PyCon 2012 Talks
PyCon 2012 Itself
This is a very well organized conference. The whole thing felt both smooth and relaxed, which seems like quite a feat. It was also huge with something like ~2200 attendees if I remember correctly. I was still finding Plone people at the end of the last day of talks. It was pretty easy to not find people there.
The talks were short, I was always surprised when they were over. I think this is a great approach. It draws economy out of the presenters and cuts down on the zone-out effect. They had a Guidebook app which was pretty cool. Even the meals were surprisingly good given that they were provided by the venue. Even the wireless was pretty good and I've seen much worse at 200-300 person conferences (cough*Plone*cough).
Now for the nitpicks...
It was harder than it should have been to find out which rooms talks were in. Firstly, the otherwise excellent Guidebook app, didn't have the room numbers on the talk descriptions. Even the schedule on the conference web site, however, forced you to scroll around to try to find out which room corresponded to the track the talk was for.
The venue was pretty good, but the location is kinda terrible. On a good day I can tolerate the more interesting parts of the south bay, but the Santa Clara Convention Center is deep in the soulless spotlessness of the business-parkified heart of Santa Clara. This might be great if your choice form of entertainment is the likes of Great America (right across the street) but if you like any character whatsoever, you're SOL. I'm glad the venue food was better than I'd expect, and in such a location providing lunch is a must for such a conference, but I would enjoy it a lot more if there were interesting places to socialize in.
There were a lot of good talks with great coverage of technical topics. I was pleasantly surprised to find a healthy amount of non-technical talks, including talks on docs as well. Finally, it was good for a died-in-the-wool web programmer such as myself to be reminded that Python is used for other things.
Here are some of the talks I most enjoyed:
Favorite quote of the con: "I was sure this would be the solution."
Jim, you beautiful mad-man!
I want to be a part of something like this!
I'm looking at us, Plone docs.
His re-definition of "Mad Scientist" as someone doing crazy things becuse it's cool and they can, and "Evil Genius" as someone doing crazy things because it works have now become a part of my lexicon.
Gave my faith in Python a healthy shake-up.
It's looking like microcontrollers for the hobbyist are getting simple enough for even me to take a stab.
So cool. Damn you, Microsoft! Of course, you wouldn't be such a problem if you didn't do something right.