Jython Journeys

Notes about my work with jython and python

PyCon Ireland 2010: A great success!

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I’m delighted to report that PyCon Ireland 2010, the first ever python language conference in Ireland, was a great success! Over 100 people came, attended two dozen talks and tutorials in three tracks, and participated in sprints and open-spaces.

Our conference venue, the Dublin School of English in Temple Bar, was a great success. Their classroom layouts proved ideal for talks and tutorials. The rooms for our three tracks were all accessed from a large foyer, where our sponsors set up their tables (and beanbags!). Open spaces rooms were also close, so the amount of traffic through the foyer gave a sociable and affable atmosphere.

Local restaurateurs Botticelli’s did a great job on the daytime catering, supplying tasty food and drink, and excellent coffee: we had a dedicated coffee machine and barista all day!

Just as I’ve experienced with other python conferences, there was a significant presence from the third-level education, both researchers and students. There were computer scientists interested in python as a language for teaching (the original purpose for which python was designed). There were research groups who were either already using or learning python in order to apply it to their programming needs, for analysing and visualising data, controlling equipment, etc. Work areas of third-level conference participants included genetics, electronics, and space hardware.

The venue for Saturday evening was the very modern Radisson Blu hotel on Golden Lane. The hotel staff were very professional and helpful: they made our entire experience there seamless and relaxed. What better way to end the evening than to retire to the bar for informal chats, the odd beer and the fine artistry of 3 piece blues band, Left, Right and Centre.

For the sprints on Sunday, the most remarkable project was certainly the project to code a solution finder for the fiendish Bedlam cube puzzles that sponsors Google had brought along. The effort even continued after the sprint was over, with the crew retiring to the TOG Hackerspace to work further on it.

One very successful outcome from the conference was that there is now a Python Ireland meetup in Cork city, which will be meeting on the first Thursday of each month. With the Galway Python meetups happening on the first Wednesday of the month, and the Dublin meetups on the second Wednesday, it is clear that Python Ireland is an active and growing community. Watch this space!

Many of the presentations given and media recorded at the conference are now available: See the following links

An enormous amount of organisation goes into making an event like a python conference work, and all of the committee are delighted that their work has all been worthwhile. One person deserves very special mention, Python Ireland’s Chairman, Vicky Lee, who was dedicated, untiring and endlessly patient through the whole process and put in more work than the rest of us put together: Massive kudos to Vicky!

Looking forward to PyCon Ireland 2011!

Written by alan.kennedy

August 12th, 2010 at 7:34 pm