The great minds and players of Python came together this past weekend in Bogotá, Colombia for three days of talks, workshops, and learning. Our team, of course, was there to join in all the fun.
This past weekend, a few PSL employees attended the third annual version of PyCon Colombia, the country's national Python conference. The event, held in Bogota's Pontifical Xaverian University, featured over 450 attendees ranging from seasoned professionals to students. The three-day gathering included 7 keynote speakers and over 30 speakers from around the globe sharing their thoughts and know-how of diverse subjects. The event also featured practical workshops where attendees could apply new concepts guided by some of the most experienced practioneers in Python and IT.
"It's an event that places Colombia on the map in terms of development," says Esteban Hernández, Data Scientist at PSL. "The speakers were great influencers within the global Python community and the conferences were very diverse. There was a lot of participation from female thought leaders, both on a national and international scale. Personally, I think Python is driving artificial intelligence on almost all fronts, from AI to Deep Learning and Machine Learning. We also saw that the Python community in Colombia is broad, well organized and works actively to share and promote knowledge."
The event's keynote speakers included: Jessica Mckellar, former VP of Engineering at Dropbox and founder and CTO at Pilot, Carol Willing, Python core developer and research software engineer at Project Jupyter, and Benjamin Lewis, Geospatial Technology Manager at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis.
"Being able to reach out to the international speakers was probably one of the most valuable things about the conference. They're important names in the worldwide Python community. Everyone in attendance, speakers included, was open to dialogue and exchanging knowledge," commented Luis Ferro, one of PSL's Big Data backend lead developers that attended the event. "Also, the event's focus on both industry and academia allowed researchers to showcase the advancements they made by using the tool, which was very interesting."
The conference, more than just a great opportunity to learn and gain insight into Python-driven technology, was an experience meant to energize, engage and promote closer bonds among Python practitioners, both in Colombia and the world. Attendees had the opportunity to work with Python experts, both testing their own preconceptions of the tool and its possibilities.
The event was full of surprises, even for seasoned engineers, as Leonardo Talero, Data Scientist at PSL, noted. "I found one of the conferences very curious. It was called 'Fuzzy logic using Python'," he commented. "I had thought that due to the boom of deep learning and neural networks that fuzzy logic had become obsolete. What a surprise! It's still relevant and it complements many neural networks projects."
After this enriching experience, PSL's team is eager to return to PyCon next year and gain even more valuable insight and knowledge into the field's exciting opportunities and capabilities.
"It was a great opportunity to get to know people, projects, and new technologies in Data Science," says Juan Daniel Morales, Machine Learning Engineer at PSL. "As well as an opportunity to showcase PSL's capabilities."
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