Last February 24-25, 2018, PyConPH2018 was held at iAcademy, Makati, Manila. It was an event were Python developers and enthusiasts all over Philippines gathered to share and learn.
1. Listening to speakers who really know and love what they are doing is very inspiring
2. Python is for everyone!
As what Al Sweigart said that it is never too late to learn how to code, PyConPH prepared talks and sessions for beginners and people who want to learn more about Python.
A guy in a lab coat came up to the stage and introduced himself as “Mr. Valdez”. He taught introduction to Python in a way that even people who know Python really well will listen to him! He did it in a fun and very clear way. I think even a 5 year old will learn Python if he is the teacher!
Aside from the talks in the auditorium, there are “breakout sessions” as well that allowed participants to select a small group workshop or discussion. I joined Women Who Code’s “Hello World of Data” because first, I am really curious about the three-hour-workshop and second, I joined Women Who Code’s hackathon before and it was so much fun. The workshop was very informative and I didn’t even realize that it was already 3 hours! They taught the attendees about Jupyter Notebook, pandas library and how to make graph using Python.
On the second day, participants had the opportunity to talk about any topic within 5 minutes. Hacarus CTO, Takashi Someda did a brief talk about Sparse-modeling. Other participants showcased their Python applications and projects. And also, everyone got curious when 9-year-old kid went up the stage and flashed a Minecraft game on the screen. He introduced himself and demonstrated how to add things in the Minecraft world using Python. He even created a wall of TNTs programmatically!
3. Python is everywhere
Uh oh! Don’t worry, I am referring to the Python Programming Language!
One of Hacarus’ developers, Nino Eclarin, talked about the problems in Healthcare and how and why we can use Python to develop solutions.
Other talks were about how to use Python in blockchain, AI, deep learning, creating music, creating video and even deep learned tweets from famous people to create a model! Unfortunately, some of these talks were done simultaneously with other breakout sessions so I was not able to attend. But really, Python is indeed everywhere!
4. Meeting people here is as easy as printing “Hello world”!
I just realized that one of the goals of PyconPH is to allow participants to meet new people. During lunch, there are banners with topics on them like “Building Tech Communities”, “Social Media and Web”, “DevOps”, and even “Board games” and “Universe and Galaxies”. Participants can go around and sit on their groups and talk. Another cool interaction event was the exchanging of bookmarks. The Pycon loot bag contained stickers and two bookmarks of the same design. To get a different design, you must ask other people to trade bookmarks. Awesome idea, right? Also, classroom breakouts help you meet other people as well since it is a classroom setup. So asking questions and talking to your seatmate and speakers is easier.
5. Being part of a community who shares the same passion will help you grow.
The last part of the event was a panel discussion consisting of some of the conference speakers. You can ask them questions using the microphone in the aisle or by tweeting your questions. They gave tips to beginners, discussed how women is not very visible in the community, their experiences in PyCon and others. It was a very friendly discussion and you will realize that truly, one way to be like them is to meet people who share the same passion and goal.
So, given these 5 things I learned after attending my first PyconPH, see you next year?