This last weekend I went down to Hobart for the third Australian PyCon conference. The first two were in Sydney, and the next one will also be in Hobart. I had a ball! I will hopefully revive this blog a bit more to write about other aspects of the conference but first up: the talk I gave, which was about the testing library pytest.
Pytest is a mature and comprehensive testing suite for Python projects, but it can be a little intimidating for newcomers. Where do these mysterious funcargs come from, how do parametrised tests work, and where are my xUnit-style setUp and tearDown methods?
Pytest lives by “convention over configuration” – which is great once you know what the conventions are. This talk will look at real examples of pytest in use, emphasising the features that differentiate it from nose.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending my first Trampoline Day, an unconference with a very broad scope and the remit “share what you find amazing”. It was held in Circus Oz in Port Melbourne. (Unfortunately no acrobatics sessions allowed.) This was actually the fourth or so time it’s been held; all the previous times, it sold out seemingly instantly and I only ever heard about it after the event. So I was lucky this time to know someone else attending who could vouch for me before I even knew I needed to attend. :)
The morning’s grid:
I hosted a discussion in the morning about decentralised/distributed wikis. It was well attended and there was some intense concentration but in hindsight my discussion was pitched overly technical, and it would have been better focused as a discussion about the culture and use of wikis more generally. Live and learn. :)
The topics covered were indeed very broad, from the expected technical topics, to psychology and mental health, meditation, running and foot anatomy, and a sangria making class. Sangrias were pitched against a demonstration of a iPhone-controlled AR.Drone Parrot quadrotor:
SO COOL. I am generally pretty immune to “shiny new tech toy lust” but this thing is SO. COOL! The look of it is great. It chews up batteries like nobody’s business and is pretty noisy, but for ~US$300 with easily replacable parts, it’s hard not to squee over.
About to set the afternoon grid after lunch (this thumbnail misses a man on a ladder :)):
One of the sessions I missed was “How to 2-step to punk music”, which looks like my loss:
The lightning talks at the end of the day were a great finish, too – I heard about Oscar’s Law, a campaign to abolish puppy farming in Victoria, “City Camp”, a planned Gov 2.0 unconference to be held in Melbourne in November, and “Mental Health 2.0”, an unconference that will be held on 25 February 2011 by Lantern. Lantern is a “community based not-for-profit organisation providing services to those affected by mental illness” and they were one of the sponsors of Trampoline, which is pretty cool. They deserve props for thinking about how to use “web stuff” to assist those affected by mental health issues (not just those directly, but also carers, friends and family) – like so many issues only canvassed by the under-resourced NFP sector, there must be a lot of potential.
It is interesting that two days later, I could only find one picture from the event on Flickr – the first one. I had to troll through Twitter to find the other images. Virtually no one was there with a netbook or laptop – without a doubt the most popular device was a smartphone, trailed (by a long way) by iPads. It’s hard for me to imagine a purely technical event not being dominated by netbooks, but maybe that’s the way we’re heading.
So thanks for a great event, Trampoline organisers. Anyone interested in finding out about upcoming events (they are held every six months or so) should join the mailing list.