26 September 2011

PyCon UK 2011 - Great Conference

Now with EuroPython being held outside the UK, the PyCon UK takes on more significance.  Run by the same guys and now relocated to Coventry this year was a triumph.  Something like 200 people attended for the weekend log conference which is pretty impressive.

The venue was excellent.  The most important aspect was all meals were supplied at the venue (and were all very tasty).  This meant that people tended not to drift off and hopefully that helped the mingling.  Some of the rooms were a little small but nobody seemed to forsee how well attended the weekend would be with lots of last minute tickets.

The topic that dominated the entire conference was computing and education.  Specifically the useless nature of ICT courses and the complete lack of the next generation of coders coming through.  The obvious technology on show and being discussed was RaspberryPi.  There was also the BBC CodeLab host attempting to evoke those old feelings of the BBC Model B.  Basically the conclusion comes down to there is no will in government for changing the nature of computing in schools and it will require hackers in number making the changes piece by piece themselves.

The Coding Dojo was a lot of fun using the task of Maze Generation.  We managed to lash enough together five minutes form the end and I think we surprised ourselves by it working.  Also the web development open forum was good, maybe I spoke too much in that....  and I managed to get a demo of Camvine in there.  There was also three thought-provoking and entertaining keynotes.

As always the people there made the conference.  The team who ran it all did a sterling job, even better than their previous EuroPythons.  Team 4 in the Code Dojo did a great bit of work, Matt, Safe, Adrian, and Menno.  I also got to speak to the keynote speaker Allison Randal at the meal, in fact the whole table was entertaining.

So my recommendation, even if you don't use Python much, is to go to PyCon UK next year because I am pretty sure you will learn something or meet some really interesting people.