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A Look Back At PyCon 2012

PyCon 2012Dyn’s theme for this year is simple: Better. Faster. Stronger. And what better way to celebrate that than by attending technical conventions and learning ways to improve our code, learning about new projects we can leverage, and taking part in what makes open source so successful: the community?

This year’s PyCon US in Santa Clara, CA, was the largest to date at over 2200 attendees – a sign that the Python community is truly thriving, especially considering the fact that the cap for registrations was set at 1500.

No, I didn’t mistype that. Registrations greatly exceeded the preset cap for the number of attendees the convention would accept. How’s that you ask? Actually, it was a bug. The code to cap registrations wasn’t taking into account the ten free attendees allowed to each of the event’s 136 sponsors, leading to the overage. Whoops!

Even with the additional attendance, PyCon has done a great job organizing tutorials, sessions and lunches and for the most part, sessions haven’t felt too overcrowded. While the total attendees may have been attributed to a mistake, it showed just how many Python hackers were interested in connecting with each other and working together to build amazing software.

In a great example of this community working together, the night before the opening keynotes, PyCon held a bag stuffing party and asked for volunteers to help put together the bags to be given to each attendee the next day. They were expecting about 100 volunteers which they got…in the first wave.

It was followed by many, many more (seen in the pic below) and while I don’t have an exact count of how many volunteers came to help, it was an impressive display of the community donating their time to help each other, just like they do with the software itself.

PyCon sessions ranged from in-depth walkthroughs and live coding sessions to lightning talks and introductions to new projects, to philosophical approaches that can be applied to our code. Many PyCon sessions and keynotes were captured on video and I encourage you to check them out, especially the opening keynote.

PyCon Bag StuffingHow can you go wrong with dancing robots programmed using Python?

Guido van Rossum’s Sunday keynote touched on a lot of different points but one in particular stuck out to me: don’t disrespect other languages. Many modern languages are much the same and whether it’s Perl, Python or Ruby, they’re interpreted languages with strong communities that are organized in similar ways and have similar goals.

There’s plenty of room in this world for all of us and let’s remember that before putting down other languages.

It was great to get out and have many Dyn customers recognize us, just to let us know that they love our service. We definitely do it for you and I love knowing our services help companies and individuals who are out there pushing open source forward.

Here’s to always learning, always improving, always innovating and to being “Better. Faster. Stronger.”

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Whois: Dan McCombs

Dan McCombs is a Principal Software Engineer at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.

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