PyCon 2015 in Montréal

Snake wrangling in French Canada.

This year I was able to go to PyCon in Montreal. This is the first of a series of blog and tech entries which will cover the conference topics I found interesting and the few other things I did in Montréal while I was there. I'm splitting the blog entries up by day for the three days I was in town and the tech entries by topic.

Getting to Montréal

After a 28 hour trek from Seattle, I finally arrived at PyCon 2015 in Montréal. I found within myself an abundance with nerd-colored hero worship and excitement. I imagine it must be what it feels like when normal people attend sports ball championships. Seeing Guido give a speech on the state of Python must really be very similar to watching a player go one below par during the last quarter of the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, I had to skip the keynote speech the first morning as I arrived in Montréal a full fifteen hours later than expected owing to some weather around O'hare and not one but two pilots being over an hour late for each of my flights. I usually try to keep this site devoid of angry rants, but this entry would be incomplete portrayal the travel to get to the convention. My travel itinerary started at 10PM on the 8th and ended at 3AM on the 10th and was as follows: SEA -> ORD -> MSP -> ORD -> MSP -> YUL. That's not a typo. We flew to O'hare, circled, diverted to Minneapolis, landed, refueled, flew back to O'hare, circled, diverted to Minneapolis again where we were finally let off the plane during the tenth hour of our four hour flight I think only to prevent a full passenger revolt. Suffice it to say, connections were not made.

However, I consider myself at least somewhat lucky as I was upgraded to first class for the flight from hell and owing to a thankful agent that I defended from an irate passenger (I mean, come on, the weather was not Natalie's fault!) I was upgraded for my second leg on Delta from MSP -> YUL as well.

Extremely travel-worn but excited, I arrived in Montreal very happy I hadn't checked any bags, proceeded through Canadian customs which remains in my mind the friendliest customs agency in the world and hopped a cab into the heart of old Montréal to Auberge du Vieux-Port where I found a charmingly rustic room with a king-sized bed calling my name.

Day 1 at PyCon

The next morning after some strategic sleeping in, I get to PyCon at the Montréal Convention Center and pick up my badge. After the first two sessions, I realize to my surprise that my years at Amazon seem to have garnered me enough skill so as to find the sessions at the novice skill level to be review, so I rearrange my schedule for the intermediate track. The sessions were immensely rewarding and I find myself in mourning for the evenings that I'm sure will be lost to researching their topics in the very near future.

Day 1 Topics of Interest

  1. Machine Learning 101
  2. The State of SSL in Python (originally "A dive into TLS")
  3. Distributed Systems 101 (broken into several articles)
    • Lamport and Vector Clocks
    • Some Consensus Protocols
      • ZAB (used in Zookeeper)
      • Paxos (used in Chubby)
      • Raft (used in etcd)
    • Locks, Barriers and Set Partitioning
    • CRDTs or RDTs
  4. My Python's a little Rust-y
  5. Python Concurrency from the Ground Up: LIVE!
  6. Neural Nets for Newbies

I'm still working on putting together more of my notes, additional articles to come.