This past week I was down south of the 49th in Chicago Illinois. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the US Python Conference.
The first three days of the conference were of the standard conference format. There was a mix of having incredibly intelligent people divulge how software should be made, people showing you their amazing projects, people that should practice delivering a talk in public and the sponsors who paid to be there tell us how good they are, and that they are in fact hiring. I was quite impressed with Resolver-1, a spreadsheet application developed using Iron Python where you can use Python functions, objects and generators to populate cell values. Pyglet was also an impressive talk, showing how people that it can in fact be easy to develop across several platforms. I was also enlightened to the existence of the Dojo Toolkit, and the very exiting Comet technology which I'm hoping to make use of in the future.
Following the formal talks, the conference turns into a programming haven, where anyone with an open source project can solicit programmers to help out on their project. The sprints take place all over the hotel and I can honestly say that quite a bit gets done. It is amazing how fast problems get solved when all the decision makers are in the room with you. Quite often intelligent debate breaks out, but regardless much progress is made.
The entire trip was not just all-work-and-no-play. We did make some ventures out for gastronomic delights: a night of some tasty sushi and a sampling of incredible steak were by far the highlights. We also made a trip into town to the Financial District and took in a great deal of the sights. We even managed to stumble across the Chicago version of the Anti-War protest. You can look at all my Chicago photos here.
All in all, it was a very productive trip, but the conference meant very long days, and it is never very restful to sleep in a foreign bed. I'm very glad to be home.