PyCon UK - 2008

At $DAYJOB I’m working with a strong team of Python (and Django) developers so over the last couple of months my interest in the language has grown. Thanks to YAPC::EU not being very exciting this year I had a spare slot in my “conference schedule” and went to the highly recommended (by me and previous attendees I’d spoken to) PyCon UK. I’m glad I did.

I was more than a little out of my depth in most of the talks but a lot of the speakers were excellent, especially Raymond Hettinger - who I ended up stalking (by accident) and seeing all of his talks. The technical level required of the audience was quite varied but I ended up going to a lot of the more technically indepth sessions as they just seemed more interesting. The downside is that I lacked the ability to filter module based talks in the same way I can at Perl Conferences and that I learned (the hard way) that Python has many test frameworks, modules and harnesses.

The venue itself was fine, large, easy to get around and had restaurants and pubs near enough that you could make a dash outside for lunch. The keynotes were both very interesting - Mark Shuttleworth and Ted Leung both gave their view (in different ways) on where Python is, was and should be. As a (mostly) Perl guy I was a little surprised by how little it even got mentioned - twice by my count and each time it was as an afterthought. In a way this is reassuring, it fits in with my own views and encourages me to learn a new dynamic language (Python and Ruby are both interesting in different ways).

I should probably note that There won’t be a PyCon UK in 2009 - instead the organisers are doing PyCon Europe 2009. And based on how good a time I had this year I’ll be there.