Summary of the last days of talks at EuroPython 2017, and the two days for sprints.


The keynote for this day, titled The Different Roads We Take, made an interesting point by stating that the way we evaluate ourselves is non-linear, and coming from different backgrounds, gives everyone of us different a set of experiences and skills.

Afterwards, I moved to an advanced workshop called A Hands-on approach to tuning Python applications for performance, on which we covered several profiling tools for Python code, with pros and cons of each one (performance, overhead, simplicity of use), and some optimization techniques, running the profiling code after each improvement was made, in order to see the difference.

Right before lunch, there was an ad-hoc session of lightning talks.

I also joined an open session, on which we discussed the role of coding and software engineering in education.

During the afternoon, there were some interesting talks related to cloud computing: Cloud Native Python in Kubernetes, and Dockerized pytests. The former gave a superb introduction to Kubernetes, whereas the latter, shown a good case for when to have the exact same environment in development and in the continuous integration (CI) server. This helps to minimize the effect of bug reproducibility, when having multiples environments, specially for projects that rely heavily on the infrastructure (if they have OS-level dependencies, like libraries installed, and so on).

These talks were really good, but I think the highlight of the day was Optimizing queries for not so big data in PostgreSQL, which actually presented several ways of optimizing queries on PostgreSQL, as well as tips in order to identify bottlenecks, and performance issues. I liked the fact that it had a more concrete approach to performance tuning in databases, and even though it was explained for a large data set, it still didn't make it "Big Data", so it was a more down-to-earth explanation with real examples, and that added a lot of value.

Later on the day, after the talks, there was a session for sprints orientation, on which all leads briefly explained the projects they would be sprinting on. I have arrived with the expectations of sprinting on CPython, but it wasn't presented, and among all presented projects the one I got most interested in was pypy. At that point I decided I was going to sprint on pypy.


The keynote for Friday, The Encounter: Python's adventures in Africa, was mind-blowing. It enlightened many of us in the audience, about issues we probably haven't even considered before, about Python in a much broader sense as just a programming language, discussing it in the context of the role of technology and innovation in the present day.

Following up with the talks Finding bugs for free: The magic of static analysis, was a really nice one. Afterwards there was even an open session, on which we discussed the topic further, on a more concrete fashion (by seeing static analysis being done on actual projects, through the tool lgtm).

The last two talks of the morning Practical Debugging - Tips, Tricks and Ways to think, and Pythonic Refactoring: Protecting Your Users From Change, had nice examples, which left me with the idea of exploring some of those examples a bit more. In particular the latter one, mentioned some common patterns in Python for evolving code that is already published under an API. I will cover some of these ideas in a future post.

I attended one last talk, Writing Awesome PyPI packages in Python, before the lightning talks and closing session.

That was the end of the week for talks, and workshops, so the remaining time was for sprints.


Saturday: As expected, I joined the pypy project. It was a great experience to code along so many great (really great) developers. After a while of setting things up (cloning the repository, getting acquainted with the code, planning, and such), I mentioned that it would be interesting to work on things that are still pending for the Python 3.6 support. With the help of the developers we ported some missing features added on the last version of Python (adding fspath function to the posix -- os module, including the new ModuleNotFoundError, and things like that). It was highly productive, and things seemed to work nicely.

Sunday: Another day to sprint on pypy! This time, we pair-programmed into trying to port the asyncio functionality. Part of this was being done the day before (I didn't took that much of part, as I was starting with the other issues -- but this time I wanted to contribute). It was basically trying to fix the way asynchronous generators work on several scenarios (when calling different methods on them, like .asend(), .athrow(), etc.). Here I mainly added unit tests for these scenarios, in order to check that pypy works the same as CPython for some of these common scenarios (which are still not fully covered, but a great progress was made).

I really liked the progress made on pypy, and the project itself. By coding these issues, I learnt a lot about CPython itself, more to the point of its internal components, and how things work. It was an awesome sprint. Stay tuned for more information abut changes on pypy.