Sunday, 19 August 2012

PyConAU 2012 - Day 2

The keynote speaker for the morning with Kenneth Reitz, who is well known in the Python community as being the author of the Requests package, and for being an advocate and example for spending effort in producing succinct and clean APIs. This talk was a huge highlight of the conference, and (once the videos are up), the kind of content you'd want to show to junior developers to encourage them to be Python developers, adopting all the ideals of the Zen of Python. I certainly left this one feeling (a tiny bit) guilty that I don't think about this as much as I should.

Kenneth was also pushing the idea that all developers in the community should consider contributing to, which is aimed to show developers, new and existing alike what the current best practices are, and in some cases the one obvious way to do things. This point resonated with a number of attendees, and I believe that there could well be a collaborative project coming up working on content for explaining how to mirror cheeseshop/PyPI.

The talk on funcargs (and pytest) by Brianna Laugher was excellent, I definitely need to watch the video, and have a think about whether any of the concepts described should be incorporated into the test code I maintain. I'm very happy with nose, but test generators sound quite attractive.

Russell Keith-Magee gave an impromptu talk after a late change in the program on Django core, and the things you can do to maximise your chances of getting your changes added. This talk was pretty far out from what I'd normally go to. My work doesn't involve webapps, so I don't use Django, and don't know if I'll ever need to, so I'm sure I missed a lot of the subtleties. However, it did give me a little bit of an idea what the difference between django-contrib and django-core are, and it's always good to have a feel for the major groups in a community. There was also a reference to a great document on API maturity.

Rhydwyn Mcguire (another MPUG regular) gave a great overview of the current state of RPy, a bridge between the R statistical language and Python. I'm sure the information on developing new code using R-studio will come in handy, as will the list of "features" to be wary of in integrating the two languages. Personally, I think that R looks horrible compared to the pandas library.

Alex Sharp from OrionVM gave the last talk that I saw all of before rushing out to the airport. He spoke about what it takes to make cloud computing work. I've seen a few cloud presentations before, and this one was the first that I've seen the presenter talk about probability distributions, statistics, bloom filters and the types of tricks that you need to process truly massive data sets in practice. Being someone who loves code and math, this one was right up my alley.

Oh, and my talk was in there somewhere....

1 comment:

  1. Just a note: nose does test generators. And I think their approach is nicer, to be honest. See