Pycon India 2013

Finally, I made it to a Pycon India! The last 2 years, I’ve been pulling a sankarshan. I walked in just in time for Kenneth Reitz’ keynote. Kenneth talked about…

Finally, I made it to a Pycon India! The last 2 years, I’ve been pulling a sankarshan. I walked in just in time for Kenneth Reitz’ keynote. Kenneth talked about writing an API from his experience in writing and maintaining requests. There was good deal of information about coding practices, managing contributors, and avoiding burnout. Key things I remember: Documentation, documentation (yes, I’m repeating it again, because it’s important!), clean APIs, extendability, and learning to say no (without being a dick).

A conference is not just about the content, it is also a great opportunity to catch with people I’ve known online and don’t meet that often. For instance, I met haseeb at the registration counter. Later, I met Runa and Sankarshan. I don’t think I’ve met Runa since in 2011! And I hadn’t met Sankarshan at all. Other usual suspects include Kushal Das, who I’m glad to report did not have any sort of untoward accident (and I hope I didn’t jinx it), Souvik, Sneha, Noufal, Devi, Anand, Ramki, Vivek and so many more people that I can’t even remember all their names!

As is usual, I spent more time in hallway conversations than in actual sessions. After the keynote, I sat in two sessions, the first one was Applications of Python in Robotics by Lentin Joseph. He actually had a robot on the table when he was presenting which got me hooked on to the talk. I don’t have a lot of experience in hardware, so all the information was a little dry for me. Lentin did a demo at a conference AND IT WORKED! Well, sort of. The robot tracked the yellow ball and moved (albiet slowly, because the table cloth didn’t offer a lot of traction).

The other interesting session was Let’s talk testing with Selenium by Anisha. I’ve known the Selenium project ever since I started contributing to Mozilla, though, I haven’t actually used it. Anisha’s session was information packed and made it look easy as well. In the coming weeks, I’m going to take a look at it to see how I can use it at the day job.

Before I left Pycon, I was convinced to join the PSSI (Python Software Society of India), though I couldn’t stay for the AGM.

Ah, I forgot to mention that hanging out with friends in town for Pycon started on Friday evening. I met, among others, Sengupta and Harshad of Instamojo (they’re hiring btw, if you’re into python, get in touch with them!), Jaidev, Parth, Bala, and Nivedita. We met at Egg Factory and we were chatting and making twss jokes.

Overall, Pycon 2013 was a great conference and I look forward to many more years of attending it 🙂

Pulling a Sankarshan (verb): The act of purchasing a conference ticket and not attending the conference. Tickets may be refunded.

Noname.unconf Report

This post has been long pending to be honest. We had a Noname.unconf planned in Bangalore on 18th and 19th December. The venue we planned was Jaaga. It was meant to be a fun place to meet a bunch of hackers with some talks planned. I met lifeeth, neena, and Hobbes` the previous night when they were setting the place up.

On Saturday when I walked in, I sat at the registrations table, signing up people who came. We had about 40 people come in. Interestingly, it was tazz’ and lut4rp’s birthday. There was cake and candles and a lot of fun ensued. I met with a small subsection of the hacker scene that day and it was awesome. Lot of geeks. Geeks are different things. Geeks at networking, web design, sys admin, mathematics, and more. We were planning on a conf app that day and decided to write it general purpose so it could be adopted any day. Later that night, we went for dinner together recounting the experience of the day. Again, good fun.

I went in to day 2 in the afternoon. The talks were going on when I walked in. They were quite interesting including the talk about UID in India, Debian and Ubuntu BoF, to name a few. A few more new people to meet that day and then we packed up. It was a fun weekend of hacking, meeting new friends, and talking to people about stuff.