I finally have a respite from my college, assignments and exams so I am really happy that I can write about this memorable experience I had at Pycon in Coventry, UK.
The delay in posting this is also a manifestation of a lot of procrastination.
Pycon UK 2013 was held in Coventry, United Kingdom this year and was the most amazing "3 days" for me this semester. Actually it was a week off, from my college since I had to travel all the way from India to United Kingdom and my route was long.
Finally I reached there. :)
Day 1: Opening, Talks
Started off with a breakfast, and caffinie and informal networking. I met a group of smart guys from a company called Zephyr Lidar and we became friendly in a few minutes and started talking. Zephyr is a company that makes instruments to measure the speed of wind . It was interesting to know that even interesting research companies like this have a way to fit in python into their enterprise needs. I met more people from Mozilla, Tangent Snowball, we talked and we talked and we talked for the next hour. So it was 10:30 am and time to move upstairs for the conference opening and the keynote.
There was a grand opening to the conerence by @JohnPinner
, Chairman of the UK Python Community & @zeth0
. Zeth with his unconventional funny style briefed us all about the fun that was to follow the next 3 days. Lot of nice food, awesome people to meet, and ofcourse amazing talks ;)
I also learnt the fact that the Pycon UK conference schedule was best thought of as a dynamic array changing often to fit in surprises and new keynote talks and events for better (memory) management.
So next we had the Keynote of David Mertz, who is one of the 11 directors at the Python Software Foundation. He came all the way from Los Angeles, USA to give a talk at Pycon UK. I had someone to associate myself with in terms of the distance travelled to come for Pycon UK. ;)
David had an interesting talk titled - The Guido's time Machine,
and although I do not remember all the ideas in his talk but I do remember some really cool Python concepts that I learnt then:
========== Warning to Readers! Skip the ahead section if you are not a Python Pedant ==============FACT:
The sum() function in Python has an additional optional but non-keyword parameter referred as the "start
" apart from an "iterator"
which is the main object on which we perform our sum. The start parameter defaults to the integer 0.Here is how things work in a nutshell:
>>> sum( iterator_object, start=0)
result = start + iterator_element_1 + iterator_element_2 + ...QUESTION:
We have a case where we have to add all the elements in multiple lists and write them together in one list and we are initially given a list of lists.
Example, consider thse two lists: [[1,2,3], [4,5,6]]
We need to get a list like: [1,2,3,4,5,6]
Now how can we do something like this in Python in the fewest possible lines of code, ie. collect all list elements from the different iterators and add them into a new list?
Are you thinking this:
Well, I am sorry but this should give you a TypeError
We are actually not far from the solution if we realize that we have an optional start
parameter at hand. Think about it!
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
This keynote was followed by lot of awesome talks with one of the talks on distributed hash tables by Nicholas
which I really liked. The talk was short and sweet.
In the night we had a nice dinner at the London Social Club in Coventry.
Day 2: More Talks + A Lovely Conference Dinner
This is one day I was a bit apprehensive about as I had my talk scheduled at the end of the day followed by which we had a 2 hours break and then a lovely conference dinner.
I attended a really nice talk in the morning by Sarah Mount
, who is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Wolverhampton. She delivered a talk on Mining Python Software which was about excavating meta data about existing software projects from the internet through automated software and popular websites and do some interesting graph analysis on the results.
I attended more talks in between but was a bit distracted as I was simultaneously editing the slides for my own talk scheduled in the afternoon, but there was a hillarious non-technical cum technical talk in between on "Cooking up high quality sofware" that was real fun.
Finally it was time for Virtualization with Ganeti
by Pranjal Mittal.
Yes, that is me. :p
Ganeti is a really cool open-source cloud computing software developed at Google written in Python that I talked about during my presentation. The slides are up on my speakerdeck - [here
Lot of interesting questions in the end that built up on the presentation content. I was happy to get good feedback from people. I thought I was too fast but people said that it was fine.
Great! So I was happy with my presentation done. Ready to move on and enjoy the rest of the conference with a free mind, and talk to more people.
That night we had a lovely conference dinner at the Technocenter sponsored by HP
. A 5 course meal, with the Pycon attendees arranged onto different tables alloted randomly. It was a great time talking to those people doing nerdy as well as non-nerdy discussions. :p
Day 3: Scintillatting Lightning Talks, Raspberry Jam for school kids
There were some, oops I would say several talks this day. It was the day of the Lightining Talks.
With the amazing Harald Massa, a.k.a. The lightning talk man
anchoring the talks things couldn't have been better. Each talk was really short and sweet and easy to follow.
The first lightning talk was by @ntoll
& 3 young school girls who demonstrated their interesting game built over Raspberry Pi in Python. It is really nice to see the growing programming passion among these young enthusiasts in U.K and I hope we can have the same in India too.
One of the lightning talk's was by Simon Sapin
who works with Mozilla on the Gecko project. He wished if there are some features in Python like support for Algebraic sum types
and that is what he talked about in 5 minutes comparing Python to a language called Rust that had that feature.Rachel Willmer
, talked about how women should come up and engage in startups. She is running an interesting e-books company called Luzme built over Python software.
There were lots and lots of interesting lightning talks. :D
So overall Pycon UK 2013 was a grand success, an amazing, enlightening expereince for me, and I hope I could be there next year too. :D
Thank you to all the organizers. And special thank you John, @snim2 @inglesp
for all the help and care.
And yeah one thing I also learnt at UK was to use twitter and hashtags. :p
Phew! I need to update myself with all all these creative ways and technologies.
UK was fun. On the travelling side it was my first visit to England which increments the number of countries I have visited to 7. I love travelling too but couldn't do any of it on this trip as I had to return back to my college and catch up with academics. And no way I would have missed on Pycon to travel in UK :D