I make a decent effort to keep up with what's happening in the Python comunity, but—gosh darnit—it's hard! I think that's why conferences exist. They give you a day or two to focus solely on meeting people and catching up with what's going on in the community.
I particularly like the smaller, regional events like the one I attended this weekend: PyArkansas. Here's a few reasons why:
- Cost: Smaller, regional conferences tend to be less expensive (Free in this case!).
- Travel: It's not thousands of miles away, so travelling isn't a huge burden. I rented a van, and took six of my good friends on a three-hour drive)
- Size: I think there were about 150 people there. Not too overwhelming, and you can still meet a good deal of peple.
So... what did I learn?
This is a bit of a brain dump (don't worry, it'll be short), so please forgive the terseness.
- If you work with GeoDjango, you really need to keep up with Adam Fast
- I'm a big fan of Django, but it's always nice to have Kenneth Reitz challenging us to re-think how we build web apps.
- Gabriel Grant talked about Stack.io and about building rich applications with Django using Django REST Framework and Ember.js. I'd seem Ember.js in passing, but somehow I'd completely missed (or forgot) about Django REST Framework.
- Unfortunately, I walked in late to Jeff Bauer's talk on Salt, but I caught just enough to really whet my appetite. I'm a Chef user, but salt seems to have a much lower barrier to entry, though I'm not sure it completely solves the same problems
- I also bumped into Larry Hastings. I'm not much of a podcast listener but I'd highly suggest checking out his podcast: radio free python. It looks very well-done, and some quick google searchs seem to indicate his listeners think so, too. He also hooked me up with a cool sticker. Thanks, Larry!
- I also need to shout out to Lyndsy Simon, who created both the PyArkansas and the Work for Pie decals in the swag bag. Great work! :)
I'm sure I missed meeting many other awesome people, too. If you've never been to a regional conference like this, make it a point to go! You won't be sorry.
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