In the scenic backdrop of Florence, the attendees of PyCon Italia 2023 were treated to an enlightening keynote by Emily Morehouse, distinguished Python Core Developer and thought leader in software engineering. Emily's keynote, titled "Stay Curious: Reflections on Passion, Risk-Taking, and Re-Invention," wasn't a typical keynote for such an event; it was an invitation to introspect, innovate, and inspire.
The Power of the Python Community
Emily's address at PyCon Italia marked her second international keynote, and first since the COVID-19 Pandemic, a milestone that resonates with her commitment and passion towards the Python community. Her profound gratitude towards the organizers and the vibrant ambiance of Florence set the stage for a discourse that was as personal as it was professional.
A vital aspect of Emily's talk was her involvement in the Python community. From steering Python’s future to her experiences as the Chair to PyCon US during the pandemic's peak, she illustrated the resilience and adaptability required in tech leadership.
Emily's talk was a testament to the continued integration of diverse life roles – a software engineer, a Python Core Developer, a steering council member, and a dedicated mother. Her journey underscores the essence of multidisciplinary learning and the power of embracing varied life experiences to fuel professional excellence.
Her keynote took a personal turn as she shared her experience of becoming a mother. Parenthood, she described, brought a new perspective, shifting her focus from professional achievements to finding joy and balance. This life-changing event forced her to reassess her priorities, leading to a more sustainable approach to work and life.
The Hum of Life and its Transformations
She discussed what she calls the concept of 'the hum' – the underlying drive that propels us to strive for greatness. However, she also candidly addresses the eventual fading of passion and the necessity to reignite it through continuous learning, risk-taking, and reinventing oneself. This reflection is not just about professional growth but also about personal evolution and finding a balance that resonates with one's values and aspirations.
From Overachievement to Balanced Living
One of the most striking parts of Emily's address is her honest confrontation with overachievement and its pitfalls. The transition from saying 'yes' to everything to choosing what truly matters is a journey of self-discovery and prioritization. Emily's experience as a new mother brought a paradigm shift in her life, compelling her to reevaluate her choices and focus on what genuinely brings joy and fulfillment, both in her career and personal life.
Nurturing Curiosity and Embracing Change
Emily emphasized the need to nurture one’s own curiosity and to continually exercise the innate desire to explore and learn. She encourages professionals to rediscover this childlike curiosity, to step out of their comfort zones, and to be open to new experiences and learning opportunities. It's about choosing a path that aligns with one's inner calling and being adaptable to the inevitable changes life brings.
Emily's keynote at PyCon Italia 2023 was rich with insights, experiences, and heartfelt advice. It served as a reminder that staying curious, embracing risks, and continually reinventing oneself are not just principles for professional growth but also for leading a balanced and fulfilling life. As we navigate the complexities of our careers and personal journeys, let's take a page out of Emily's book and strive to find that perfect harmony between passion and purpose.