PyCon 2011 – Quick Review

Thursday – The rest of my team shipped out Wednesday afternoon, my wife asked me to stick around another night to help with the boy which resulted in me leaving crazy early on Thursday. The good news was that I made it to Atlanta without incident (there were four different screaming children around me) and that I also was able to hook up with my team for lunch. Cosmin’s tutorial on deploying Python Apps to AWS EC2 was great.

Friday – Day 1 of PyCon and I was already a little worn out. I was the session chair for the first three talks in the “testing” track by Michael Foord (Mock), Gary Bernhardt (Units Need Testing Too) and Kumar McMillan (Tox). I figured since I would be attending all three talks anyway plus all three guys are friends that session chairing would be easy. As expected, each of them gave great talks (all under time!) and had a question and answer session. I ended up hallway tracking it most of the remainder of the day.

Saturday – Day 2 of PyCon. I got to see Jason Huggins’ talk on Selenium 2 and Jcon Kaplan-Moss’ talk on writing great documentation. I caught the tail end of Alex Martelli’s talk on API Design Anti-Patterns. Mike Pirnat’s talk entitled “An Exhibition in Atrocity” was really my favorite talk of the day with Zed Shaw’s talk on ZeroMQ a very close second. I was also able to catch part’s of C. Titus Brown, Ned Batchelder and Augie Fackler talks.

TiP BoF – As the organizer “shit gets real” for me about 3:00 PM on Saturday. Given some of the issues that happened with the Chef and Scotch BoF’s the previous night, I officially declared this “alcohol free” (notice the quotes). Paul Hildebrandt and Disney provided the pizza, Titus Brown and Doug Hellmann did a soda run and here’s the list of lightning talks that we did.

Feihong Hsu – Stretching
Terry Peppers – Opening Remarks
Terry Peppers – Nagaconda
Alfredo Deza – Konira: A Testing Framework DSL
Augie Fackler – Mecurial’s Unified Test Suite
Marty Alchin – Lab Coat Test Framework … Thingy
Roman Lisagor – Freshen Your Code
Kumar McMillan – Fudging It With Mock Objects
Anthony Scopatz – Scientific Testing in Python, A Hell Of A Workflow!
Feihong Hsu – How My Comic Book Obsession Birthed a New Functional Testing Tool
Michael Foord – Shiny New Stuff in Mock 0.7.0
Alex Gaynor – Writing 5 Lines of Codes, 16 Tests And Speeding Stuff Up
Jason Huggins – How to Test Canvas Based Web Applications
Gary Bernhardt – Isolating Isn’t Magic
Armin Ronacher — Modern Approach to Monitoring
Brett Cannon – How to Pronounce PyPi: The Python Package Index
Mike Pirnat – Mock: It’s Not Just For Testing Any More
Brett Cannon – Why You Don’t Want to Get a Ph.D. in Comp Sci
Steve Holden – Ask the Chairman of the PSF
Jesse Noller – Ask a Board Member of the PSF
Tavvi Burns – Keeping Your Expected Files in Sync
Gary Bernhardt – Python Mock Library Comparison
Doug Napoleone – In Defense of Golden File Testing

A couple of more observations on TiP BoF. I think 2011 was clearly bigger than 2010. I also think having the additional space was a solid idea. All in all, everyone looks forward to the TiP BoF and it was rather amazing to see how many people were attending for the first time. I’m glad everyone turned out and made it a great open space. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep doing this year after year! I know people are working through photos, but there is a Flickr pool where you can post them (Testing in Python).

Sunday – Final day of PyCon never seems long enough. Chris McAvoy’s keynote about Threadless was great, and it was even better to see Luke Opperman mentioned as “the vanguard.” Peter Portante’s talk on Co-Routines really kind of blew my mind in a good way. I was able to catch Mark Ramm’s talk on scaling Python which was also good.