Just a few weeks ago four of us from the engineering team here at Percolate took a trip out to California for PyCon 2012. It was a code-filled few days, with some splashes of adventures thrown in for good measure.
Things at PyCon started out strong, with five three-foot robots (programmed in Python, of course) dancing on stage for three minutes:
Some predicted that the Silicon Valley location would hurt attendance, but at 2500 people Pycon 2012 was twice the size of the 2011 edition. Paul Graham gave the first days’ keynote and suggested the seven big and risky startup ideas that he saw opportunity in. Best first day talks were about the art of subclassing, monkeypatching, and service-based systems with ZeroMQ. Team Percolate had fun brainstorming about how these awesome concepts fit into our systems. At PyCon you can see the future of Python in front of you.
Days started early, and both breakfast and lunch were provided, an awesome surprise. Top organizational prize goes to the catering crew; a sit down cloth napkin lunch for 2300 people in 1 hour was no problem for them. Speaking of moving fast, pypy dominated the second day of talks, with insight into how it achieves up to 2000x speedups for some code, with slower performance and incompatibility in other areas. Don’t worry, we still made it to In-N-Out at least once for some hamburgers. The second day drove home how important it is for everyone building distributed systems to be thinking about how the service-based paradigm. ZeroMQ was everywhere.
There were nightly recruiting parties in the hotel lobby (for people working at less amazing companies than Percolate, of course) as well as a poker tournament and a whole lot of free t-shirts. Other topics of interest to the Percolators in attendance included computer vision with python, django testing, pragmatic unicode and the London-based, Norweigin-accented, and brilliant but unprepared author of celery talking about new developments in async task management in Python. Guido Van Rossum, the founder and benevolent dictator for life of Python, closed things out. Python 3 and the advantages of dynamic typing were the deepest topics of his keynote. (Also, don’t try to use google docs for a public presentation on your laptop. Lesson learned.)
As always, Percolate is hiring. Come work with us and we can build something awesome to present at PyCon in 2013.
Subscribing to the Percolate blog will keep you updated on our insights, trends and what is brewing around the office.