This is a “Yay! It’s PyCon 2019” episode. PyCon is very important to me. But it’s kinda hard to put a finger on why. So I figured I’d ask more people to help explain why it’s important. I ask a few simple questions to people about Python and PyCon and get some great insights into both the language popularity and the special place this conference holds to many people.

Transcript for episode 73 of the Test & Code Podcast

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This is episode 73 of Test and Code. This is kind of a Yay. It’s PyCon episode.

So what happened is the PyCharm sponsored a large booth at Python and about a quarter order of it is dedicated to community creators like me and Michael and a bunch of other people. On Thursday night, during the opening reception, I walked around for about a half an hour, walked around the Pieterm and Community Creators booth and just sort of talked to people about Python.

It’s quite raw. I didn’t edit it at all.

And I just asked a few simple questions about people and got some really great answers. So I think you’ll get kind of a feel for what it’s like to be a Python. So here it is. Let’s have a listen.

Welcome to Test and Code, the podcast about software development, software testing, and Python.



What is your name? Lisbon.


Wonderful. So you’re a Django developer?

Yes, sir.

Okay. And is this your first Python?

It’s my first Python here in USA, but it’s my third one globally. I was on PyCon two times on Columbia.


Is there anything in particular about this Python that you’re excited about?

Everything. Hey, I cannot say something specifically because I love Python. Everything of Python.

Where are you from?


Colombia. Wow. Did you see you traveled from Colombia to here for this one?

Yes, sir.

Oh, that’s awesome. Cool. Well, welcome.

Thank you.

All right, sweet.

Tell me your name.


Okay. And is this your first Python?

It is my first. It’s my first PyCon second ever computer software related conference.

What was the other one you went to?


Oh, that’s very different. I’ve never been to Defcon.

It’s pretty awesome.

This is really cool, too. Okay. Is there anything in particular about this weekend that you’re excited about?

Everything. But I’d like to learn more about machine learning. I’m just sort of getting into that and how I can use it. What it’s about? What packages I can use with it.

Okay. Do you need testing?

No, I don’t.

You should.

Yeah. I’d actually like to learn more about testing, too. Okay.

I’m a noob, so I don’t know a lot.

Okay. Well, I do know of a book called Python Testing with Pythons. I highly recommend it.

Do you recommend it because you wrote it?


All right.

Also, I wrote it because there wasn’t anything else around it to teach people. Yeah.

I love books. I spot a bunch. It’s not a conference if you’re not buying books.



I’m going to walk around, so let’s interrupt. Dan.

Oh, my God.

So, Dan, tell me how’s it going. Bryan, this is Dan Bader. I grabbed. So how many Pycons have you been to?

How many Pycons have I been to?

I think this is my fourth one.

Or fifth one?

I think it’s the fourth 1 second one in Cleveland here.

Wonderful. Cleveland. Okay.

Can you tell me why I assume you like Python.

What’s something you really love about Python?

Well, how can I best describe it? When I got here, like 2 hours ago.

Basically, I was kind of tired and my flight got delayed and I was like, really bummed out in this weird, like, zombie state. And now I’m here and it’s just this crazy, really positive energy.

Everybody just loves talking about Python and tech.

And I bump into all these cool people like yourself and other people from the real Python team. And just Kenneth reached to stop by.

We’re chatting.

It’s just amazing.

I mean, I grabbed my beer and Guido is standing next to me. So what’s not to love about Python?

Yeah, I know. It’s great. Well, okay, as interesting as you are, I’m going to talk to some other people there.

Let’s start with Bob.

Hi, Brian.

Okay, tell me your name.

Bob Baldwell. From Pi By.

Okay, so how many Pythons have you been to so far?

This is my third.

This is your third. Okay. And tell me something about Python that you love.


Where to start? It’s a beautiful, designed, elegant language. Gets the job done. It’s a pleasure to coding.

And how long have you been doing Python for?

Seven years, almost, yes. I started to use it at my job for automation and I grew into a separate development role.


You do the pie bites? Of course not. Talked about.

Awesome. So this will be the first time I’ve had you on the podcast, and we’ll have to give you on again.

I’m going to take the mic away from you. All right. Thanks.

And we have Ricky. Hey. So Ricky White, everybody should know you from your writing on Real Python.

I’m not sure they should know me, but I’m the community manager over at Real Python. I manage all the social media and I’m the guy you contact if and when there’s a problem.

Okay. Is this your first PyCon? It is.

Very first bike on.

Yeah. Okay. Anything you’re looking forward to something?

I’m just looking forward to meeting people who I’ve been interacting with online for such a long time. Like you and even Dan, who I work for. We’ve never met in person.

We have weekly meetings, but we’ve never meeting face to face.

It’s interesting you bring that up. That’s one of the things I love about Python is the people that I interact with online.

I don’t see except for a Python.

Sometimes it’s often just from other countries. We got people from Germany and England and all over the place. Australia, Spain.


I mean, that’s the thing I’m looking forward to the most.

I just want to soak it up and just trying to get my feet wet a little bit. And then I’ll be here next year and hopefully participate a little more.

Nice. Okay, cool. Thanks a lot.

Thank you, Brian.

Now let’s go try to find some more people.

We’re going to actually interrupt the Pi Term team because we’re at the Pie Term booth, the jumper’s booth. And can you tell me what your name is?

My name is Simon.

Okay. And is this your first Python? Yes, it is. Awesome. So you work for Jet Range. What do you do?

I’m mostly working on quoting site for Python.

It’s about inspections type inference and so on about doing some suggestions for users. And also I’m working on packaging over stuff, conduct package management, and so on.


Are you going to get a chance to leave the booth and enjoy the rest of Python at all?

Just a couple of times.


During over conference.

So if anybody wants to talk to you, they should come by the Python booth. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Thanks.

Well, let’s actually grab Paul again, because when I asked him the questions before, I didn’t have the recorder on.

Now you’re on.

All right, great.

Okay, so this is Paul Everett, right?

Hi, I am Paul Everett.

Yeah. So is this your first bike on?

Well, Brian, I know the other one. It isn’t.

Do you know how many you’ve been to?

My first PyCon thingy was 25 years ago.

Wow, you’re old.

My Pikon life is older than probably the median age at this conference.


Actually, interesting.

I don’t know why I got into this, but I’m 39. Is that right now? I’m 49. I was off by ten.

There’s an age where the counting doesn’t really matter anymore.

But somebody emailed us just yesterday and asked us on Python Bytes if they were too old to learn Python at 39, and I said, no, not at all. I know people that they’re in their 60s.

It’s catastrophic to think about, isn’t it?

Yeah. I’m like you’re, young man. It’s only 36. You’re young. Oh, totally agree.

Because part of it is about Python itself.

Very learnable.

But it’s also the community and all the things being done with it. Very learnable.


And so many cool things to scratch your own itches. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

Are you going to be able to get away from the booth this weekend? I will not. Okay.

No, I’ll get around there.

So even with working with a booth, other than the people you interact with here, is there something about Python that you enjoy that you don’t get other places?

I’ve already seen ten dear friends, some that I’ve known for two decades that I haven’t seen in a while. And it’s wonderful because it’s like we’re in a tribe, we’re in a family that we don’t get to see all the time, and we care about each other.

Yeah. Like people you’d only see once a year and then not everybody makes it every year. Indeed, you don’t see those.

And it’s a place where people value you.


And they smile when they see you.

Yeah. Okay. Well, that’s enough, Paul. We’re going to go talk to some other people and I’m tripping over my own cables, so that’s alright. I’m going to go just grab random people.

Let’s see where we got.

These people are just sitting at a table and they’re close to me. So I’m going to interrupt and do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

Go ahead.

Can you tell me your name?

Hello, I’m Peter.

Peter. Is this your first PyCon?

No, I think it’s my third PyCon. US.

Okay, awesome.

I’d like to know if there’s anything in particular this weekend that you’re looking forward to.

Well, I’ll probably go to some of the talks. I’ll probably have a lot of fun at the sprints.

Okay. Are you going to do the sprints?


Have you done sprints before?

Yes, I have. Last year, for example.

So tell me what sprints are.

The sprints are where people get together and hack on stuff.

But don’t we do that online anyway? Why do we have to do it in person?

There’s a lot of interesting people around who can help and have discussions with.

Okay, so it’s like open source, but in person. In person. Yeah.


Thanks a lot.

Cool. Anybody else want to talk?

What is it about?

I’m doing a Test and Code episode and I thought it was based on PyCon and we’re going to just talking to people about their experience.

Yeah. Okay.

They’re arguing.

I’m going to go with you because he’s got a nice striped shirt on also. What is your name? Stanley.

That doesn’t look like that Slavic one, but I need all the American people to understand it. Stanley is better. Okay. Is this your first Micron? No, it’s third or fourth? A little bit closer for dwelling. Third one. Okay.

Can you tell me something about Python that you like that you don’t get from other languages?

Well, it’s super simple.

Okay. So it’s not the answer.



Why do you come back to Pycons? Is there something you get a Python that you can’t get other places.

Do you guys live in the same place or do you only see each other when you come here? We only live in the same place. Okay. So you guys could go get beers anytime you wanted to.


All right.

Well, I’m going to go out and talk to other people. Thanks a lot, guys.

All right.

I won’t interrupt Julian right now because he’s on the phone.

Let’s grab somebody else.

I’m going to go up and see if I can find Matt. He’s talking to somebody.

And Michael, are you on the podcast? Yes. A little bit closer.

Test and code?

Yes. Test and code.

Python bytes.

No, this is test code. Testing code. Yeah. So it’s going to go out tonight maybe. Okay. I got to edit it tonight. All right, we’ll see. So tell me what your name is.

I’m Tyler Bigler.

Hi, Tyler. Hi.

How long have you been coming to PyCon? Is this your first one?

My third year.

Third year. Yeah. Okay.

I was a guy on the first year I gave you a hard time about the quality of your microphone on Python Bites and then realized I was the one in the error, and I came back and apologized the following year.


It was close. I was just about ready to take the mic away from you.

Is there something that you’re excited about for Python?

Anything in particular?

Being around other people that are super nerdy about Python like I am?

Because I don’t work day to day with people that are really into Python? Like I am. So coming here and here, people get excited about their projects is like, that’s how I feel, and it’s awesome to share that.

That is true. There’s a lot of places where people work where there’s other developers, but they’re not excited about it.



Or they’re just not even in developers. I’m not even really a developer, but I use Python, so maybe I qualify.

Of course you’re here, man. You paid the bill, so thanks a lot.

No, here. We have no do that on there.

Brian’s book pytest is awesome.

Sorry. The book on Pi test is awesome.

Yeah, you got the name wrong, but thanks, Tyler.

Okay, can you tell me your name?

My name is Matt Harrison.

Okay. Is this your first PyCon?

No, I think it’s my 14th Picon.



Is there something you’re excited about at PyCon this weekend?

I am excited that Michael Kennedy and I released our Effective Pie Charm book.

That’s right.

It just came out today.

I have a copy hidden in my backpack. I’m going to have to get you guys to sign it later.


Yeah, we can do that. What are you excited about?

There’s so much this booth and with everybody. It’s pretty nice. We have green stuff going on lights, and it’s nicer than our one last year.


I’m going to sell some books because actually I only brought enough room to take Swag back home if I sell all my books.


So pressure is on.

Yeah. So did you bring some of your other books, too, or you just have the Effective Pie Charm here?

We have a bundle of Effective Pie PyCharm books, and I have a couple of other books here as well. So those are few and far between.

If someone is around the conference, they can probably sneak up and grab one from me.

We really love Illustrated Python Three or Illustrated Guide to Python Three awesome at our office.

No, I appreciate that.

And I can’t wait to learn more about Pytorm. Yeah.

No, it’s an awesome tool.

I think it’s the most powerful tool for editing Python out there, so it can make your code a lot better. Also, I’m just amazed at how much the conference has changed. Like I said, when I was here 14 years ago, the hall didn’t look like this.

Yeah, it looks amazing.

There are a bunch of big companies that are using Python that we didn’t see a long time ago, so that’s awesome. It’s good to see how it’s changed.

Okay, enough time, Matt. Bye.

Say goodbye.

I’m being rude to people, but. Oh, my God, I didn’t know you were going to be here. I thought you were banging out this year.

So tell me again what your name is.

I’m Demetrico.

Okay. And you work with JetBrains?

I work for Pyramid, product manager for Pyram.


Are you doing the live session or what?

Yeah, we’re recording. We’re recording for Test And Code right now. It’s going to go out tonight, so I’m going to edit it.

Yeah, that’s pretty good. So what brings you back to Python every year?

I just love the conference at this conference is amazing.

Yeah, it really is fun.

The crowd is fine.

Now I see a new face, so I’m going to ask her also.

Hello. So what’s your name?

My name is Maria Halasua. I’m a developer advocate at JetBrains.


Developer advocate.


That’s cool. So you get paid to go to conferences?

Yeah. To travel, to talk to people, to talk to you probably.


Is it just for about PyCharm or also about JetBrains in general?

It’s more everything we have to do with data science and machine learning in Judge brains. So partially it relates to By Charm. We also have some things that we’re currently working on which we haven’t released yet, so I can’t really talk about that. But there’s a lot of interesting things going on in the space of machine learning. And Joe Branson, of course, interested in.

Yeah, it’s actually really exciting. I’m excited what you guys are doing with Anaconda and stuff or not.

That’s one of those things.


So is this your first PyCon?

It is. I’ve never been to PyCon.

I have been to many other conferences and primarily to Java fans.

Oh, no.

But I switched to Python a few years back and yeah, this is my first Python.


I don’t know what to expect.

Twitter seems to be very excited and a lot of people are sharing their excitement about the conference and we’ll see.

Yeah, it’s a good conference. So thanks for talking to me.

I see somebody else.

He’s in the middle of a conversation, but actually there’s two people I want to talk to.



Hi, Brian.

So tell me, what’s your name?

My name is Will Vincent.


And we’re meeting in person for the first time. It’s kind of cool. Yeah.

I write about Django and are the guests on your podcast, which hasn’t come out yet.

It hasn’t come out yet.

There’s kind of a backlog of editing. Anyway, moving on.

You say this is your first Python?

Yes, my first PyCon. So it’s a lot to take in.

Yeah, there is. But is there anything in what brought you here this year?

Well, I wanted to give a talk, and that was rejected. And then I still wanted to come, so here I am. So I wanted to see Django can feel like a big world and also a small world, and it’s good to get a perspective on like, Python is way bigger than web development.

Yes, it is.

And I’m meeting a lot of people I’ve sort of met online. I mean, Django Con, I think, is several hundred people. This is several thousand. So, yeah, I have no obligations on just meeting lots of people over the place who I’ve met online. And now I get to meet in person.

Nice. Let’s pass it around.

Tell me what your name is.

My name is Kevin Markham.


And you’re kind of famous.

In a small circle of folks.

Yeah. Okay. So you do day to school?

I do data school, yes.


And do you remember how many Pycons you’ve been to so far?

This is my fourth Python. I was at 2015 and 16 and 18.




Anything in particular this weekend that you’re looking forward to?

I just did my Pandas tutorial, and that was a lot of fun. And I’m really looking forward to just, like, meeting lots of other folks interested in data science and talking ScikitLearn and Pandas and sharing the knowledge. So that’s why I’m here and just love the Python community in general. It’s just really nice people.

Yeah. Like, for instance, I see people here that I haven’t seen since last year or that are from other countries.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s like fun to see people that you only know through Twitter and other social platforms.

Yeah. Speaking of knowing people through Twitter, I’m going to pass this off. Thanks for talking to me.

You’re welcome.


Hi, Brian. Hey. Hi.

I’m Jason Waddier.


Serial Python conference attendee and a serial consumer of different learning resources. I sampled them and then I don’t finish them.

So is there anything particular about this weekend that you’re looking forward to?

I think what’s great about this being a second Python and maybe my fourth or fifth conference is you have the mix of not being a complete fish out of water that you build upon relationships that were formed in earlier conferences, which makes deepening those relationships meaningful but also meeting new people easier. So what I would say to people who haven’t gone to the conference is your first or second one. It’s always going to be the most awkward if you get that out of the way and you put yourself out there a little bit. It does build into a meaningful human experience. I know that sounds very like.

No, it’s good.

Psychiatrist. Therapist.

Yeah. One of the things I like is really I know there are extroverts that are here, but it is very not uncommon to have people that in most of their life they think of themselves as introverts and they’re just meeting a bunch of other nerds. This weekend.

I think it’s important to say that because you’re not alone. If it’s most people come here without knowing a huge context of others. It can seem like that because those people are visible and Gal. But at some point, those people were also fish out of water.


Not all of us are walking around with microphones and shoving them in people’s faces like me. I’m going to find others.

I think I already talked to you, didn’t I? I did not. This is a very important person calling me a lot. I think so, yeah.

So tell me your name.

I am Ernest.

Like, just as one of your personality traits or.

Well, you’re part of Jet brains.


I’m a part of marketing manager for Pie PyCharm.

Okay. Other than getting the Pie chart name out here, is there anything in particular this weekend that you’re looking forward to?

I’m just really looking forward to talking to a lot of people, seeing what people want to see in our product.

What people care about.

What people really want to do.


Yeah, I’ve loved it. I converted most of our people at work to it, so it’s good.

I’m glad that you help us out here.

All right. Let’s go talk to some more people. Thanks, Ernest.

Thank you for joining us.

All right. Almost done.

Okay. All right. I just said your name, but tell me your name anyway. Stewart Williams. Okay. And is this your first bike on? Not quite. It’s my 12th bike on. Okay.

Yeah. So Paul seemed to think that you’re part of the PyCon history or something.

I think it was the first Python in Chicago that I started helping with the tutorials and then got tapped to actually run the tutorials for about four years. I was the one that organized the tutorials and sent out the RFP and helped organize a team that reviewed them and set in some of the new things that we do with tutorials that still exist in the day. So it was really satisfying. Nice. And so the tutorials go on. They’re done now, right? They go the first two days. Okay. Morning and afternoon. And have they always been part of Python or is that something that started they’ve been a part of PyCon for at least twelve years, which as long as I’ve been going. Okay. Are you involved with PyCon now or. I’m not. I teach tutorials. Okay. Just on my own, but I don’t help organize them anymore. All right. And then teach tutorials on your own.

I see. Python immersion. Is this a site company or something you got? I do. Python Immersion is a tutorial that I’ve done quite a few years at Python and it’s on YouTube and has 60,000 views or something like that, which is getting people who are new to the language but usually come from another program in the background to in 3 hours, see about 1401 liners in Python and give them a sense of here’s what the language can do. Nice. And as part of that I also sort of focus a lot on names versus variables and namespaces, which is one of the things that trips a lot of people up. Yeah, it does. Especially coming from other languages. That’s right. Yeah. So anything in particular this weekend that you’re looking forward to seeing lots of people I know meeting lots of people I don’t know having random conversations with people about what they’re doing with Python and learning things I didn’t know I was going to learn. Okay. Getting interviewed on a podcast you didn’t know that was going to happen? I did not know that was going to happen. Okay. Well, thanks for talking with me, Stuart. Sure good to meet you.

And I think that I’m out of time so I’m going to wrap this up now. Thank you for listening to this. I hope we can get this out tonight and I’m looking forward to so I’m Brian Hawkin this is my third Python and I’m really looking forward to trying to get some cool swag I’m kind of running low on T shirts so I’m looking forward to getting some T shirts from a lot of different places and I’m walking around looking silly because I’m interviewing myself so I’m going to stop doing that and actually let’s grab one more person. No, not one more person. Okay.

We’re going to wrap this up. Thanks for listening and check us out at