Two weeks after PyConZA19 I am still excited about the intense collection of new concepts, features, tools and tricks that blew my mind over the jam-packed two days. I’m also still excited about all the contacts that I’ve made in the community.

The Python community is beautifully odd, with all the stereotypical quirks of a passionate dev community, but I’ve realised that it has a distinct flavour that is found less in other development environments: I’ve never been to a Javascript or PHP conference, or an Adobe or Microsoft event, where they have a bunch of very clever people (some of them very clever looking with long beards and wild eyes) all huddled around electronic components, chatting wildly about the crazy things they’re building in House4hack. All the while, two little robots are whizzing around while tracking a black line on a white floor, looping and sticking to their track as they endlessly loop in circles.

Redis were there handing out great swag, and telling everyone that they’re more than a caching DB (which is what they’ve become known as, because their caching is so good) but a fully-fledged database solution in their own right. We’ll be meeting with them shortly to see how we can extend our use of Redis where it makes sense in our solutions offerings.

From the mass of things I learnt in those two days, my main take-aways were:

I got to hop on stage for a 5-minute lightning talk on learning Python for non-devs. It was a last minute thing, which I’d encourage anyone with something to say, to try – because it’s a first step and very rewarding. The crowd was very engaging and accommodating too!

[shameless plug] I spoke a bit about our weekly learn-to-code Meetup called CodeWarsAcademy. [/shameless plug]

Conferences like these are great for a number of reasons:

  1. You get to catch up on the industry standards, methodologies and tools that you _should_ know about but might miss because you’re too busy meeting deadlines that you often don’t have time to stop, assess and improve.
  2. You get to meet like-minded people, forge new friendships because of common interests, and get to let your guard down because you’re at a social gathering where the majority of people know what the difference between pip and a PEP is.
  3. For a short time, you get to polish up your imagination, get in touch with why you got into tech in the first place, and start to be invigorated with the thought that anything is possible, progress is great, and the world isn’t such a bad place.

This event wasn’t just great – it re-connected me. To others in the community, to crazy ideas, to the possibility of possibility! 

written by: Billy Einkamerer, Assemble.co.za