This has been my first PyCON and I have to say it has been loads of fun. I've also learned a lot and meet some very nice guys. In a way or another now I feel like I'am part of a community I was an outsider before.
I arrived to Atlanta last Wednesday and I was impressed of how big the Hyatt hotel was. Almost like a small city on its own.
This short video shows how huge this hotel is. It's filmed from the 12th floor
I'm not used to this kind of hotels so I really enjoyed details like the elevators or the huge lobby :-) As I arrived quite late due to some issues about getting out of the gigantic airport the only thing I did that night was having dinner in the Hard Rock Cafe a couuple of blocks next to the hotel.
But, anyway, next day I attended to a couple of tutorials, one about Django deployment which was really good and another one about python 3 differences with respect to python 2 which was pretty interesting too.
Then next day (friday) the conference started. Very early in the morning my mind was blown away when I saw how many people there were in the keynote.
Look of the huge room where the PyCon 2011 keynote will take place
This video was shot 10 minutes before the keynote started. During the keynote there was not a single free seat.
The room was pretty big and it was full! Luckily Hilary Mason (bit.ly scientist) did a fantastic job and her talk was really interesting and inspiring. I liked how passionated did she talk about programming and that she believes that programming changes your internal brain structure so you think differently from other non programmers when approaching life's problems. For good or for bad I think she's right.
Later that day I attended to another not so exciting talk like "The development of python and you". Then I went to couple of talks that I really enjoyed and would say were maybe the best talks of PyCON: "Pluggable Django Patterns" and "Reverse engineering Ian Bicking's brain". The first one explained how to write your Django application so others (or even you in another project) can reuse it seamlessly. You should look the talk by yourself because it has tons of little gems. Then the other talk was about understanding how virtualenv and pip (tools maed by Ian Bicking) works and was really really good. One of the things I discovered in this talk is the way pip can install regular distutils projects is by monkey patching their setup.py file or that at the end, pip's core is just a hack around setuptools :-)
Then I moved into the PyPy talk which was quite boring to me and finally the lighting talks. Some were better than another but I specially liked the one about Qtile, a tiled window manager written in Python. The guy speaking was just hilarious.
I forgot to menion that I meet some old friends this day like Guilherme Salgado (from my days at Async) and John Ehresman, from Wingware. It was really nice to see them again and hear that they are doing pretty well.
As this post is already quite long I talk more about my PyCON experiences in a following post.