PyCon Sette

Our experience at PyCon Sette

Once again PyCon Italia reaffirms itself as the most important national event dedicated to Python. This year’s conference registered a much higher participation than the previous years, with 500 developers from all over Italy who met in Florence. It’s a fact that the echo of such initiative is able to overcome geographic boundaries, suffice to think that there were also participants from overseas, precisely from the US and Puerto Rico.

The structure of the conference contributed greatly to its success. Each year, in fact, PyCon Italia becomes more complex and varied, in order to also include beginner developers. A first move in this sense was made in 2015, with the introduction of the tracks dedicated to the Django Village and Py Data communities. PyCon Sette wanted to do even more, and hosted Odoo, community of users of the software of the same name, and ITPug, the Italian PostgreSQL user group. Python Language was the common thread of these groups, initially developed for scientific communication, it revealed to be so flexible to adapt to different uses, from the creation of data analysis tools to the realization of websites and web applications development platforms.

This took place during the three-day conference held at the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo in Florence, where the different themes approached, belonging to very different sectors, all shared one thing in common: the use of Python language. The conference treated matters related to web development as much as themes like astronomy, gravitational waves, biology and oceanic ecosystems. Towards the end, time was dedicated to confrontations on entrepreneurial issues, like agile methodology, project management and relationships with clients. Furthermore, speakers Christina Barra, Daniele Procida, Simone Basso and Riccardo Magliocchetti engaged the public with talks on developers’ lifestyle and habits characterized by a “motivational” flavour.

PyCon Sette allowed to question the Italian open source community and to examine web developers’ NOT TO DOs. This subject was discussed the final day of the conference, Sunday 17th of April, during a round table that saw the active participation of Iacopo. Main focuses of the discussion were the how and how much dedicate ourselves personally in the development of open source projects and how to manage the admission of new developers to the project.

Another interesting moment that saw our active participation was, on the Friday afternoon, the “Python Web Framework Royal Rumble”, dedicated to the most used platforms written in Python. The competitors that stood out were Flask, Pyramid, Trubogeras and Django. Each speaker presented strong arguments in favour of the community he was representing, but in general most speakers were not at ease when the moderator asked an apparently simple question, relative to the activities carried out to bring women closer to the programming world.

In consideration of the flow of people and the atmosphere that we encountered at this three-day conference, we can say that the idea of a major event is really appreciated by the public and very profitable. In fact, gathering developers and users of different technologies in the same area means creating a fertile environment where ideas for new projects and collaboration can arise. We definitely seized the occasion to do some PR, strengthen old contacts and make new ones.

Django Girls Florence represents another successful chapter, comparable only to the first Italian Django Girls event held in Rome in December 2015. More than 40 women adhered to the Florentine initiative hosted by PyCon Italia on the 17th of April. It was a transversal event that brought together women with different backgrounds, education and professions. There were also some teenagers, two of whom foreigners, that approached the tutorials with great enthusiasm and interest. The lab caught the attention of many conference participants, who, intrigued by the great female presence, stopped to understand how Django Girls workshops are structured. A further confirmation of the success of the event came at its conclusion, when coaches and participants presented us ideas for creating more Django Girls events in Italy. In particular, our collaboration was asked for the organization of a new lab in Turin. Girls, are you ready?