself. Every
time I do this I don't just get to meet interesting people, I get
to meet amazing people. PyCon is full of brilliant minds and
you'll never get to know any of them unless you try.
Got lunch? Time for more talks!
1:40 PM talks
1:55 PM talk
- Twisted Logic
(Ashwini Oruganti) - Twisted is a mature, stable asynchronous
framework written in Python that's been around for over a decade.
New to the framework, the presenter explains why you shouldn't be
scared of Twisted.
2:35 PM talks
This slot is going to be hard because all three beginner talks are
things you don't want to miss!
- Loop like a native: while, for, iterators,
(Ned Batchelder) - One of the really awesome features of Python is
that you can write custom looping classes. Factor in generators and
you'll be amazed by one of Python's most powerful features.
- Visualizing Github, Part I: Data to
(Dana Bauer, Idan Gazit) - How can you go wrong with visualizing
GitHub data using Python? This first part of the talk is on
gathering and processing of data.
- Encapsulation with
(Luciano Ramalho) - Python has no private fields, but the property
decorator lets you replace public attributes with getters and
setters without breaking client code. It's amazing what Python can
do when you delve into it's subtleties!
3:15 PM talk
4:15 PM talks
- Transforming Code into Beautiful, Idiomatic
(Raymond Hettinger) - This is the talk that's going to bring down
the house, because Raymond covers the basics in such a way that even
the most advanced developers pick up new tricks. This talk will be
standing room only, filled with beginners to the most senior
developers on the planet. Get to this one early or you'll miss it!
- Deploy your Python app in 5 min with a
Aune) - Long time presenter Nate Aune doesn't just explain and
demonstrate various Platforms as a Service, he also gives tips on
evaluating which one is best for your needs. For someone getting
into the Python web this talk is an invaluable service.
- If You Code, You Should
Jones) - Python has an amazing culture of documentation. We believe
it's our civic duty to document our work on private and public
projects. Brian explains why this is so and how to get across the
concepts of your work in the best way possible.
- SimpleCV - Computer Vision using
(Katherine Scott) - This is a crash course on computer vision using
the amazing ipython notebook along with NumPy and SciPy.
- Planning and Tending the Garden: The Future of Early Childhood
(Kurt Grandis) - After his PyCon talk last year about using Python
to fend off squirrels, Kurt suddenly found himself in the world of
kid's education. This talk goes over the current state of the art
for kids learning programming in Python and other tools.
- Write the
Bennett) - Have you heard of a certain well-documented web framework
called 'Django'? James Bennett is one of the people responsible
for it's amazingly high documentation standard. In this talk he's
going to coach on how to write prose that inspires and invigorates
people to use your tools.
On friday night the social scene will kick into high gear. There will be
dinners, parties, Starcraft II contests, and much more.
Stay tuned for Part III of this series where I cover the second day of
talks best suited for new Python developers!
If you read this far, you might want to follow me on twitter or github and subscribe via email below (I'll email you new articles when I publish them).