I had a wonderful time at EuroPython, last week, in Dublin.
The most important aspect of the conference, for me personally, involved giving my talk entitled "Music and Code". It was an opportunity for me to reveal and explore how I feel about programming, teaching and learning and the place of tech in our wider culture. I've wanted to give a talk like this for over ten years, but only recently have I figured out how to express what I wanted to say through music as a metaphor.
Another important aspect of the conference was friendship and it was a huge pleasure to be a small part of the organising team.
I especially want to highlight collaborating with Vicky (a remarkable friend who embodies so many of the wonderful aspects of our Python community: a pro-active "can do" attitude, an inclusive and compassionate outlook towards others, and a formidable determination to thoughtfully do "the right thing" for the benefit of the whole community). The two of us flapped and faffed to fulfil a Maker space within EuroPython. Given the amount of positive engagement from attendees, I hope this becomes a regular feature of the conference. A case in point being the DIY robots competing to solve a maze in the fastest time, organised by the energetic and enthusiastic folks at the Northern Ireland Jam:
I also want to mention Raquel, who chaired this year's EuroPython. Her clear leadership, from the front, her apparently infinite energy, displayed through her considerable efforts, and her humane connection with folks, embodied by her patience, friendliness and compassion are generous gifts she has shared with us all. I sincerely hope she's taking some post-conference time off, and I want to thank her for reaching out to me, all those months ago, to become a part of organising EuroPython. And I have to say all my fellow organisers were an absolute joy to work with. Their collective courtesy, hard work, enthusiasm and friendliness is a very rare and special thing that I hope we can sustain, nourish and cultivate.
One other group of friends deserves a mention - my fellow maintainers of the Mu code editor. It was a huge amount of fun for us to be together in the same place for the first time ever. I was especially delighted to meet Vasco, face to face, for the first time.
The final part of EuroPython were two days of "code sprints", where open-source collaborators work together on their projects, meet to discuss technical and other aspects of our collective work, and welcome new collaborators and friends to our efforts. We, the maintainers of Mu, had a wonderful time focusing on Mu related things, and collaborating with new contributors who have made welcome enhancements to Mu.
Here's a picture of all the Mu maintainers at EuroPython:
Of course, I heard many wonderful talks, enjoyed the conversations with many friends old and new in the famous corridor track and took part in some really stimulating workshops (with my amazing daughter, who was attending her first PyCon as a proper attendee with an interest in data science - she especially enjoyed both Django Girls and Humble Data).
I love EuroPython's culturally cosmopolitan feeling, something that's hard to recreate at a national PyCon. I love how folks keep coming back to EuroPython, there are people who mean a lot to me, who I only ever see at this conference. I also love EuroPython's peripatetic nature, as a community we are welcomed to all sorts of fun places and have an opportunity to soak up the vibe of different countries and cultures.
Long may it last, and I hope to see you at next year's EuroPython.