PyCon 2009: Meeting my Goals

As I finally settle back into side projects after work, I realize that I need to recap my PyCon experience. Since I blogged about my goals, let’s see how they went.

Goal #1: Present at PyCon. (accomplished)

My presentation was at 10am on Sunday morning, and it was an experience that I won’t forget. It started out with video difficulties, and then we ran into audio issues as well. We heard the start of Mark Ramm’s Paver talk in our room. Of course, I had to run with it – I couldn’t let that throw me off. I did have a great audience, and that helped as well.

It was the largest group I’ve presented for, and it’s been the largest room that I’ve presented in on my own – the only other experience that compares is my CodeFest panel at OOPSLA ’99. Despite the nervousness, I moved right along.
I was able to show some basic examples of what you can do with IronPython, including a cross-platform form that uses the Environment.OSVersion property to show which operating system was running. This cross-platform was the only demo I ran in Windows. Everything else ran in openSUSE thanks to Mono.

After I finished presenting, I had to check the pycon Twitter feed to see what was said. Yes, I was using vim for my editor. This time around, I used an openSUSE VM in VirtualBox. I’ve given this presentation before in Ubuntu, but I wanted to use the IronPython 2 bits, which aren’t in a package yet for Ubuntu. (This would involve compiling from source, and there’s a problem with that – so no package yet.)

I still need to get my demos online, but my slides are available on my Slideshare.

Goal #2: Meet some of the IronPython people. (accomplished)

When I arrived at PyCon on Friday, I managed to make it in time for the Python VMs panel. When Harry walked in, Dino yelled to him, and that’s when I made the note that these guys were here in person. After the panel, I talked with Harry a little, and then I ran into Michael Foord.

It was great to hear Jim Hugunin‘s talk on IronPython, immediately following the Python VMs panel.

On Saturday, I went and hung out at the IronPython open space with these guys and a few others. It was nice to hear the other guys asking about IronPython and talking about using it.

Finally, on Sunday, I saw these guys in my audience for my presentation, and I stayed for Dino’s talk as well.

It has been great to meet these guys in person, and I hope to run into them again sometime.

Goal #3: Meet with the PyOhio team. (accomplished)

On Saturday night, I went to the PyOhio open space, and I was quite impressed with the turnout. We had Eric, the token Columbus python rep. The Cleveland group was there in rare form (or maybe just in their normal insanity), and Cincinnati was also well-represented. We also had at least a guy from Maryland, a guy from Texas, and a guy from Utah.

In the hour that we met, we were able to cover quite a few issues and get a few volunteers. I have volunteered to help them with publicity, and I will also be carrying the IronPython torch there as well. (If you’re on Twitter, make sure to follow @pyohio.)

Goal #4: Check out the Stackless python presentation by CCP. (failed)

This was my only goal that I didn’t make. I managed to make it to the room just as the presentation was starting, but the snow outside kept bugging me and so I gave up the fight. We had a 6.5 hour ride home, and I didn’t want to take any chances with it.

Final Thoughts

This was my first python event, and it was great to see such an awesome community. People from all over the world came together to talk about, hack in, and show off Python and its various implementations. I look forward to PyCon 2010 in Atlanta!

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