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Around the World in 10 Python Conferences

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Larry Hastings had a busy 2012. Throughout the year he made his way to five continents, attending 10 Python conferences. The 3.4 release manager and host of Radio Free Python was on stage for four of them, and sprinted at each of them. Most of all, he had a blast and got to meet wonderful Python people all around the globe.

Larry got his introduction to Python around 1996, and his time as a core CPython contributor started within the last few years. However, he did have a contribution accepted into Python 1.5.1b2, but it was backed out before the final release and was revived again for 3.1, almost 11 years later!

The first PyCon Larry attended was in 2008, the first of two events in Chicago. He followed that up with each US-based PyCon since then, making the trips to Atlanta and Santa Clara, before adding EuroPython to the mix in 2011. “After that it sort of snowballed,” he said of what became of 2012.

Here’s where he ended up:

  1. Santa Clara, California, USA for PyCon US
  2. Florence, Italy for EuroPython
  3. Tokyo, Japan for PyCon JP
  4. Coventry, England for PyCon UK
  5. Cape Town, South Africa for PyCon ZA
  6. Dublin, Ireland for PyCon Ireland
  7. Conway, Arkansas, USA for pyArkansas
  8. Montevideo, Uruguay for PyCon UY
  9. Buenos Aires, Argentina for PyCon Argentina
  10. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil for PythonBrasil

Kicking off the 2012 season in the US with his “Stepping Through CPython” talk set the tone for several later conferences, where he was asked to bring the talk back on stage at PyCon ZA, PyCon Argentina, and PythonBrasil, the last of which was a keynote slot.

“Besides learning a lot about Python, I learned that Pythonistas are unfailingly friendly, charming, and intelligent. I made a new friend at every PyCon!” he said of his trip around the globe.




“I also learned that PyCons can still be fun even if you don't speak the language,” he said of his international travels. When it came to the language barriers in several locations, some of them had dedicated English tracks, such as PyCon JP in Tokyo. He suggested getting in contact with the organizers to get a feel for what it’ll be like for those who don’t speak the local language.


Larry is kicking of 2013 with another talk at PyCon US, titled “All-Singing All-Dancing Python Bytecode” and happening Saturday afternoon. He’ll dive into what bytecode is and how to play around with it, and he does it all with Python 3. If you enjoyed his previous talks in 2010 and 2011, you’re in for another good one.

As for Larry’s schedule in 2013, he’s already on the PyCon US schedule in March, and he’s thinking about a trip to EuroPython. He’s considering adding a few more conferences to the plans, but intends to keep travel on the lighter side. “I’m no Kenneth Reitz,” he quipped, referring to Kenneth’s long year on the road.

“I hope to see you at a couple PyCons in 2013!” he closed with.

Thanks, Larry!

Be on the lookout for Radio Free Python’s next episode, where Larry interviews Armin Rigo, Alex Gaynor, and Maciej Fijalkowski of the PyPy team at http://radiofreepython.com/.

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