O'Reilly logo

O'Reilly School of Technology

Log In

Call 707-827-7288

Live Chat

The Kirbster Reports Back from Pycon 2013

(Artwork by Idan Gazit)
Not all scripting languages are equal, and sometimes you may need to sell your boss on that idea. She might think, “Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP… we don’t care, what’s the difference?”

Unless you’re equally happy using any of those languages, convincing her of the difference will have a real impact on the quality of your life and enjoyment of your work. You may need to advocate for your choice of language at some point. That’s true even when your choice is not Python.

This was the backdrop sketched by Raymond Hettinger during his recent keynote, What Makes Python Awesome, at Pycon 2013 in Santa Clara. He went through a lot of technical slides about the ways Python stands out as a scripting language. (He talks convincingly to executives quite often!)

We have docstrings, for example, and generator functions. These are cool features you’ll learn about if you enroll in our Python courses.

I arrived a day before the main conference for the Education Summit, an event geared for Python teachers such as myself. I gave a lightning talk that was suitably quirky and pithy, as the genre demands, about Python for adults. Speaking of adults who work with Python, I also enjoyed meeting a few of my former and current OST students who were in attendance.

My talk provided some contrast for Walter Bender’s tone-setting keynote, which featured his famous Turtle Blocks program, an offshoot of the One Laptop per Child initiative.

The job fair and poster sessions were well attended; Python seems to be booming in both business and academia. If that wasn’t enough, everyone at the conference got a Raspberry Pi included with the price of admission. Good stuff! This has been your Pycon 2013 update.

I hope to see some of you next year in Montreal!


  • http://twitter.com/holdenweb Steve Holden

    I only heard today that people were asking for me at the O’Reilly stand. I’ll try and be a better author next year!