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PyCon ES 2019 Alicante Highlights

Posted by Bob on Wed 09 October 2019 in PyCon • 6 min read

Last weekend it was Pycon time again, my 6th one so far. This time closer to home: Alicante.

I had an awesome time, meeting a lot of nice people, watching interesting talks and getting inspired overall to keep learning more Python.

In this post I share 10 highlights, but keep in mind this is a selection only, there are quite a few more talks I want to check out once they appear on Youtube ...

1. Kicking off with @captainsafia's keynote

I did not attend the Friday workshops so Saturday morning I got straight to Safia's keynote which was very inspiring:

It made me realize documentation is actually quite important:

She also linked to an interesting paper: Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure I want to check out, a theme that also came back in Sunday's keynote (see towards the end):

Our modern society runs on software. But the tools we use to build software are buckling under increased demand. Nearly all software today relies on free, public code, written and maintained by communities of developers and other talent.

2. Meeting great people

Funny enough I met Antonio Melé, the author of Django 2 by Example which I am currently going through (great book!):

Although I attended quite some talks, the best part of Pycon is always the people / connections:

And remember: all talks are recorded and authors usually upload their slides to github or what not ...

3. Django

There were quite some Django talks:

4. Testing and exceptions

There were also quite some talks about testing:

Mario Corchero gave a great talk about exceptions. Unfortunately I sat way back in the room so need to look at the slides again. It seems he gave the same talk at Pycon US 2019 so you can watch it here (and in English):

5. Katas!!

Awesome talk about katas by Irene Pérez Encinar. Her talk was funny, practical and of course right up our alley given our platform and learn by challenge approach!

Talking about challenges, we released blog code challenge #64 - PyCon ES 2019 Marvel Challenge for the occasion. PR before the end of this week (Friday 11th of Oct. 2019 23.59 AoE) and you can win one of our prizes ...

6. PyCamp

Interesting initiative by Manuel Kaufmann to get together a bunch of Pythonistas in Barcelona, Spring 2020, to work on a couple of projects, Hackathon style. I will definitely keep an eye out for this event, see if we can contribute / collaborate ...

7. Coffee lovers

Katerin Perdom travelled all the way from Colombia to share her interesting graduation project about building an artificial nose to spot defects in the quality of coffee:

Looking forward to seeing some code responsible for this project. Also another use case of Raspberry PI ... lot of IoT right now! There was another talk about How to warm your house using Python, cool stuff! (Pun intended mate? Hehe - Julian)

8. Data artist

Amazing talk and interesting field:

A data artist (also known as “unicorn”) lives in the intersection of data analysis, decision-making, visualization and wait for it... ART. They are able, not only to use a number of techniques and tools to transform complex data into delightful and memorable visualizations, but to build their own tools and workflows to create visualizations that go beyond the state of the art.

For example look at this beautiful graph expressing global warming (#warmingstripes):

Or check this NBA graph out of 3-pointers scored (I cannot remember the player, but the project is here):

9. Python is everywhere!

Apart from IoT and data science, one fascinating field is animation (kids movies). Ilion animation studios (one of the sponsors), uses a lot of Python behind the scenes. Can't wait to watch their talk Py2hollywood - usando Python en una producción de películas de animación when it becomes available.

Another cool use case for Python are chatbots! I enjoyed Àngel Fernández's talk about chatops which of course hit home given our (Slack) karmabot. There was another talk about creating chatbots using Rasa.

Opsdroid is an open source ChatOps bot framework with the moto: Automate boring things! - opsdroid project!

Or what about astronomy?! If that's your thing, check out: Making a galaxy with Python.

10. Experience of a Python core dev

Awesome keynote by Pablo Galindo, really inspiring and humbling knowing it's the hard work of core devs and many contributors that has Python in the great shape and position it's in today!


If you can attend a Pycon, be it close or far from home, do it!

You get so much out of just a few days:

  • Ideas and inspiration (stay hungry, stay foolish).

  • See what's moving in the industry.

  • Python / tools / field / tech knowledge.

  • Meet awesome people and opportunities to collaborate.

  • And lastly, be humbled: lot of volunteering, passion and hard work, give back where you can.

Join our slack and share your own Pycon experience in our #pycon channel, hope to salute you there ...

Next PyConES

No more excuses to hold off a trip to Spain, next year PyCon Spain will be held in Granada!!

Keep Calm and Code in Python!

-- Bob

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