PyCon 2008

Registration for PyCon 2008 is now open. I’m signed up and ready to go. I haven’t been for a few years, so I’m pretty excited to be going this year. I guess the first time I went to a Python conference was IPC8 back in 2000. We were snowed into the hotel that weekend by a freak storm in DC, and barely made it out of town before the next icing hit by taking an earlier flight than we had planned on Sunday. I missed IPC 9, but went to 10 out in Long Beach (the weather there was a lot nicer). Both conferences were fun and informative, and I’m glad to have a chance to attend again this year.

I’m not exactly sure what the difference is between IPC (International Python Conference?) and PyCon, except that PyCon is billed as a “community conference.” I guess that has to do with how it is organized. I know a lot of people have been putting in a LOT of time and effort to set the whole thing up this year.

Conference Schedule

Looking over the schedule, I see a few of the talks I had hoped to attend are going to overlap. Having to choose between two fascinating presentations at a conference is a real First World problem, though, so I guess I can’t complain. I’m glad there are plans to podcast the sessions again this year, so I’ll at least be able to listen to any I can’t attend.

Here’s a list of the sessions I’m considering for my schedule:

Buffer interface in Py3K (Travis E Oliphant)

I have no idea what that is, but I obviously want to find out about any new APIs in Py3K.

MPI Cluster Programming with Python and Amazon EC2 (Peter Skomoroch) OR How Import Does Its Thing (Mr. Brett Cannon)

I’m interested in the clustering stuff, but I also have an idea for using memcached to cache imported modules, so the “Import” session would be interesting.

Running a Successful Usergroup (Jeff Rush) OR Applying expert system technology to code reuse with Pyke (Bruce Frederiksen)

PyATL is running fairly smoothly, but the book club seems to have petered out over the holidays. I’ve been really busy this month, and we haven’t been able to spur interest again. Maybe Jeff has some ideas. On the other hand, expert systems!

Dogtail: Taking your applications for a walk (Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy Yekulla) OR PyTriton: building a petabyte storage system (Jonathan Ellis)

Testing or big storage? Both would be useful for me at work.

Rich UI Webapps with TurboGears 2 and Dojo (Mr. Kevin Dangoor)

I don’t count myself as a TurboGears fan, but it should be interesting to see Dangoor talk about it.

Jython on the Joint Strike Fighter (Mr. George F Rice) OR Tahoe: A Robust Distributed Secure Filesystem (Brian Warner) OR The State of Django (Adrian Holovaty)

I do count myself as a Django user, so it will be tough to choose between Holovaty’s talk and the other two. I think I would probably end up in the Tahoe talk if I don’t go to the one on Django.

Like Switching on the Light: Managing an Elastic Compute Cluster with Python (George Belotsky, Heath Johns) OR Django: Under the Hood (Marty Alchin)

The first talk there sounds related to what we do at Racemi. I noticed that there are several “large computing” talks this year (cluster/compute cloud/big filesystem). Is that a trend?

Conference Goals

Aside from attending sessions, the other thing I want to come away from the weekend with is a couple of new author commitments for the magazine. Whether from presenters or attendees, I’m going to be scouting for subjects and authors. If you have any interest at all in writing, but just aren’t sure how to start, look me up at the conference and we can talk (or, of course, email me and we can talk now doug dot hellmann at pythonmagazine dot com).

So, are you going to PyCon? What sessions are you attending and what do you hope to get out of it? Tutorials? Sprints?