We survived! A London Python Dojo without @ntoll

[Note to self: blog about things other than the London Dojo…]

Nicholas “@ntoll” Tollervey has been the London Python Dojo’s parent for all its young life. Once it achieved toddler status, he felt confident enough to start letting other people look after his baby, so over the past few Dojos various other people have run things on the day, always with @ntoll in attendance. Yesterday was the first day on which he felt confident enough not to be there, leaving things in the hands of @tomviner (who could be seen consulting a trusty checklist throughout the evening).

As I re-read, I realise that it looks as though I’m accusing @ntoll of being over-possessive, which I most definitely am not. He’s done — and continues to do — a fantastic job at organising the Dojo and making it happen even when he’s not the evening’s MC. We’re just delighted, as Tom said last night, that he doesn’t feel that he needs to attend it every first Thursday for the rest of his life. (A little secret: the day before this month’s Dojo he was still sending mother-like emails to the rest of the organisers: don’t forget to … remember that … have you …?)

Last night’s Dojo was fun as usual: we were doing the famous Game of Life — probably a text book example of a text book example! Uniquely in my experience, every team had a working version to show after just an hour and a half. The team I was in managed to get something working while @john_chandler and I were still chatting in the background. We fiddled about with it a bit, adding a few preset forms to seed the board etc.

An unexpected visitor was @JohnPinner (of PyConUK fame). He was in London for a meeting and timed things so he could come along for the start of the Dojo, altho’ he had to dash after about an hour to catch his train home. He gave a lightning talk at the beginning outlining various Python-related conferences and training sessions which in the offing. Including this year’s PyConUK, once again in Coventry.

@tomviner’s novelty for this Dojo was the favourite-module question on the sign-up form, which was also used as part of the introduction session. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kenneth Reitz’s requests module was the clear winner (the only one with more than one vote!). Other unsurprising entries included itertools and collections, but there was a variety of others. I was chatting with John Pinner about the line-up for PyConUK this year, and he pointed out that there’s some mileage for simple talks about a particular module, eg logging or itertools. I’m thinking of proposing such a thing for future Dojos…

There’s also been talk on the python-uk mailing list of a second London-based Dojo, or other Python event, on a Sunday. That might suit some people who can’t make a weekday evening in London but who could manage a weekend. And the more Python events in London the better!