After trying for several years I finally got a chance to attend PyCon. What a treat, the attendees, sessions, volunteers, etc. all intersected to create a great conference.

I started my time at the conference on Wednesday with my tutorial, "An Introduction to Google App Engine". The slide decks and code exercises for the tutorial are now available here:
Update: I've now added a zip download of all the materials to the project.
On Thursday morning I flew to Philadelphia and presented "Under the hood of the App Engine Datastore" at the "Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise" conference, and flew back to Chicago that night. Yeah, that hurt. I was glad that I didn't have to choose between the two conferences; Chariot Solutions, the folks that put on the Philly conference always go a good job and this was no exception.
On Saturday I presented "The (lack of) Design Patterns in Python (pdf)". Here I was trying to be a little controversial, but at the same time get everyone to think about design patterns a little differently.
I was very happy to see so many women attending, probably the highest ratio I've seen for any highly technical conference I've attended, which is a testament to the community around Python. Even with that the ratio was still well below 50/50 and there was a call to increase that percentage going forward.
Wow, was that good food! Lunch everyday was a sitdown affair and even the food during breaks was top notch.
Open space

This seems to be a PyCon tradition, where several rooms are set aside and the community crowd sources topics of conversation and then you show up at the appropriate time for the topic you're interested in. It's an interesting way of expanding on the usual hallway conversations you get at a conference. I attended the Google App Engine open space and along with Guido and we fielded questions for an hour. It was a great crowd with really good questions, as always, it's nice to meet developers face to face and to learn their concerns and questions about the platform.

There was also an open space session on RESTful JSON that I planned on attending but completely spaced on it. If anyone has notes of what happened I would appreciate it if you shared them with me, or better yet, posted them to the mailing list.

Hallway conversations are a major component of a conference for me and they were many and varied at PyCon, covering topics like RESTful JSON, AtomPub, Bloom filters, httplib2, mimeparse, App Engine, Robaccia, and Design Patterns. All in all a great conference and I hope I can make it back next year.
The appengine tutorial materials are not visible - do you need to join the project or something ?

Posted by Steve on 2009-03-31


They are in subversion and I haven't created a download package yet. If you don't want to wait you can get the materials by:

svn checkout app-engine-tutorial-read-only

I should have a package up shortly.

Posted by Joe on 2009-03-31

Thanks, it is accessible now.Looks pretty comprehensive.

Posted by Steve on 2009-03-31

The RESTful JSON Open Space was a good time to share information between different implementers. I mentioned Shoji; Gary from Canonical talked a bit about lazr.restful. It then blended into the RESTful-Python Open Space, where Pete Fein showed off some controller code for his own apps. I was hoping we'd get someone in there familiar with Dojo or other protocols in the wild. And of course, your contributions would have been stellar, I'm sure. :)

Posted by Robert Brewer on 2009-04-03