16 March 2013

So: PyCon!

I should have probably written something in the last days, but I was, well... overwhelmed.

I arrived in Santa Clara (after about 12 hours on a plane, and that was just to San Francisco) on the 12th - in the afternoon, local time. A few hours to rest, to get used to the jet lag, and then...


A hands-on introduction to Python for beginning programmers, by Jessica McKellar, was the perfect start: a smooth (re)introduction to the basics - it made me feel well. Hands-on intermediate Python, by Matt Harrison, followed. Fantastic. I learned so much, in such a short time: the balance of theory and practice was the right one. And the handouts are going to provide a very interesting (re)read for the future.

And on Wednesday night, some of the OPW women of the area had a small outing... (A special thank you to Aleta Dunne for the organization!)

Then, Thursday. Scripting: from Hard-drive to Github to PyPI, also by Matt Harrison, was advertised as "Novice" - but unfortunately I found it a bit too fast-paced for me. More precisely: the Python in it was not too difficult, but the "software engineering practice" level was above me. I look forward to re-reading the handouts in a less hectic environment. In the afternoon, there was Jessica McKellar again with Contribute with me! Getting started with open source development. Some much needed git practice - I will just say that.

And then... PARTY! I met nice people, I browsed the booths of the job fair getting contacts (and merchandise)... great time.

The conference started on Friday. Moving remarks by Jesse Noller on "changing the future" were followed by a keynote by Eben Upton... and the announcement that all of us (all 2500, and yes, that is two-thousand-five-hundred!) were going to get a Raspberry Pi. I will let you imagine the enthusiasm in the room.

I had to pick a talk. I was undecided between Jessica McKellar's How the Internet works and Esther Nam's How to Except When You're Excepting: I went for the first, and it was a fantastic introductory talk. I have to find a good book on the subject... (yes, dear reader, that is a cry for help!)

Then I spent some time browsing around, and after lunch I crashed in the Ada Initiative booth. I have rarely seen such a welcoming crowd, so great at making you feel at ease... Talking about the Imposter Syndrome mixed with nail painting (don't ask), and I also got a lot of good advice for my career.

I was really looking forward to a couple of talks on documentation - but I was feeling terrible (one of my dizziness attacks, a particularly nasty one) and I moved back to the hotel for a quiet night. I hope that the recording will be put online soon.

Now I am here, completing this post... But wait! It's almost time for the first keynote of the day! I'd better hurry! Talk to you soon! Bye!

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