Pravar Agrawal Technology & Travel

Pycon India 2019 - A Visit

Although this post is coming almost a month after, the memories are still so fresh. “Came for the language, stayed for the community” - I have heard it before and read it over couple of t-shirts as well. But realized the power of that statement at this year’s PyCon-India 2019.

This year, PyCon India was scheduled to be in Chennai from October 12-15th, including conferences, dev-sprints & workshops. Since, it was my first PyCon ever I bought the tickets as soon as they were out in June earlier this year. Along with tickets for DevSprints, which were released sometime in August. I’ve recently moved to Bengaluru, India so travelling for me from here was a piece of cake since it’s just 6 hours of travel by bus/train. And to be very best, I decided to take train. I was travelling with one of my close friend and reached Chennai early morning around 5 AM on 12th October. I reached at the venue quite early around 6:30 AM and to my surprise, there were already attendees present. Upon talking to some of them, I came to know they have been here since midnight as soon as they got down at the airport. Now here, I realized that I’m open to different people whom of-course I’ve never met before but certainly hold similar interests and the bridge was Python programming language.

The registration started around 8:00 AM and before that I had a chance to meet with few of my friends from dgplug community. Some of them I met for the very first time indeed. All around, I could see the enthusiasm amongst the attendees. There were people of all the age groups, working professionals, students, researchers, teachers. Well, managed to get my attendee’s badge, welcome kit from the registration desk and headed straight towards the conference hall to attend Jake Vanderplas’s opening keynote speech. Though most of it was on python’s influence on AI/ML but he did discuss the origin of language and where it has come now. Followed were quite a few good talks on the work people have been doing using Python and how it has become an integral part of their development process. But here’s the thing, I somehow felt most of the talks were more directed towards Python’s influence on AI/ML side rather than other areas. Like, System Architecture, Python’s extreme power in DevOps, Site Reliability etc. There should have been the talks covering all the areas where Python has influenced or is influencing in today’s time. But again, so much to involve but the time wasn’t enough.

There were quite a few kiosks from various start-up companies, well established multi-nationals who were organizing timely quizes, crosswords, and handing out free goodies as well. My first experience, I liked it. We IT folks love the free swag, isn’t it!

The conference lasted for two days, ending with a lightning keynote by David Beazely and surely everyone was awestruck on what he presented. Following two days were dev-sprints and workshops. I had purchased the tickets only for dev-sprints and the events for that were organized in IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai. So, the whole idea of dev-sprints was to involve new/experienced programmers into some open-source projects. And the representatives from each project were present there to guide all those who were helping with their contributions into those projects. I picked to work on project camelot and with my mentor’s help who happens to be the maintainer as well, I made some small contributions, raised few PRs. The project is really nice, do check-out on the link mentioned above and of course feel free to contribute as well.

So, the dev-sprint lasted for 2 days as well. And on the night of last day, I boarded the bus back to Bengaluru. It was a wonderful experience, my first PyCon India visit ever. Hoping to continue the same enthusiasm for the upcoming Rootconf Hyderabad as well. Until next time then!