Explaining Python at DevDays Boston

Saturday 29 August 2009

I will be speaking about Python at DevDays Boston, a stackoverflow event.

Stackoverflow is a Microsoft-heavy community, so Joel Spolsky wanted someone to introduce them to Python. His idea was to do a talk explaining Peter Norvig’s Python spelling corrector. It’s an interesting approach: rather than start with the basics of the language, dive into a meaty piece of code, and explain as you go.

I like it, but the spelling corrector isn’t the best showcase for what makes Python special. It makes good use of data structures and comprehensions to concisely complete an interesting task, but it doesn’t show much more of the language.

I wanted to include another piece of code, perhaps even instead of the spelling corrector. A recent piece of code that pleased me was templite.py, a bare-bones templating class along the lines of James Tauber’s Python Templates exposition. Templite adds loops into the mix, which is too much complexity, but going through some version of James’ evolution I think would be a good way to show off duck typing, classes, and the power of special methods.

But I’m sure there are other ideas out there. If you had an hour to explain Pythonic awesomeness to skilled developers, how would you do it?


Jonathan Ellis 12:46 PM on 29 Aug 2009

Did you volunteer, or did the Stack Overflow guys know you from somewhere?

Ned Batchelder 12:49 PM on 29 Aug 2009

Jeff Atwood asked if I'd be interested. We've corresponded over the years, and I've been participating at Stackoverflow.com.

Nate 2:40 PM on 29 Aug 2009

Hey, cool. I'm talking to the guys at work about going to this. There's not much information on the site, though... are there more details somewhere? The length of the talks and general content isn't mentioned anywhere.

Ned Batchelder 3:46 PM on 29 Aug 2009

@Nate, I don't have any more information. My impression is that the talks are an hour or so, but I don't know the format for the rest of the day.

mikey 10:41 AM on 31 Aug 2009

Looking forward to seeing you and your presentation Ned!

Add a comment:

Ignore this:
Leave this empty:
Name is required. Either email or web are required. Email won't be displayed and I won't spam you. Your web site won't be indexed by search engines.
Don't put anything here:
Leave this empty:
URLs auto-link and some tags are allowed: <a><b><i><p><br><pre>.