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PyCon UK 2022

This past weekend I’ve been attending PyCon UK. I’m particularly lucky in that I live a 10 min train ride from where it is located in Cardiff meaning its incredibly convenient and economic for me. As a Python dev located here, there’s literally no excuse not to attend.

What makes it even more special this time round is that this is the first event since the pandemic started - the last being held in 2019. It’s also the first actual physical event for myself and many people that we’ve attended since everything kicked off. That combined with the small matter of the Queen passing the week preceding the event, it really is amazing the team were able to hold it at all.

It’s also my first time on a train in years and the most crowded event I’ve been to for 3 years so I was in equal parts excited and nervous. I needn’t of worried though.

The Talks

PyCon UK always has a great selection of talks on offer, crossing many domains such as research, open source, programming and even bombs! This is sprinkled with a even wider variety of lightning talks. I find this variety extremely appealing as my own skills are not just limited to one domain. All of the talks are carefully recorded and published on the PyConUK youtube channel, so if you didn’t manage to attend you should go and check them out.

Here’s a select few that I really enjoyed:

Simon Davy and Becky Smith’s (from the Bennett Institue for Applied Data Science) talk on building a python powered analytics tool in respose to the COVID pandemic.

Eli Holderness’ talk on Python pointers, which I very nearly followed all the way through.

Hannah Hazi’s talk on Unexploded Bombs in your code. I’m sure there’s a few of these lingering somewhere in my side projects.

and of course, day 1, day 2 and day 3’s lightning talks were all amazing.

The Code

There was no code sprints this year, but still plenty of code. I was taken with the following library mentions:

  • Hypothesis - A Python library for creating unit tests to find edge cases you wouldn’t have thought of (This one featured quite heavily throughout)
  • Mangum - An adapter for running ASGI apps on AWS Lambda
  • Appeal - A command line argument parsing library by Larry Hastings who presented it during a lightning talk on day 2

The Community

It’s nice to see familiar faces at events and with 3 years of not having them it really was something special. My kids even popped by for a bit to check out what was happening, slightly gutted by the fact there was no child stream this year.

Being able to sit and chat with different people from across the world, us local devs really should count ourselfves as lucky. I’m thankful for PyCon UK for not just holding the event, but having such a draw for me that it made me take actions no longer the norm (like leaving the house, getting a train and heading to a crowded place).

Thanks PyCon UK and see you next year!

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