Hi! My name is Jose, a software engineer working for RevComm. In this blog post, I'll discuss four takeaways from my first PyCon APAC and the most interesting talks I attended.
What is PyCon APAC? PyCon APAC is a non-profit annual Python conference organized in countries of the Asia-Pacific Region. The 2023 edition in Tokyo consisted of four days: one tutorial, two conferences, and one development sprint.
1. Plan ahead
Every PyCon exhibits the most varied collection of talks, from obscure tricks of the language to the technical marvels of frameworks. This year, there were more than fifty presentations in English and Japanese across five tracks.
To get the best out of them, prepare an agenda. Read each talk's description; sometimes, the title is enough, and choose where you are going. Creating a calendar for the event in iCal or gCal is especially useful for coordinating with friends.
Just so you know, the schedule above took me around forty-five minutes.
2. Take time for the sponsor booths
My first major mistake was forgetting about the sponsor booths. I skipped the last two tracks of Day 2 to go around, and It was worth it!
Check them out. They are a fantastic reference for the country's Python market – what different companies are doing, their stack, and who is hiring. You might be as surprised as I was to find unexpected sponsors.
The stamp rally was a great motivator, too.
3. Talk to people
Any major conference is an opportunity to engage with the community. Talk to people. I met so many charming characters and learned a considerable amount. If you don't have time on the conference days, the official and unofficial parties are ideal for networking.
4. Join the developer sprint
As the famous proverb says:
After two days of conference and drinking parties, the developer sprint sounds like a stretch. It’s not. You will be surprised how productive you are in a couple of hours. For instance, my team merged a PR to the cPython's official repo!
Coding along with people you've just met is as open-source as it gets.
I attended eight talks, seven in English and one in Japanese. For brevity, I'd like to discuss the ones who impressed me the most.
Write Python for Speed by Yung-Yu Chen
This talk goes deep into optimizations for speeding up your Python programs. Although the field of application was outside my current job, Chen's passion and wit made me follow it until the end. I loved some of his quotes:
- "Python is the second-best language for everything."
- "To go fast, you do dangerous things."
Couldn't agree more.
Beaming up to the flow! by Thu Ya Kyaw
An enlightening talk about data streaming, the basics of Apache Beam, and the feature engineering process at Google. The expositor was also present at the Google Cloud booth, so I got to ask many questions.
Debugging and Troubleshooting Python Applications by Neeraj Pandey
This talk deepens into logging, profiling, and debugging in monolithic and distributed systems. I was blown away by OpenTelemetry.
What does your application need to run on production? by Shota Kokado
After years of working in Software Engineering, this talk was a good refresher on all the basics any production-ready application should have. The talk is in Japanese, but you can extract the vital information from the slides.
So for next year…
Indonesia will host next year's PyCon APAC. We also have the annual PyCon JP. And many more! Check pycon asia's website for more information.
Huge thanks to RevComm for supporting me throughout the event, to my colleagues whom I went with, to the more than fifty members of the APAC organizing committee, and, of course, to all the new people I met. Each of them made the conference for me.
You can follow me at twitter (@juanjo12x). See you next year!