EuroPython 2016, a first time participant's thoughts!

Lorena Mesa

August 01, 2016

EuroPython wrapped up July 24th in Bilbao, Spain. As a first time participant I was thrilled to attend, speak, and represent the PSF as a member of the Board of Directors!

First of all, the entire ambience of EuroPython was cool. The Gaudì-esque styled venue, the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, is in the heart of new Bilbao only a few minutes walk from the internationally acclaimed Guggenheim. I really enjoyed the EuroPython attendee gift, a beach towel! It came in great use when I visited the beach; Bilbao is only 30 minutes from the Bay of Biscay.

Something else I noticed at EuroPython was the range of languages spoken in the halls. From Spanish (or Castellano to those that speak Euskara, the Basque language) to Dutch to Norwegian I met Pythonistas from all across Europe (and a few from North and South America as well). I had arrived early to EuroPython to participate as a DjangoGirls coach where I tutored in Spanish, a brand new experience for me! If I had to sum up EuroPython in one word it’d be cosmopolitan.

Some of my favorite talks

  • Rachel Willmer’s keynote 20 Years without a ‘Proper’ Job - generally a discussion on why following your own path is the best path and how Willmer has been doing it and loving it!
  • Cameron Macleod’s Implementing a Sound Identifier in Python ** also presented in Spanish! - a review on Macleod’s implementation using the ‘magical’ technology behind Shazaam’s old sound identification platform, aptly named abracadabra on GitHub. While Macleod didn’t have a fully functional prototype he did challenge us to try it ourselves!
  • Larry Hastings' Day 1 Lightning Talk Life as a Meme - basically how Larry Hastings became an internet meme affectionately known as #dsdad <3.
  • Daniele Procida’s Mind, Machines and Python - an interesting chat about what it could mean to consider intelligence programmatically if we try to understand the structure of intelligence itself. Procida explores the idea of consciousness then as a ‘tangled hierarchy’ that consists of self-referencing loops, aka things that we use daily in Python programming.
  • Radomir Dopieralski’s Making robots walk with Python - exactly as it sounds, a chat about how Dopieralski used Python to make robots walk. The talk is more on the mechanics of what it means to engineer a robot vs. the Python behind the robots. Oh and it has lots of cute robots!
  • Stéphane Wirtel’s Exploring our Python Interpreter with CPython 3.6.0a+ - an excellent introduction to CPython interpreter and how to contribute to CPython. Also, a great proposal for a CPython patch so we can more easily see the Python bytecode generated when we do a thing!

All of the talks are available on YouTube.

If you haven’t been to EuroPython before, I strongly encourage you to go! A beautiful setting with great tourist perks, Pythonistas from all over Europe, and great talks? Well, I think you’ve got nothing to lose.

Tweet me if you have questions or want to know more about EuroPython (specifically speaking if you are considering applying next year).