For me, it is a great pleasure to go back home and spend time with the community of Python Colombia. One of the many reasons to come is because from experience as a co-organizer I know from first hand that the team puts a lot of effort in giving the best experience to all participants and as an example, you can see the wide range of topics and international guests invited to the event. From security, web development, data science, and community topics it is a remarkable environment to share knowledge, meet interesting people and learn.
This year, the 476 assistants of the event had the opportunity to learn from keynote speakers like:
- Andrew Godwin, creator of Django channels, core developer in Django and principal engineer at Eventbrite taught us the value behind the word engineer. We build and invent new products and technologies, but to do so, we need to nurture soft skills like communication and collaboration.
- Emily Morehouse, core Python developer, co-founder and director of engineering at Cuttlesoft. She taught us about how to become an open-source contributor.
- Fernando Pérez, professor of statistics at UC Berkeley University, scientist at LBNL and co creator of ipython and project Jupyter taught us about how to persevere in science the story of a one-side project that today became a whole ecosystem who supports great projects like the Nobel Prize in physics of 2017 and the photo of the black hole in 2019.
- Ines Montani, co-founder of Explosion AI, makers of spaCy and Prodigy, NLP and Machine teaching python libraries. She talked about how to make NLP more productive to developers and the advancements of this area in the past couple of years.
- Sarah Guido, co-author of the book “Introduction to Machine Learning with Python” and senior data scientist at Invision. Sarah gave the audience a retrospective in data science about what has changed, what remains the same and some thoughtful conclusions.
- Wes McKinney, creator of python pandas and director of Ursa Labs. His keynote taught us about how he transitioned from creating the pandas ecosystem to working with the Apache Arrow project.
My favourite sessions where:
- Inheriting code, and I don’t mean classes
- Debugging: A senior’s skill
- Y is X but X is not always Y: An introduction to Python internals
- Building a scalable food delivery service using elasticsearch and GeoQueries
- Conecting microservices with Python
- Profiling with Python
- Breaking the Enigma: what if Turing had Python?
You can find these talks on the youtube channel of PyCon Colombia.
On the personal side, there are 3 insights I learned about the conference:
- Profiling. I have to care more about analyzing and improving the performance of my software.
- How did Alan Turing decode enigma? Read more about history and science discoveries related to computer programming.
- Don’t underestimate math. It is far useful than you may think.
I had the opportunity to talk with Fernando Perez about the importance of creating data science projects with open data from my country. A good way to learn and show how capable someone is to learn new things fast is by making personal projects that can be shown. I also talked with Andrew Godwin about how planning is important in open source projects. It is great to be excited about personal projects delimited in a timeline and set of goals. Planning is important.
Finally, the PyCon Colombia 2020 was an encouraging event for me because I’ve seen what you can build with tools of the python ecosystem to build data science or artificial intelligence projects. Combining web development with these new fields for me sounds very exciting and promising for passionate geeks and for the industry of technology itself. People are the key to communities, their passion and sharing a same philosophy
*Cover photo courtesy of PyCon Colombia 2020 media team