Looking back at PySangaman 2018

The first edition of the regional Python conference PySangaman got over yesterday. First of all, I applaud the team on their decision to hold the conference on Friday and Saturday. During the audience feedback session after the conference late Saturday, a few people mentioned that they'd prefer a Saturday/Sunday conference. This prompted one of the organizers, Shreyas, to respond with their reason for the current schedule, which is an obvious answer in hindsight. He mentioned that heading back to work immediately after two busy days of conferences leaves no room to ponder upon what was learnt. It also leaves little time for folks out of town to travel and relax before getting back to their usual routine.

Moving on, there were a few amazing talks and there were a lot of amazing people. I don't think I've networked as much as I did at PySangaman. The keynote speaker's talks made me ask a lot of questions, mostly in person. A couple of talks introduced me to some very awesome new tools. A couple of talks showed me real world use cases to python features which I hadn't known before. Finally, I met a lot of amazing people who I had very interesting discussions with.

To briefly mention a few talks which for me were the highlight of the conference:
  • Rushabh's keynote on growing a company and building and maintaining an open source project out of India. They build the popular open source ERPNext.
  • Kiran's keynote on communities and organizations that serve the communities, with a focus on understanding organizations that cater to programming and software developers.
  • Awesome command line tools by Amjith, which introduced a couple of interesting tools that might come in handy every day. More importantly, he talked about building tools that are user-friendly.
  • Generators explained by Rajat (an IITM student) who talked about things I was already familiar with but the structure and his explanation of the concepts are what warrant his inclusion in this list. He also showed me a real world use case for the send method on generators.
  • TakeNote by Kashyap, who introduced me to the world of tools for the differently abled.
  • Experimental mathematics with Python and Sage by Prof. Amritanshu, who talked about using Sage for mathematical research, building Sage modules using Python and a lot of self-deprecating humor.
  • (Finally, ) Dataclasses by Ramanathan, whose talk I loved because it was a live coding session and he showed how dataclasses add functionality in fewer lines of code, replacing the need for explicit __hash__, __repr__, __eq__ and other comparison operators and so on.
I think I'll stop there. The last time I went to a Python conference, 7 talks didn't make an impression on me. Not even close. And I got the chance to talk of each of the speakers, who had a lot to say about what they talked about, about Python in general and the problems they solve in their day job.

All-in-all, it was a good way to spend two days. Now I need to lie down and spend a little more time processing the last two days.

See http://pysangamam.org/ for further details on the conference, the organizers, the speakers and their talks.


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