PyConAr 2016

Small recap

Posted by Juan Pedro Fisanotti 11 months, 2 weeks ago Comments

A few days ago (November 25, 26 and 27th) the 8th edition of PyCon Argentina took place in Bahía Blanca, a city 600km to the south of Buenos Aires, and I was lucky enough to be able to go with a group of other people from Machinalis.

PyConAr is the biggest Python related conference we have in Argentina, and one of the biggest programming conferences in the country too. It’s organized by Python Argentina (PyAr), a large community of programmers from all kind of backgrounds, which also holds smaller PyDays and one PyCamp each year. And quite important too: each year it’s organized in a different city by a different group of people, because as a community we want to give everyone the chance to participate, especially those who live far away from the usual places where conferences are held.

The talks and workshops

The topics were diverse, ranging from machine learning to asyncio, web APIs, mobile development, remote working, docker, and much more. And while most of the talks and workshops were very technical, I was glad to find some non-technical ones too. Specially the keynotes, which weren’t python-specific but dealt with topics of central interest in our community.

Some quite subjective highlights:

I loved the deep learning workshop organized by LinuxChix Argentina and guided by Celia Cintas. The example used in the workshop was Star Wars spaceships classification using neural networks and real time video. How awesome is that!

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[photo by Cynthia Monastirsky]

I was happy about how our own 3 talks combined each other to give a general overview of the Python data science ecosystem. Rafael Carrascosa presented a general overview of the data science toolbelt, Javier Mansilla dived a little deeper into the deep learning scenario (pun intended), and I covered technical details of neural networks and Keras (videos in spanish).

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[photo by Juan Pedro Fisanotti]

The sprints were quite productive! People helped solve issues and implemented new features into three not so known but very useful projects Pysenteishon, SimpleAI, and Twistorpy.

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[photo by PyConAr]

I learned some interesting things regarding high speed access to large volumes of shared data from Claudio Freire’s talk.

And finally, there was a workshop for blind people which I wasn’t able to be in, but others spoke of how useful it was for the participants!

The community

PyAr is known to be a very friendly and welcoming community. As we like to say, “PyAr es amor” (PyAr is love). This PyConAr wasn’t the exception to the rule.

Experienced people guiding new ones in the workshops and sprints. Large groups of people who didn’t know each other before, enjoying a beer or a pizza after the conference with the mandatory geeky conversations (yes, we tried to define monads). Knowledge and smiles shared in the halls. I really enjoy being part of this big family that is PyAr :)

Maybe one of the most emotive moments was the lightning talk given by one of the youngest participants of the workshop for blind people, in which she expressed how important it was for her. As one of the organizers said, "that alone is worth all the effort".

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[photo by Yamila Cuestas]

Thanks

For that and all the other things not included in this post, we would like to thank specially to this year organizers! You did an awesome job, and the whole PyAr community owes you their gratitude.

And also to the sponsors, speakers, and everyone who helped in some way.

See you in the next PyConAr! (or PyDay, or PyCamp :)

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The Machi-group :) [photo by Nicolás Demarchi]


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