Blog » Conference: PyWaw Summit 2015

Conference: PyWaw Summit 2015

I just came back from PyWaw Summit, a two-day Python conference here in Warsaw. Here are some interesting take-aways I had:

  • A great talk about "diving into the rabbit hole": a tendency of programmers to go digging themselves into deeper and deeper trouble trying to solve a problem. Sort of a dark version of the flow state - time flies really fast, you become fixated on the issue, have a feeling that you're always "almost there", neglect human contact… What you can do is get better at recognizing these situations, step back, have a rest, and talk with someone else.
  • An interesting point about unit tests. Programmers learn relatively early not to change the code from n = 1 to n = 2, they change the code from n = 1 to any n, i.e. generalize properly. Notice that the first opportunity to do so is right when you're writing tests for your code and learn that you have to isolate some part. Instead of hacky solutions like mock.patch, take the opportunity to refactor your function!
  • IPFS - ambitious project for universal peer-to-peer content-addressed storage, sort of like Git, Bitcoin, or BitTorrent. I wonder what will come out of it.
  • PostgreSQL has SELECT to_json(...), I guess it can come in handy when you want to write something quick and dirty and get the data to your application.
  • A horror story: you know how you can have Python stored procedures in Postgres? Some people were using them to import Jinja2 and render templates. On the database server.
  • Also about Python stored procedures - you can actually keep them in a versioned Python file, and just call functions from that file in your database procedures. This way, your procedures can be under version control, and you can actually unit-test them (by providing mock data to function instead of running through database).
  • Case in point for microservices: they make onboarding new programmers easier, since a new programmer doesn't have to understand the whole system immediately - they can read a single program and be ready to hack on it from day one.
  • Inspiring keynote about "sharpening your tools": bad tools can slow you down, it's important to spent some time automating your work, and pair programming is actually pretty useful for that - you see the other person doing something crazy fast with their computer, and get new ideas on how to improve your own setup. Examples: shell history and tab completion, editor auto-indent, incremental search (search as you type), editor auto-linting (jshint, pyflakes), aliases and scripts for common commands, storing your dot-files in version control.
  • testmon: a neat project that monitors code changes and re-runs only the relevant test (by checking code coverage). I'm looking forward to trying it out.
  • Ola Sitarska told us the story of Django Girls, Django beginner tutorials for women. Pretty awesome how big the initiative is getting - just look at how many cities the events are being held in.

That's all for now - until next time!