For the last couple of years EuroPython has been a fix-point in my conference calendar. There is simply no other or better place to meet so many people interested in Python in Europe. Being not all that good at speaking myself, my experience has been a rather passive one. That all changed last year when Markus Holtermann asked me if I had time to help with the webteam for the 2014 edition of the conference. In the end I was definitely not nearly as active as Markus but it felt good helping with what turned out to be the 2nd largest Python conference I’ve ever been to :)
With more than 1200 attendees, 5 days of sessions and 2 days of sprints virtually flew by. Luckily, apart from some minor fixes to the website and adding the slides and videos to the talks as they went online, I had not all that much to do so I could spent must of my time attending sessions and hanging out with friends having a great time!
Topics and Sessions
So these are the sessions I had the pleasure of attending:
- Cutting-edge APIs using hypermedia at BSkyB
- Brain Waves for Hackers
- Designing NRT(NearRealTime) stream processing systems : Using python with Storm and Kafka.
- Documenting your project with MkDocs
- Writing multi-language documentation using Sphinx
- Compress Me, Stupid!
- Design Your Tests
- Supercharge your development environment using Docker
- Conversing with people living in poverty
- The Return of “The Return of Peer to Peer Computing".
- Elasticsearch from the bottom up
- Lessons learned from building Elasticsearch client
- The inner guts of Bitbucket
- Farewell and Welcome Home: Python in Two Genders
- Building Realtime Web Applications with WebRTC and Python
- Using asyncio (aka Tulip) for home automation
A big “thank you” to every speaker! I definitely had some favorites but every single one offered me something I hadn’t known before, for which I’m grateful :)
As always the range of talks was just awesome: From low-level stuff like realtime architectures to social discussions. This variety is still probably the main reason why I don’t even ever think about not buying a ticket each year. Even during times when I don’t do anything with Python itself, the community provides new tech that I can and want to apply in other environments.
Probably the biggest topic of all this year was openness and inclusiveness with for instance DjangoGirls running a workshop in parallel to the first conference day with 40 attendees. In general I’ve hardly ever seen so many women at a tech conference that didn’t also have design as a main topic.
Big kudos also to the video team from the CCC Video Operations Center! Nearly every video was on YouTube within an hour and there was even a live stream for most of the (non-training) sessions. It’s just great when you can watch the sessions you missed later on (like right at the same evening after having a nice dinner somewhere).
The location and catering
Another factor that helped making EuroPython 2014 as awesome as it was was the venue in combination with the catering. Both were available throughout the whole event including the sprints and both were just awesome!
The BCC felt like it had been made explicitly for conferences with 1000 - 1500 attendees while giving everyone still enough room to breath. Besides the indoor areas there was also a nice setup outside where you could enjoy the sunny days while networking. And there was icecream!
The catering was also one of the best I’ve yet had at a conference. I guess, the best way to describe the food would be to tell you that I took on additional two kg of weight during the conference ;)
I was extremely glad that the catering continued throughout the sprint days. Usually sprint meals are organized differently: Sometimes by doing monster- pizza- orders or by just providing snacks and giving the attendees directions where to find full meals. Not so this year!
The EPS and the future
On Thursday afternoonm alongside the lightning talks, was a series of sessions where the EPS presented itself, its goals, and its ideas for the future of the EuroPython conference series. Here the organisation that since July 2014 has the trademark in Europe on “EuroPython” also agreed to change the membership structure to actually formalize the way in which you as a community member can become a member of the EPS. Given that the registration process was also active before there was voting on it … kind of felt weird, but whatever …
Details about what will happen next year will hopefully be released soon.
As always there were also two days of sprinting for various opensource projects with @djangogirls probably being the most prominent one. Sadly, due to some work still being left to be done for the conference website, I couldn’t really contribute to any other project but Jannis and I at least got to talk about DjangoSnippets and what might happen there in the future. Time will tell :-)
And much more…
One of the new add-ons to the conference package this year was that every attendee got a public-transport ticket for the whole duration of the conference (incl. sprints) that was valid in the inner two zones of Berlin. So while I still had to ticket a one-way ticket from the airport to the hotel on Sunday evening, I could explore the city and take a bus back one week later without having to go to any ticket-machine! Combine that with 35˚C and many people probably so a whole lot of the city. Every conference needs something like that if it takes place in a city with a public transport system worth mentioning :-D
And, naturally, there was also a big evening event with live-music, again great food and drinks and enough room to socialize :-) Didn’t see all that much of that myself due to being tired as hell but I heard the fun continued deep into the night… and rightly so!
Well, that was EP2014 for me. What will happen next year? Only time will tell and the output of the EPS’ CFP. In the mean time, I want to thank everyone who made this great event possible. I really enjoyed the last week and would love to repeat it next year :-)