PyCon 2014

Posted by: bshaurette | Date: Apr 27, 2014 | Category: PyCon Python    

I just want to pop in here briefly and let everyone know that PyCon 2014 went well! It's a few weeks in the past already, but I've been busy with a lot of follow-up projects ever since I got back.

A few people remarked - and I agree - that the more years you come to PyCon, the fewer people you get to see each time because you become so much more involved in volunteering. That was definitely true of 2014. Katie Cunningham and I did a talk on Friday, the first day of the conference, then spent that Saturday and Sunday in the classroom.

With all that going on, I was lucky that I got to see anyone at all. I managed to stop at the PyLadies booth for a few minutes, but sadly missed out on the camaraderie of the feminist hackerspace. Aside from my own, I only made time for two other talks. Noah Kantrowitz was enlightening as always with his Application Deployment State of the Onion.

But if you only watch one video from this year's PyCon, make it this one:

It's Dangerous to Go Alone: Battling the Invisible Monsters in Tech

Every programmer I know, myself definitely included, could use some of Julie Pagano's wise words. Her talk brought me to tears, and I'm pretty sure I was not the only one.

This year, instead of being partitioned by age group, the two days of Young Coders classes were split by spoken language - English on the first day and French on the second day. We had two terrific local teachers - David Cormier and Davin Baragiotta - working with the kids on the second day. It was fascinating seeing our teaching materials translated and taught in another language! And Davin and David are terrific teachers - they both brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the kids.

The talk was the hardest part of the conference for me. For as long as I've been going to PyCon, I've sworn that I would never take that stage - I was far too shy and crippled by stage fright. But I got over it and I did it. The conference organizers made the experience really pleasant (thanks so much to Diana, Doug, Tom, and everyone else who helped out!), and I got a lot of support from friends who've been encouraging me to take this leap for years. To anyone else trying to conquer a fear of public speaking, I would say that the most important thing is to really know your material - with that knowing comes confidence.

So here it is: "The Young Coder: Let's Learn Python":

(Also available on PyVideo: http://pyvideo.org/video/2570/the-young-coder-lets-learn-python)