When I was just starting to work as a developer, I had the opportunity to go to a software event organized by a big company on Bogotá with some other members from Swapps. It was the first time I experienced this type of event in my life and it was very constructive; but it felt odd, too cold and with no soul, it was just business.
Then, on 2017 we had the opportunity to go to the first Python Conference – PyCon – ever made in Colombia. It took place in Bogotá during February 9 and 10. I remember that my first impression was “wow”, this is different. It was not only the awesome keynotes, including Django co-founder Jacob Kaplan Moss and Eric Holsher, co-creator of Write the docs and read the docs. It had soul, it had a sense of community and it had commitment and hard work from the organizers and volunteers that were not making money from it. As well, it was the first time I saw people coding just for the love of code. There, I understood what “Open Source” really means and what it implies.
On the closening event, it was announced that the organizers had started working on PyCon Colombia 2018 version. As well, It was announced that Python Colombia would be created to support all the other python groups that existed in the country, as well as to keep organizing these kind of events.
Sadly, we were not able to go to PyCon 2018. This year, on 2019, we had the opportunity to come back, and this time greater than ever because Swapps was one of the sponsors! I was very proud of us because supporting this kind of events is also supporting the Open Source and the python community; it is a way to return something to the people that have worked hard to create a language that we use everyday.
One of the most impressive things that I noticed from the first day was that, in only two years, the PyCon Colombia had improved significantly. First, it was going to be a three days conference instead of a two days one. Second, the amount of keynotes and their careers was impressive. As well, all the talks were very interesting and covered a lot of subjects; there were talks about data science, web development, internet of things, entrepreneurship, etc. They really covered a big amount of Python applications.
Also, the logistics and the volunteers work was remarkable. Everything worked like a nuclear clock; all the talks started on time, all the keynotes and speakers were assisted all the time, and the screens and the sound worked perfectly. The organizers really did a good work on this edition.
All three days were filled with knowledge sharing, discussion, questions, laughs and joy. There were time to bad programming jokes that everybody enjoyed and hard dilemmas that made everybody think; like when Russell Keith-Magee, BeeWare founder, asked what are the big companies really giving back to the open source community if they are making a lot of money thanks to it.
Also, at the beginning of the third day, we had some workshops. All of them seemed very useful and constructive. Sadly, we were only allowed to assist to two of them due to limitations of time and space. Still, we learned a lot and, more important, we started to get more interested in subjects that we did not know before.
Some of the Technologies and subjects we learned about on the PyCon Colombia were:
- IOT with micropython
- BlockChain with Python
- Selenium tests using python
- Deep Learning applied to music analysis
- Deep Learning for Autonomous Driving
- Google BigQuery
- Django Channels
- networkx for data analysis
Sadly, I was not able to assist to the night events. But I know they went to dance, to play some tejo – a local sport – and to drink some beers. It was a way not only to know the country, but to make friends and create a sense of community between the assistants. All keynotes, in their talks, thanked the PyCon Colombia team for these activities.
Personally, I really enjoyed the event. I learned a lot, I discovered subjects I did not know and, more important, I realized that I still have a lot to learn and it motivates me. As well, it was a big incentive to start participating on these kind of events not only as an attendee but as a speaker. I may prepare a talk along with Andrés, our CTO, for 2020 PyCon Colombia edition.
In conclusion, It was a great event. I congratulate the organizers team because it was thanks to their hard work and their commitment that we had one of the best pyCons ever made. I hope that next year will be as awesome as this one. I am looking forward to it!