PyCon 2019 Experience

Fazal
Fazal
Oct 20 · 6 min read

Let’s say you are attending a meetup and getting bored, and all of a sudden you hear two people talking about something called “PyCon”. So I googled PyCon and turns out it’s a 2-day mega event that happens once in a Year for Python Developers. Well those two people were Shuvam Manna and Anubhav Singh (both are my seniors). Once their conversation was over, I reached out to Shuvam and showed my interest to attend PyCon. He instantly agreed and welcomed me to join in.

Fast forward to buying event tickets, round-trip flight tickets and then changes of plan and replacing Anubhav Singh with Adrish Dey (again my senior). Three of us got together at the Kolkata airport and boarded the flight for Chennai at 4:40 am.

Left: Adrish Dey, Middle: Shuvam Manna right : Me

On arrival at the Chennai airport we booked OYO Rooms and got to meet two more fellow developers who had flown from Goa. Their names Raj Hansini and Abhilasha respectively. We checked in the same hotel.

So we had the whole day to ourselves. The trio of us decided to visit the Marina Beach. The we saw the Vivekananda House. And kept walking until we ended up at Chennai City Centre.

Vivekananda House
Left : Chennai City Centre Right : Marina Beach

DAY-1

Next day or one can say the most awaited day had arrived. We reached at the Chennai Convention Centre, the venue for PyCon right on time. Got our passes, batch and a goody bag. Went inside and had breakfast.

Upper left : My Event ID Upper Right: Event Flag ; Below :Event Venue.

After breakfast we did some networking and that’s where I met Mythreyi Ramesh studying at IIT-M. After that we saw “Jake Vanderplass ” author of “Python Data Science Handbook” also an astronomer by training and a developer at Google Colab. So we had to meet him. We said ‘hi’ and just started our conversation. He was also the keynote speaker of the first day. At the same time three sessions were taking place simultaneously for routine ( https://in.pycon.org/2019/)

Left: Jake giving his session. Right: a pic with jake (from right : Mythreyi, Rupam,Shuvam,Me,Jake and Adrish)

After the Keynote session we started going to booth after booth and completing the challenges given by them in order to earn schwags, t-shirts. So on the first day I went to Jetbrains booth and completed their challenge won a t-shirt and some stickers. Next booth was Microsoft Azure, here I pitched about Azure for a minute in front of camera and earned a Azure t-shirt. Next up was Happy Fox and they had a 15 question Crossword, on solving which I got another t-shirt. Then we had lunch and again some sessions and then coffee break.

Left:Jet Brains booth Right:Microsoft Azure booth

By evening we met even more people.There was poster showcase event. And while going from one poster to another we met a team representing KDE from Delhi and became friends with them too.We became very friendly with three speakers and we sat altogether and had a nerdy chat (one of the speaker was Jake). By the end of the conversation as we headed out of the Convention Centre, two speakers named Sadhana and Nirant invited the three of us for dinner. It was really kind of them. We accepted the offer and had a really amazing night.

DAY-2

Again leaving the hotel and reaching on time at the venue of PyCon. While entering I got the ‘PyCon’ t-shirt. After that again breakfast followed by coffee and then took a seat for the keynote session. Today’s keynote speaker was Ines Montani who is a founder of Explosion.ai/Spacy. The session was really enriching. After her session I along with a few other developers caught her off stage and asked a few of our queries related to NLP. Along with her I also got to meet Mathew Honnibal (speaker of first day and co-founder of Explosion.ai). We asked him a lot of question on the business side of an open source company.

Left:Ines Montani. Right:Mathew Honnibal.

Then again this time I went to a booth named DCKAP and their challenge was to play Jenga along with a partner. So my partner was Rupam a fellow friend from Kolkata whom I met him at the event having no knowledge that he was attending the event too. So both of us played the game and considering this was the first time in our life we were playing this game. We actually nailed it and for that we got a DCKAP t-shirt and this cute stuffed rhino. Then we visited Deepsource booth and tried out their product, it was super impressive ( https://deepsource.io/), you should try it too. It tells all the major and minor error in your python code.

Left: The stuffed Rhino Right: The Jenga played by us.

Then we got a pen from AQR and AWS. We also got a all-in-one cable from Indeed. And the last challenge that we took part in was solving the cross-word puzzle on Microsoft Azure given by Microsoft booth. Only three people got all ten correct answers (including me). Psst.. the three of us worked together for about two hours to solve it. Yup, the crossword puzzles were a really hard one to crack alone. One more person got eight correct out of ten.

From Right: The three of us got all 10 correct.

The last session of the PyCon 19 was given by David Beazley who is an author of the Python Essential Reference and Python Cookbook. His talk was the most amazing titled “A Talk Near the Future of Python”. It was so awesome that the talk got a three- minute standing ovation from the audience of 1500+ attendees. Four days later while writing this article I discovered through my friend Adrish that David had been screen-casting his talk. So everyone who is reading this is lucky, you get to see his closing keynote speech here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-A78RgMhZU

Well the speech ended and the hall room started getting cleared. And just like we caught every other speaker, we caught David also and talked about the future of Python in Web.We also took photos with both David and Jake together. It was a fine evening that came to an end. Like all good things this ended too.

Left:Me with David. Right:The whole gang.(the girl on right is Raj Hansini and the one in Middle is Abhilasha)
Some new Friends

Well after the whole extravaganza ended we with the other two students from goa went out for dinner. And then went back at our hotel rooms. We five of us became really good friends . At 1:30 am we said goodbye to them and returned to our rooms. A day later was our flight and now we are back in Kolkata. I would like to end with a quote that “A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles. ” ― Tim Cahill.

Clicked at 1:30 am Saying bye to the Goa team.

Wait Wait Wait….before I end a big thanks to the PyCon Oranizing team and volunteers . The event was amazing guys and you all nailed it.

The Organizing Team.

And Thus our journey ends. Peace Out.

Back in Kolkata
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