Talks at PyCon that Teach How to Be Better Programmers

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Jeff Rush

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Oct 24, 2006, 1:19:28 AM10/24/06
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I've been looking over the mix of talk proposals we have so far for PyCon
2007. We're got 17 so far, with a good number of case histories. Now case
histories are good, don't get me wrong, we want Python to be successful and it
is interesting to hear how it is being used. But according to the feedback
forms from last year, we need more talks that actually teach you how to be
better programmers, especially if we want to bring new talent into the community.

Where are the talks about how to best use select features of the language,
that demonstrate how to use some of the more powerful design patterns in
Python? Python 2.4 and 2.5 have added significant new capabilities to the
language and we need the advance scouts to help some of us just now
discovering them. Many of us do not adopt new features as soon as they appear.

Often at PyCon we have looked to people like Alex Martelli to get down and
dirty with aspects of the language, but unfortunately he is unable to make it
in 2007. Who else is good at explaining how and when to apply language
constructs?

Not sure where to start? For brainstorming here are four talks I've not seen
at recent PyCons and that I think would be well received. Anything about
design patterns would be good too.

----
How to Optimize Your Python Programs?

* optimization - speed or memory?
* common mistakes
o use of repeated append on strings
o not using Numeric when doing array operations
+ such as graphics, sound
o close your handles, release your objects where possible
* what slows Python down?
o looping?
o function calls?
* methods to speed things up
o pre-binding
o push looping into C extensions
o code in C extensions releases global lock and speeds up
execution on multicores
* shrinking your memory footprint

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/PgmOptimizing

----
Key Python Technologies You Should Know

The idea of this talk is to highlight some of the cross-domain
technologies that a programmer would find useful in his toolbelt
as he moves among problems or job positions.

* criteria for inclusion in talk:
o cross-platform
o cross-domain
o of general use, not obscure or a niche
* docutils, reST (docstrings, READMEs, page templates,
wiki markup, doctests)
* interfaces/adapters
* eggs
* unit test frameworks
* DB-API?

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/PyTechToKnown

----
Taking Your Programming Environment to a New Level

What do skilled Python programmers keep around them that makes
them better programmers?

* pymacs, pyvim
* pylint
* ipython and other command shells
* brief walk-thru of GUI IDEs
* keeping docs at your fingertips
* books to keep at your side

(this talk could be run as a panel among experts)

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/PyPgmEnv

----
What the Heck Does "Pythonic Programming Style" Mean Anyway?

The term is often tossed at someone on the list, but what
are they talking about? How can a newbie learn the style?

* common idioms you see in source code
* attributes versus getters/setters
* package dir layouts
o import all in __init__?
o fully name-qualify all imports?

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/PyPgmStyle

I've included links to the wiki pages holding the outlines in hopes that
people will suggest additional topics to cover.

To give a talk, before Oct 31 visit the conference page at:

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/CallForProposals

Jeff Rush
PyCon 2007 Co-Chair

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