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A message to the Python community from our new Visionary Sponsor: Microsoft!

Microsoft has been a Keystone PyCon sponsor for the past 3 years and is now proud to become a Visionary Sponsor for this year’s edition. They’re excited to share what’s new with Python at Microsoft, as well as their plans for the virtual PyCon experience this year. Check below to see what they have to say!

We’re thrilled to be once more sponsoring PyCon. the event the Python team at Microsoft most looks forward to every year. Although we’re sad we still can’t see each other in person, with this year’s virtual edition we can connect with folks from all around the world, and that is truly amazing.   

We’ve been working on many exciting new things over the past year, building and improving tools that can support you for all needs and in all phases of your Python development. We’re listing here a few of the things we're delighted to share out with the Python community, but we hope to talk more about them with you all during PyCon.

With the goal of empowering Python development across the globe, we have CPython core developers putting a lot of effort into improving the language, and we have also been contributing to open-source packages such as PyTorch, pandas, Dask, Jupyter, nteract, scikit-learn and more. But to take that goal to the next level, Microsoft has recently become a Visionary Sponsor  of the Python Software Foundation. We believe this is a key step towards advancing the development of the language and its ecosystem, and our teams couldn’t be prouder of it.

But, we have also been working hard to improve our tools and services to help Python developers to achieve more. On the code development side of things, we made the Python editing experience in Visual Studio Code more performant and user-friendly via our new language server, Pylance.  Pylance uses our open-source static type checker, Pyright, under the hood to provide auto-completions, docstrings, type hints, code navigation, refactoring, and much more. The Python extension has also been improved with many features added such as Poetry support, Tensorboard integration, and a feature-rich data viewer that you can access when you’re debugging or working with Jupyter Notebooks. 

Speaking of notebooks, we broke out the notebook support that used to live in the Python extension into the Jupyter extension, which now offers an optimal experience for editing notebooks and counts with features such as auto-completions, syntax checking, plot viewer, HTML or PDF export and more for the Python language! Still on the VS Code world, we have also released an enhanced developer experience that makes it easier to work directly on your Azure Machine Learning (ML) compute instances from within VS Code, through an integration in the Azure ML Studio. 

On the deployment side, you can use VS Code alongside Azure and GitHub Actions for your Python applications’ CI/CD processes, allowing you to easily build, test and deploy your apps to the cloud. And with our new preview of Azure Static Web Apps, you can start using modular and extensible patterns to deploy apps in minutes, while taking advantage of the built-in scaling and cost-savings offered by serverless technologies. That means you can use Azure Functions to create serverless APIs using Flask, Django or FastAPI for the backend of your Static Web Apps.  

While we’re at the cost-saving and scalability topic, improvements have also been made on the data storage and management side of things. There’s a new single-node offering for Hyperscale (Citus), a built-in deployment option in our fully managed Azure Database for PostgreSQL. With this option, you can build faster, cost-effective, horizontally scalable PostgreSQL solutions, thanks to the open-source Citus 10 release. 

Finally, we have also just released version 1.0 of msticpy, an open-source, extensible Python toolkit built by Microsoft's Threat Intelligence Center designed to be used in Jupyter notebooks for Cyber security investigations and threat hunting. Features include data query providers, visualization, data enrichment (such as threat Intelligence matching, IP geolocation) and data analysis for anomaly detection. 

These are a few of the things we’ll be covering on PyCon this year, but what we’re looking forward to the most is connecting with you all. We want to hear what you think we can do to keep supporting the Python community! If you’re attending PyCon, make sure to join us at our workshop, live demos and to stop by our virtual booth at Hubilo. You can also join us at our Microsoft Discord Server to participate on our virtual labs – you may even get some (physical and virtual) swag!.  Lastly, battle it out with your peers/colleagues in the PyCon 2021 Cloud Skills Challenge:   If you finish all learning paths and modules during the Cloud Skills Challenge you will be entered in to win a new pair of Surface Headphones!!