Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

19 Jan 2014, 15:51 p.m.

Interesting-Looking Talks at PyCon 2014

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

PyCon 2014 This year I'm going to visit PyCon! In fact, I'm presenting a poster: "What Hacker School Taught Me About Community Mentoring". You should register soon if you're coming, especially to take advantage of heavily subsidized childcare or to register for one of the tutorials.

Someone on one of my mailing lists asked what sessions people are particularly looking forward to. I tend to follow Skud's conference tips, which mean skipping sessions when I need to do self-care. But with such great-sounding talks, I may not be able to pull myself away!

  • Allison Kaptur's "Import-ant decisions". Kaptur is a facilitator at Hacker School and I enjoy her thinking process, areas of interest, and speaking style. I know I'll learn more about package management in general, and about Python specifically, from this talk.

  • Jessica McKellar's "Building & breaking a Python Sandbox". McKellar did a residency in my Hacker School batch during which I got to see a preview of this talk, so I may not go again, but I found it thought-provoking; it helped me understand how Python works in a new way.

  • Erik Rose's "Designing Poetic APIs". I met Erik Rose at a Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit and thought he was a really smart and fun guy. I've never designed an API before (thus I also want to go to the novice-focused "So You Want to Build an API?" by Megan Speir), and I like that his discussion will include anthroplogy, psychology, and history.

  • Nathan Yergler's "In Depth PDB". I am one of the programmers the speaker sadly mentions; I rarely use it, if at all, even though it would be great to help me see when and why things are breaking!

  • A localisation talk, maybe this one, because I think the Python application I'm working with right now just has hardcoded strings (aiee, bad).

  • One of the SQLAlchemy talks, maybe this one, because I don't grok how to use SQLAlchemy yet. However I have registered for the SQLAlchemy in-depth tutorial so one may duplicate the other.

  • Julia Evans's "Diving into Open Data with IPython Notebook & Pandas". I enjoy Julia Evans's investigation process and her speaking and writing style. (See my post "Why Julia Evans's Blog Is So Great".) I have never used IPython Notebook nor matplotlib, numpy, pandas, or any of the other awesome science/data-related Python tools, and keep meaning to; this talk should help me with that.

  • Greg Wilson's "Software Carpetry: Lessons Learned". I am a tremendous fan of Wilson's work - Software Carpentry, the books he's edited, etc. The SC crowd has collected a lot of data (e.g. surveys of learners at their bootcamps) and I will probably want to soak in their lessons learned and shout about them to every other teach-y group I'm in.

  • Naomi Ceder's "Farewell and Welcome Home: Python in Two Genders". I want to learn more about the experiences of trans women in my open source communities.

  • Kate Heddleston, Nicole Zuckerman, presenting "Technical on-boarding, training, and mentoring". I do this task in my open source communities so I want to learn more best practices.

I'm thoroughly looking forward to my first PyCon. (I stopped by one for like an hour in 2003 and helped at the registration desk; I guess it took me eleven years to get to the other side of the desk!)