Monthly Archives: October 2011

Pycon Ireland – what a crackin’ gig…

I attended Pycon Ireland 2011 last weekend. It was a superb event. Here’s a short report.

The event was extremely well attended; in fact, I think it’s probably the biggest developer conference to take place in Dublin this year, what with just over 170 people present (and I believe some people had to be refused due to restrictions on numbers). There was good diversity in the make-up of the crowd – there were students (both undergrad and postgrad), some academic types, many practitioners of varying levels of experience and some high profile companies (eg Amazon, facebook, Demonware, etc) in attendance. This really is a great mix for this type of conference.

Another interesting point about the attendees (noted by Trev Parsons) was that most of the folks attended of their own volition, rather than because their manager ‘suggested’ they attend. This must certainly put a different hue on the conference.

The conference covered a wide range of topics ranging from Introduction to Python to advanced topics on scaling applications and use of NoSQL databases in Python, for example. The talks I attended were excellent, the presenters were very well versed in their domains, had put time and effort into their content and were able to deliver it professionally; I believe this was largely the case overall, as everyone I talked to was impressed with the quality of the speakers and their content. It is clear that there are some really talented Python developers here who have good experience to share.

The lightning talks were cool – I love this format as it always exposes me to stuff that I’d never bother with in the long talk format. Also, many of the folks who pitch in this format do it with passion, which is always refreshing. The talk by Raymond Hettinger focused on some features in Python that make it a good language; however, it also gave a hint into how the Python core developers view Python and the community around it – I got the sense that the core team provide good leadership for the project, adding important features as necessary, while understanding that they are serving a large community, many of whom are still working off older versions of the language.

The organization – registration, rooms, AV, catering, etc – was great: well done to Vicky and the team for making this look effortless.

Overall, at at mere €60 (and less for early bird and students), Pycon was superb value for money.

Roll on Pycon Ireland 2012!