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#PYCON 2016 Wrap Up

By: Calvin Hendryx-Parker, Co-Founder at Six Feet Up

As Co-Founder and CTO of Six Feet Up, a custom web application development company, I have been a long date Python user and enthusiast. As such I always look forward to the annual Python conference, which I have attended every year since its inception in 2003. So, earlier this year in May, I took a few of our developers with me to Portland, OR, to get our annual refill on Python tips, inspiring case studies and to reconnect with fellow Pythonistas. PyCon kicked off with 2 days of tutorials, followed by 3 days of conference, and then code sprints.

Here’s my take on the 7 reasons Python will soon be the #1 programming language:

#1 – Python is definitely gaining more and more traction in the software development world as evidenced by an ever growing number of conference attendees. The event sells out every year and people tend to book a long time in advance to secure their spot. This year was no exception with close to 3,300 Pythonistas in attendance, which is a 32% increase since 2014.

#2 – Python is powering many large organizations, as evidenced by the presence of behemoth companies such as Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Hulu, Rackspace, Amazon, Intel, Heroku, MailChimp, Walt Disney, etc. in the expo hall. I was astonished to hear that a major airline company is running its entire flight entertainment system on Pyramid, my favorite Python-based web framework. And Yelp and SurveyMonkey combined have close to 200 Pyramid-based applications running in Production!

#3 – Python remains a very industry-agnostic programming language as it is being used not only on the web but also for desktop applications, server orchestration, scientific computing etc.

#4 – Python is heavily used in the financial and healthcare industries, both avid consumers of big data applications where Python especially excels.

#5 – Python developers are in high demand but there is a catch: many developers want to work remotely at a time when large organizations prefer to hire in-house and onsite developers.

#6 – The Python community has been and is still very focused on education. PyCon held again a one-day camp for “Young Coders” (kids age 12-18), which is a testimony to the fact that Python is easy to learn. An Education Summit also took place for the 4th year immediately after the conference to encourage collaboration between Python educators.

#7 – Python now serves as a model to other groups for encouraging diversity in a technical community as evidenced by about 40% female presenters at the conference. The schedule even included a whole track dedicated to diversity (LGBT, race, creed, religion) and accessibility (deafness, blindness and other physical handicaps). I will say I really love the fact that PyCon attendees come from the entire world and include both the young and the old, and men and women. It’s very exhilarating!

Finally, I keep getting impressed with the Python community’s commitment to making this conference a great event for all. And I’m already looking ahead to next year, which will be hosted in Portland again.

Until then, if you are interested in Python, I would recommend the books “Learn Python the Hard Way” and “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python”, both for beginners. If you already know other languages, you might be able to jump right in with http://docs.python-guide.org/en/latest/ or the O’Reilly “Learning Python” book.

And if you prefer onsite training, I teach a Python class at Eleven Fifty Code Academy. More at: https://www.elevenfifty.org/prospective/courses/python201/

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