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A year in a blink

I find it hard to believe we are over a quarter through 2016. It seems that just yesterday I took the train from Edinburgh to London to start my job as a software engineer (code monkey/random code person: I think calling myself a software engineer is overreaching, but that’s a post for another time). Since then I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with the amazing PyLadies London, attending various meetups in the London tech scene and going to conferences.

PyData Paris 2015

On a whim, I decided to apply to speak at PyData Paris 2015. During my several months in London, I had become interested in the operation of the London underground and, in particular, using Python to study the graph properties of the underground transporation network. Looking back at the experience, I’m very glad I went. Although I seriously considered escaping from the auditorium just before I was due to give my talk, I ended up learning a lot about what works and what does not in effective tech talks ( just as a hint, large slabs of code on slides are usually not very engaging ). A speial thank you goes out to Dr. Stefan Fermigier, who, a few nights before the conference sent out an email with some articles on giving engaging and effective technical talks! Thank you for engaging your speakers and putting on a great PyData conference.

PyData London 2015

Dare I say that my experience in Paris left me yearning for more technology community events. In the months after PyData Paris, I had been expanding my study of the London Underground to incorporate some simulations construced using SimPy, a Python library for discrete event simulations (think about people waiting in line for a coffee at a coffee shop ) and I wanted to present my work to the PyData community. Not only is this one of the largest Python oriented communities in London (the last member count was somewhere between 1000 and 2000), it is also extremely friendly and supportive. Needless, to say I greatly enjoyed my experience at PyData London (though I once again considered running away right before my talk).

PyCon UK 2015 at Coventry

After PyData, it was time to start thinking about attending the largest Python programmer gathering in the UK, PyCon UK organized in Coventry. I rarely get the chance to venture beyong the M25, so a Pythonic trip to Coventry seemed suitable. I applied to mentor at Django Girls and was accepted. Of all my Python community engagements thus far, Django Girls was by far the most rewarding. I highly recommend signing up to be a mentor. You learn a ton from teaching Django to beginners and you also get to experience the joy of mentoring someone in their first ever programming venture! In addition to Django Girls, I spent my day attending various talks: high performance computing with Numba, an absolutely amazing keynote about the Philae lander to name a few.


In 2016, I want to devote more time to three things:

  1. Actively participating in the Python open source community and engaging others to help in CPython core development (just take a look at the bug tracker: there is so much to learn and explore )
  2. Become a better software developer (and maybe even earn the right to call myself a software engineer).
  3. Devote less time for busy work like answering emails and browsing the internet and embrace deep work: producing high quality, resilient and robust, well-designed and elegant code to solve problems.