PyCon 2017: Must-See Talks

Python in Portland

Some members of the Cuttle-Team recently returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon, where they attended PyCon. As the name suggests, PyCon is a developer conference where Python programmers can connect, collaborate on open-source projects, and learn from industry leaders.
For those of you who couldn’t make it to PyCon this year, here’s a hand-picked list of talks from PyCon ’17 that any Pythonista can enjoy. Check out the videos below to sink your fangs into some advanced Python topics (and some fun ones).

If you’d like to view the slides from each of these presentations while following along, visit:

Kelsey Hightower – Keynote

This talk is from Kelsey Hightower, Staff Developer Advocate at Google. The keynote presentation focuses on Kubernetes for Python users, and how to use schedulers to smartly deploy Python apps (which he demonstrates using Tetris, no less!). He also features a (hilarious) demo on using Google Assistant to control a Kubernetes cluster.

Sam Agnew – Hacking Classic Nintendo Games with Python

Ever wanted to inject code into your favorite classic Nintendo games? Okay, maybe you haven’t. Either way, now you can! In this nostalgia-inducing tutorial, Twilio developer Sam Agnew shows the audience how to hack NES games using Python to make them do just about anything.

Yury Selivanov – asyncawait and asyncio in Python 3.6 and beyond

This presentation features Magic Stack developer Yury Selivanov describing the use of asyncio, the popular asynchronous programming module that’s built into Python. In the talk, Selivanov goes over how and when to use asyncio and asyncawait in your Python apps, and which direction the modules are heading in the future.

Raymond Hettinger – Modern Python Dictionaries: A confluence of a dozen great ideas

One of several talks on Python dictionaries at PyCon 2017, Python core developer Raymond Hettinger’s presentation takes a look at how dictionaries have evolved over Python’s major iterations. He then dives into some of the more interesting dictionary features added in Python 3.6.

Lynn Root – Tracing, Fast and Slow Digging into and improving your web service’s performance

Lynn Root is a Spotify engineer and the “OG” PyLady whose PyCon 2017 talk is all about tracing Python apps. In this informative presentation, Root provides a brief introduction to end-to-end tracing and describes a few methods for diagnosing performance issues in your Python apps.

Daniele Procida – How documentation works, and how to make it work for your project

“It doesn’t matter how good your software is…” – that’s not something you hear at most developer conferences. Here, however, Divio developer and Django core team member Daniele Procida is referring to the need for good documentation. Procida goes on to describe the best ways to create documentation so that people will actually use your software.

Michele Pratusevich – Instagram Filters in 15 Lines of Python

Michele Pratusevich is a Computer Vision Researcher at Amazon, and her talk at PyCon 2017 is about how to create unique Instagram filters using Python. Yes, you read that correctly. Using a bit of Python, you can create filters that make your coffee shop photos and cat pictures look just right.

Brandon Rhodes – The Dictionary Even Mightier

A follow up to his PyCon 2010 talk, The Mighty Dictionary, Brandon Rhodes’ talk at PyCon 2017 is about how the Python dictionary structure has changed in Python 3.6. Main points include major improvements to dict, as well as ways to improve your Python code using dictionaries.

Erik Rose – Constructive Code Review

“Your code is bad and you are bad. Have a bad day.” – have you ever had a code review that felt more or less like this? That’s exactly what Mozilla developer Erik Rose addresses in this particular talk. By going over ways to improve collaboration in code reviews, Rose hopes to convince developers to be more excellent to each other.

We hope these insightful and entertaining talks have opened your mind to new ways to use Python, and new ways to challenge your skills. There are certainly other videos from PyCon 2017 worth watching, these just left a strong impression on us. To view the full list of talks, visit the official PyCon 2017 Youtube Channel.
A huge thanks to the Python Software Foundation and everyone involved in organizing PyCon 2017, as well as all of the great guest speakers featured this year. Do you have a favorite talk from PyCon 2017? Leave a suggestion below, or Tweet at us @Cuttlesoft.
See you next time, PyCon, in Cleveland!