So there was PyCon. And there was me.
Now there are two ways in which I can tell you how it was. I can use some really big words and give you a dry report of events. But that’s boring, and there’s enough boring stuff out there.
“Speak English!” said the Eaglet. “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and I don’t believe you do either!”
So here’s a recollection of whatever I can remember, without using many big words.
It started on March 12, at least the interesting part did.
I was welcomed into SJC with a PyLadies banner and a smiling Lynn Root. I also met Hynek, and we drove to the hotel and I guess that’s about it for the first day.
The next day, i.e. March 13, I went to the Convention Centre, met Yarko, who printed my badge. I met Steve Holden - no wait, didn’t really meet, I jumped into his way and talked to him - I wonder how weird it looked. I did some volunteering - moved boxes, helped out at the registration desk - was fun. I then trotted around the venue with Stuart, this time pretending to do some volunteering. Met Doug - he’s nice, and gave me more work. I saw Guido at the Language Summit, and he was getting coffee alone, but looked somewhat tired, so I decided to leave him alone. I wasn’t equally kind to Glyph though, and chatted a lot, everything from the history of Twisted to, well… DuckDuckGo.
I also wasn’t that kind to Asheesh, and badgered him loads. He called me weird because Twisted didn’t scare me. Jessica, who’s super-humanly awesome, by the way, if you didn’t already know, gathered lots of folks from Boston and OpenHatch, and we all hung out and ate food. Good food, actually, in case you were wondering. I also got to know the secret to how paulproteus is omnipresent on IRC (he’s everywhere you look!).
Later that night, I met nedbat and a few CPython core devs who told me stories about old Twisted days and some insider-info on Glyph, his name and identity and stuff. Not going to write about that though - if you want to know, get your own tickets to PyCon. We also discussed some cool MIT Media labs stuff, and I met Steve again, and he seemed to remember my name (I guess that means I must have weirded him out significantly earlier).
Moving on to the 14th of March. The day started with me meeting Itamar, who had a tutorial later that day. Then had lunch with some Twisted people, and then there was that tutorial. I met Jean-Paul for the first time, and learnt that I had caused him so much anguish during the summer that he decided to get a new job this summer. I apologised profusely, but I think the damage is done. Oh, and I threw my laptop on the floor, because you know, no one wants to not look like a fool in a room full of people.
Then I went back to my room, after revealing a nervous-wrecked self to Glyph and Ying. I woke up next day and went to attend the Keynote. Now, I was quite sleepy and tired and lost and fretting a bit over my talk, so I wasn’t expecting to find a 30 minute lecture too interesting. To my immense surprise, I actually enjoyed it. I met Michelle and a few other PyLadies, and we all got a Raspberry Pi each, and then I vanished until my talk.
I saw that there were actual people present in my talk, which was quite surprising. Oh wait, there were some really helpful people in the Green Room, a special mention must go to David, who was great at calming nerves - he asked me to take two bottles of water to the talk - and I did. Anyway, it seemed to have gone by okay - I did throw the mic on the floor in the middle of my talk (I guess I throw things around a lot) and then there were some issues with the computer, but anyway, I kept talking, it’s hard to shut me up. People were nice, they laughed at my jokes and Glyph let me call him a liar. After the talk, I saw that the Twisted core team was holding some signs up, which spelt “Go Ashfall/Ashwini”, and that’s nice enough to make you cry. I didn’t cry though, because everything was being recorded.
Later that day, I ate some more good food with the Twisted people, and heard more stories.
The next day, the 16th of March, I got to the Keynote. And then there was Glyph’s talk. He mentioned my name and referred to some stuff I’d said in my talk (and did not, unlike me, call me a liar - I guess he’s nice), and everyone is saying that this makes me a celebrity. I don’t think it works that way, but if you believe so and want an autograph or something, feel free to drop me a mail.
Then there was the PyLadies lunch, where I met more awesome people, and had some more good food. I attended Lynn’s talk next, and then went to dinner with Guido. Yes, the Guido who wrote Python. My friends insist that I must describe this part well, so here it is: we drove in his car to a steakhouse, and I sat to his left. Ate food. Drank lemonade. Heard some interesting stories. Yes, PyCon exposes you to loads of stories, it is cool that way. Then Guido dropped me back to the Convention Center where everyone got together and talked about goats, which was very informative.
Oh, also, Disney gave away Wreck-it Ralph action figures to all the speakers (and hence, me), and Paul Hildebrandt is one of the nicest and kindest people I have talked to. Just saying. Also, Armin Rigo is awesome - he’s perhaps the only incredibly intelligent person involved with programming I’ve met who seemed genuinely happy about life (and not grumpy at all).
The next day, which was also my last day at PyCon, I attended Guido’s Keynote, and then everyone agreed that I wasn’t lying when I said that I had become cynical about software. We had the annual Twisted dinner and I had an interesting conversation with Zooko, who accepted (and even adopted) my mispronunciation of IRC nicks without hesitation or revolt. I sat with Bradley and learnt a lot, with interesting insights from Duncan - about Usenet, about embarrassing email conversations, and about proprietary software pains, I should probably write more about that sometime.
And then there was the Twisted sprint, which I couldn’t attend for long, but everyone signed the Twisted book for me (also, Jessica mentioned me in the credits of that book - again, people tell me it makes me a celebrity of sorts).
Well, that’s that. I met most of the Twisted team, and they were all incredibly nice. But before I finish, I would like to thank the Python Software Foundation, PyLadies, and everyone involved with PyCon, for making it possible for me to attend, and I hope I see you all again next year!
So then, how was PyCon 2013? Welcoming? Engaging? Awesome? I guess you should decide for yourself.