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PyCon 2012 Talks

by Ross Patterson last modified Aug 12, 2016 07:33 PM
A bit about my experience at my first PyCon and the talks.

I'm riding the train home from the last day of the PyCon sprints following the PyCon talks so it's time for a report-out.

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.

Talk Highlights

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:

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