PyCon 2014

Ever since I landed in the US for my graduate school, I was looking forward to attending PyCon, the largest gathering of Python developers. Having worked with Python and Django for quite a few years now, I felt I was ready to start being an active member of the community and all things pointed to PyCon.

I applied for the financial aid that was put up on their website and forgot about it. A few months later when I planned on registering for the event, I got a mail from Peter Kropf that my financial aid request was approved!

However, since PyCon was happening in Canada this year, as a Indian passport holder, I had to apply for the Canadian Visa. I requested for the Invitation Letter from Rami Chowdhury and applied online for the multiple entry visa. The process was easy and it took about 3 weeks for approval. Then I mailed my passport to New York which was promptly sent back with the Visa stamping.

I reached Montreal on Thursday evening and checked into the hotel and immediately went to the the conference venue, Palais des congrès de Montréal, for the sponsor workshops by New Relic.

The next day, I went early, went to the registration desk, collected my swag and badge, and was off to the keynote talk by John Perry Barlow the co-founder of the EFF. I attended a number of talks and wandered around the expo hall a bit. After the conference, there was a New Relic party at the hotel where I stayed. Got to meet a few interesting Pythonistas and spent some good time.

The next day, I participated in the PyCon 5k fun run early in the morning. Once done, I quickly went to the conference center to watch the keynote talk by Jessica McKellar. Following this I went to the Green Room where I spent the day volunteering as a session runner. As a session runner, I had the chance to talk to a number of speakers that day up close. There’s a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to get the talks going smooth through the day. It was really interesting volunteering with David and team. I also spent quite sometime meeting people from various companies at the expo hall.

The next day was the last day of the conference. There was the keynote/Q&A Session by Guido, the creator and BDFL of Python. After the keynote, there were poster sessions by a number of teams and the job fair where I got to interact with engineers from a number of companies using Python.

On each day, there were also Open Spaces and short Lightning talks. The breakfast and lunch provided was also good and the lunch table was a good place to meet a lot of Pythonistas doing some awesome work. The number of events happening was overwhelming and everything was coordinated smoothly by the organizing team. Hats off to them. This group of photos in Flickr beautifully captures PyCon 2014.

This was not all. The main developer gathering happens at the sprints after the conference when people sit and hack together on Python and related projects. Unfortunately, I had to return to the university and couldn’t participate in it this year.

If you missed PyCon this year, fret not. All videos of talks are uploaded at http://pyvideo.org/category/50/pycon-us-2014.

So, yeah, PyCon was awesome. I’d love to be there again. I should probably start thinking about giving a talk next year! 😀

PS: PyCon 2015 is also happening in Montreal from April 8th – 16th, 2015. If you’d like to help out, start watching this GitHub repo – PyCon 2015.