PyCon: The Good Bits

A week month ago, I was flying back from PyCon 2013 in lovely Santa Clara, California. You know, Silicon Valley. I had just finished spending the last 6 days in tutorials, talks, parties, and meeting neat people who love to hack on Python.

2500 men, women, and kids spent over a week learning about python, sharing python projects, and hacking on Raspberry Pi.

Here are just a few highlights of PyCon.

The Oprah Moment

Everyone gets… A Raspberry Pi! Eben Upton, the chairman of the Raspberry Pi foundation, gave a keynote at PyCon, and along the way helped to spread the reach of Raspberry Pi by giving every attendee a Raspberry Pi.

Speaking of Raspberry Pi, the folks at PyCon set up a free 2 day session for young kids that wanted to learn to program.  They spent Wednesday and Thursday programming games on the Raspberry Pi in a hacklab set up especially for the occasion.

While this was going on, I was partaking in three of the many tutorials that preceded the conference.  My favorite? The Pygame tutorial by Richard Jones.

PyCon Proper

There were 121 talks spread across 6 tracks over 3 days, with the tracks ranging from education and outreach to web development, with everything in between. With that much video, it’s no surprise that I didn’t get to see a 10th of what I wanted to in my time there. Luckily, PyCon made the talks available on

The 10 Talks you Should See

1. Boundaries – Gary Bernhardt (Note: For some reason, the actual video from PyCon is not available)
1. What makes Python Awesome – Raymond Hettinger
2. How the Internet works – Jessica McKellar
3. Python at Netflix – Netflix
4. Teaching with the IPython Notebook – Matt Davis
5. Who’s there? Home Automation with Arduino and Python – Rupa Dachere
6. Blame it on Ceasar, What you need to know about dates, times, and time zones – Lennert Regebro
7. Composability through Multiple Inheritance – Łukasz Langa
8. Transforming Code into Idiomatic Python – Raymond Hettinger
9. Python Epiphanies – Stuart Williams

Teaching Kids to Code – Python Young Coders

PyCon had an entire track devoted to teaching others how to program, with a focus on teaching kids to program. Not only that, but they had a 2 day tutorial for kids set up in a Raspberry Pi Lab.

Everything As a Service

I was taken aback by how many startups are promoting X as a service, where X is continuous integration, error logging, error analytics, mail, authentication, and just about anything else you can imagine.

PyCon 2014

PyCon 2014 will be held in Montreal, Canada. Get your passports ready, and Change the future!