Thursday, February 27, 2014

Adventure in the Middle of the Snake Pit: PyCon Philippines 2014

It was only recently I realized how lucky I am to have attended the two-day PyCon Philippines 2014, the Python community conference, at the De La Salle University, Manila.

The two-day conference gave me the opportunity to again meet or see some of the IT personalities I respect and highly regard in the industry like Edison Go Tan, Evan Dale Aromin, Zak Elep, and Alvin Edwald Chan and Brian Paul Samson, both were volunteers and organizers of the event.

It's also been fortunate of me to have met Jayr Anes, coincidentally also a graduate school student at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

PyCon Day 1 kicked off the program with the Philippine National Anthem followed by the presentation of Russel Keith-Magee on frameworks development, discussed the batteries included versus best-of-breed philosophy of framework design and rationale behind Django as a Python web framework, followed by an emotional eulogy for Malcolm Tredinnick. It was a heartfelt and touching tribute of a friend and community missing a friend and major community contributor.

Daryl Yu lightened up the atmosphere with his introduction to Python, much needed warm and fuzzy talk interspersed with singing.

An introduction to Sphinx and Read the Docs was presented by Eric Holscher barefooted onstage, which turns out to be due to his damaged footwear.

Sony Valdez, the Python Philippines president, showcased his Python chops and developed within 45 minutes a game for desktop and Android phone, which I think should be considered the highlight of the day.

Notable also are the presentations on mathematical virtues of Python applied in data gathering, natural language processing and geocomputation.

On the second day of the event, after the presentation by Globe Labs, I briefly participated in the lightning talks, being an oddball PHP developer and a Python greenhorn, and met Ed Henderson (who unfortunately left early, should have won the raffle near the end of the event). Followed by Ronald Cheung of SAVE22 and the laptop raffle.

The highlight of the Day 2 is the various Python workshop track, one is for the absolute beginner (Track 1: Python for Beginners), experienced web developers (Track 2: Django workshop), followed by the Sprint track.

Most notable for me on the second day is diminished power of the paper of life and death.

The paper of life and death a.k.a. meal stub

There was also a discussion on Python optimizations, which unfortunately overlapped with Track 2 which I went into, and talk on idea and startup before moved back into the William Shaw Hall where the Track 2 workshop is still going on when we got back. Frankly, I regret having not completely participating in this workshop, hopefully this can be conducted again by Jon Danao.

After which, the event was concluded with a raffle and giveaway of t-shirt swag around 7PM, we lost track of time because the whole event was fun and worthwhile. Kudos to the organizers, sponsors, speakers and participants of PyCon 2014, will look forward to the next PyCon Philippines.

Aside from the t-shirt swag which I haven't yet worn, on one of the armrests of the William Shaw Hall I found the picture printed on a folded plain white paper. Did anybody (hopefully I'm one of them) win a prize for finding this?

Blue motif? Hmmm... Is she from Ateneo? In the middle of De La Salle? Plot of conspiracy thickens!