PyTexas 2012

PyTexas

Here’s a quick summary of my experience attending the 2012 PyTexas conference.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Powell discussed features of Python that make the language notable, like functional programming constructs, decorators, generators, and context managers. While each of these is fair simple to understand and could be accused being mere syntactic sugar, I think they make code much easier to read and maintain, than the acrobatics which would be required without having them in the language. So for example, any of these can be done in JavaScript much less elegantly. Elegance counts! ✰✰✰

For scientific & embedded systems programming, performance matters, and compiling script to native machine code is a good way to increase code execution speed. LVVM is a compiler, like GCC, but exposes its internals to Python as a library. Dr. Schnell’s talk explored how LLVM can by used from Python directly and introduced numba & bitey. ✰✰

Luke Lee explored dunder methods, explaining what they are, why they’re useful, and how they contribute to the overall design of a fully Pythonic object. ✰✰

Tomo Popovic explained what the popular Scrum software development process is and how it works. It is an iterative and incremental agile development method for project management and software development. ✰✰✰✰

On Sunday, Gabriel Grant’s talk on Building Rich Applications with Django and Ember.js was dense. ✰✰

John-Michael Oswalt’s talk on “Finding the Balance Between Micro-Coding versus Macro-Coding” was astonishing in intelligence and candor about the challenges of developing for systems that scale well under bandwidth load and big data in the real world. ✰✰✰

The lightning talk on how to revise code to make it more readable & powerful with python-specific features was delightful; it showed me how truly kind and friendly the Python community is in Texas.  The conference was enjoyable because the people have chosen python for their livelihood are so amicable.  They may be fewer in number, but I have found that it isn’t numbers that counts when you need help understanding something; usually one or two friendly persons make all the difference.

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