SciPy 2015 – Done!

The conference is over! I get to go home now, but I also will miss being a part of the community. Hope to go back next year!

Thoughts

  1. It was fun to set so many new people from a variety of disciplines. This conference was right in the sweet spot of nerdy-ness and social interaction. I think I lost track of the number of business cards I handed out to people, but it’s definitely dented my collection!
  2. I learned a lot, particularly about the variety of packages that other people have developed to solve a variety of problems.
  3. Swag! This time it was in the form of a free book by Kurt Smith, on using Cython to speed up Python code. Also got a bunch of stickers. At PyCon, I didn’t know where to stick them, and I was hesitant to stick them to my laptop (I like a clean laptop), so I stuck them to my poster tube instead.
  4. I gave a lightning talk on Testing Data, for data integrity purposes. Later, I was contacted by Greg, who leads the Software Carpentry (SWC)initiative, on providing some material on doing data tests. Looks like it could be fun! And I cannot wait to get my own SWC instructor training – c’mon Greg!
  5. My roommate, Chuan, was a physician from China, who was in the Houston area doing a year of research. I had a great time conversing about code and culture with him, and I learned a lot about contemporary Chinese medicine from him.
  6. Finally, I participated in my first ever coding sprint! It was with the matplotlib team. It was a great learning experience, participating in the actual modern git workflows of software development. I helped with making changes to the documented examples, a task suitable to first timer sprinters (as it doesn’t risk messing up the established code logic). Seeing my first merged PR to a major software project gave me an absolute thrill :). I also got to observe how to do Continuous Integration with auto testing. Next conference I will most certainly make time for at least part of a coding sprint.
  7. I missed a bunch of talks on the second and third day, because I needed some headspace to finish up thinking about this paper that I am writing. However, because of the great efforts by the AV team that Enthought hired, it’s possible to view them online after the conference. This also have those who couldn’t attend the conference a chance to access the conference materials. Kudos to them!

This year’s conference was a really great experience. I learned lots, learned about the many people doing cool stuff with the scientific Python stack, and made new connections with them too. I would highly recommend joining SciPy 2016, and I hope to make it an annual thing with PyCon!

Leave a Reply