Monday, March 1, 2010

Pycon 2010 report II

The first half day report for formal conference activities on February 21.

Plenary: Introduction

I helped in registration so I arrived late to listen to Van Lindburgh start the conference. Which was a shame because I like to listen to him speak. Nevertheless, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had contributed my time and service to help him launch what turned out to be an amazing conference.

Keynote: Steve Holden

In December Steve had presented to the NOVA-Django a much earlier draft of his speech. As much as his stuff back in December was good, what he did at Pycon was right on the money. He was in fine form, and the conclusion was very much Steve Holden at his best.

The next night Steve was in rare fine form, but that is a story for another day...

Being that I am Guido's biggest fan, and have trouble breathing in his presence, you might think I'm a bit biased. Alas, in this case, Guido's talk was not my favorite of the conference. If memory serves, at last year's Pycon he mentioned a desire to remove the "For Life" from BDFL and this year I think that showed a little bit. It was nice to have him field questions from the Eldarion supplied feed and the audience, but from Guido I guess I want vision and on-high judgements.

Leafy Chat, et al by Alex Gaynor

Alex Gaynor is great at public speaking. He is unafraid of crowds and speaks with good clarity. His talks are always informative, and this was no different. The downside was that for his talk he had 35 minutes to present a lot of information. So he didn't have the time to explore some of the technical hurdles they overcame in each effort. Nevertheless, it was informative, and by the end it seemed clear that one of the lessons re-learned was to focus on a simple core architectural design and make it work.

A Short Pinax Tutorial by Me

I've given variations of this talk at least three times previously. Once at DjangoCon, once for NOVA-Django, and once for Django-District. So I'm rather practiced at it, which turned out to be a good thing. Because, brand new good luck charm or not, this talk ended up having a host of problems.

First off, we couldn't get any Apple laptop to work with the projector. So we started 7-8 minutes late on a Windows machine. So I had to speak very quickly, especially if I was going to include the technical side of things.

So I finished the majority of slides with time to spare and then things went wrong again. The Windows machine... didn't do what was needed. Displaying Pinax and showing off its tricks just wasn't going to happen. So we ended up with an extended Q&A session.

Not my best presentation, but memorable.

In the works is me giving the talk a least a couple more times. Once with my local friends at ZPUG-DC and once at LA Django.

Managing the World's Oldest Django Project by James Bennett

James is always on the ball when it comes to presentations. His stuff is well researched and documented, and his voice is both relaxing and invigorating. It was good to hear about lessons learned, experiences, and some of the more interesting foibles they've been through.

An Underwater Python: Tortuga the Python Powered Robot by Joseph Lisee

Python powered underwater Robots? I was so excited by this talk!

Yeah, odds are it would have almost no professional applicability, but sometimes you just have to see what other people are doing with one of your favorite tools. I was impressed by the energy and creativity of the students at the Robotics group at the University of Maryland and am trying to figure out how to include robots in my next project.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

I actually think there is room for a robot somewhere the the features doc. :)