PyConUK 2012

Well that was fun!

Four days of community-oriented Python. Talks, open spaces, sprints, teachers, Dojos, tubas… PyConUK 2012 had it all.

I won’t retail it all. You can look at the schedule or the videos for yourselves. A few things, though, merit a special mention.

First, the organisers and the venue both managed extremely well. It wasn’t without a few very slight issues, but the venue staff were professional and helpful and the Python West Midlands organisers made sure everything went to plan (adjusting the plan, if necessary!).

Second, the education track. This was a new venture as was fronted by Nicholas Tollervey, himself a former teacher and the prime mover of the London Python Dojo. (Note to self: really must do something about a ldnpydojo website…). We had ICT and other teachers who had a tutorial on the Saturday as an introduction to Python and a sprint on the Sunday with groups of developers to see how to translate technical know-how into practical education. I think most of them also joined the Saturday afternoon Dojo. The most enthusiastic was “Miss P” who also participated in the PyConUK panel.

Then we had Alex Bradbury from the RaspberryPi foundation. He gave a keynote speech on the Saturday and led the very popular RPi sprint on Monday. He’s very enthusiastic about Python and the RPi and education and there was a lot of cross-discussion throughout the conference on those themes.

Finally among many lightning talks — ably compered, as always, by Lightning Talk Man himself — the standout was a performance on two tubas, playing the Sousa march which will be familiar to any Monty Python fan. I’m hoping someone has a picture of the performance which I can link to: the video doesn’t seem to be up yet.

A last shout-out to Tim, the video man, who stood patiently at the back of the main hall throughout the conference, recording every talk and panel, streaming it live and uploading very quickly with your slides synchronised in.