This year was my second PyCon and I wanted to share some thoughts from the experience. Although it is quite a large event running well over a week, I attended for just a few days and took away a good amount of information. The two big themes I noticed, maybe just from the selection of talks I attended, were Python 3 and IPython.
Python 3 was originally slated to have something around a five-year rollout, which would put us in 2013. Last year, I noticed a few talks for Python 3 and focus still on porting, but this year I felt Python 3 was being used as the default in most talks. Many (most?) major libraries and tools seem to have switched over to Python 3.3 and it seems like the community is moving on. Jacob Kaplan-Moss’s talk on Django and Python 3 was pretty straightforward and useful. With Django 1.5 now having Python 3 support, the work has moved to upgrading Django libraries. The vibe to me is that most people have accepted and started using it where possible.
The IPython Notebook was something just released last year with 0.12, but this year, several people gave talks using the IPython Notebook and I was very impressed. It seems like a very polished tool for sharing and demonstrating Python code and I’ve definitely started using more when hacking around. The selection of available notebooks is quite interesting.
The vendor area was well laid out for wandering and meeting new companies, while the lunch buffet seemed better organized this year. Everyone also received a free Raspberry Pi this year, which I’m still figuring out what to do with, but am glad to have something fun to hack with. On the last day of talks, many people were excited with the announcement of 20% female attendance ratio, but that was dampened in the following days with the “dongle” harassment incident. In my experience, PyCon and Python is a very welcoming community and I hope everyone can use better judgement in the future. PyCon 2014 will be in Montreal and while that is quite far away from SF, I hope I can make it!