Graham King

Solvitas perambulum

PyCon 2013: My two favorite talks

PyCon is an annual gathering of Python programmers. All the talks are recorded and distributed freely on the web. My two favorite talks were:

  • EduPsych Theory for Python Hackers: A Whirlwind Overview: How learning works, in 30 minutes. The speaker can be difficult to understand, but stick with it. I learnt so much, and took about 18 pages of notes. Here’s her blog post about the talk. To me, this was the best talk of PyCon 2013.

  • Crypto 101: After this you’ll finally understand Crypto. He builds from a basic block cipher, to a stream cipher, then covers hashes (and why they aren’t secure), key exchange, message authentication codes, etc. Really interesting and easy to follow.

A few other interesting or noteworthy talks I attended:

  • Guido’s keynote. Python 3.4 will have non-blocking co-routines, very similar to Go’s go-routines, and inspired by C#’s async / await operators. The syntax is a little awkward for three reasons: because it’s being added later (versus Go it’s there from the start), because Guido doesn’t want to add any more keywords (so it’s yield from my_coroutine()), and because it’s partly based on Twisted. Still cool though.

  • Making DISQUS Realtime: Interesting to see the path DISQUS took to get real-time comments in their widget. The key component is nginx’s nginx_push_stream.

  • Beyond Passwords: Secure Authentication with Mozilla Persona: Nice demo of Persona / BrowserID by a Mozilla evangelist.

  • Porting Django apps to Python 3 by Jacob Kaplan-Moss. Nicely summarizes the state of Django on Python 3, and gives advice on upgrading apps to work on both 2 and 3.

Here are all the PyCon 2013 talks. Are there any great talks that I missed? Please let me know in the comments.