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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Main Conference Keynotes

Hilary Mason


  • Friday, 9:20am

Hilary is the lead scientist at, where she is finding sense in vast data sets. She is a former computer science professor with a background in machine learning and data mining, has published numerous academic papers, and regularly releases code on her personal site, She has discovered two new species, loves to bake cookies, and asks way too many questions.

You can see one of her previous talks here

A Fireside chat with Guido van Rossum


  • Saturday, 9:25am

In this interview style keynote, we will explore the mind of Python's creator and benevolent dictator - subjecting him to the "comfy chair" as well as questions from the community (picked and voted on by the community) as well as questions from the audience. This will be a guided, but informal talk - you can submit questions for the BDFL here:

Guido van Rossum is the author of the Python programming language. He continues to serve as the "Benevolent Dictator For Life" (BDFL), meaning that he continues to oversee the Python development process, making decisions where necessary. He is currently employed by Google.

When asked about this talk; the only response the BDFL was able to produce was "Not... THE CUSHIONS!"

Startup Stories: Main Conference Plenary Sessions

These talks happen during the morning or afternoon plenary sessions, but are shorter than the normal keynotes and are meant to highlight important topics or trends in the community.

How Dropbox Did It and How Python Helped

  • Rian Hunter, Engineer - Dropbox
  • Saturday, 9:00am

Dropbox is a startup company located in San Francisco that has probably one of the most popular file synchronization and sharing tools in the world, shipping Python on the desktop and supporting millions of users and growing every day. Dropbox uses Python on the client-side and server side as well. This talk will give an overview of the first two years of Dropbox, the team formation, our early guiding principles and philosophies, what worked for us and what we learned while building the company and engineering infrastructure. It will also cover why Python was essential to the success of the project and the rough edges we had to overcome to make it our long term programming environment and runtime. Finally it will give some insight into the future of Dropbox and where the project is going.

Disqus: Serving 400 million people with Python

  • David Cramer, Engineer - Disqus
  • Jason Yan, CTO and Co-Founder of Disqus
  • Sunday, 9:15am

Disqus, one of the largest Python applications on the web, will explain how they deal with scaling complexities in a growing startup. Founded in 2007, Disqus maintains a small engineering team reaching over 400 million users a month. Being powered by Python has allowed quick iteration of the application, without sacrificing code quality and performance. The talk will cover key parts of the architecture and development process at Disqus, including hardware, databases, and common bottlenecks.

Going Full Python - Threadless

  • Chris McAvoy, VP of Technology - Threadless
  • Sunday, 8:55am

Threadless is a 10 year old community based design company with an overpowering love of witty t-shirts and a mission to 'inspire awesomeness.' After 10 years of working primarily with PHP, Threadless has decided to use Python as our base development language. The decision was 10% technical and 90% touchy feely. We know what a powerful community can do to a product, and see the same sort of drive and passion in the Python community that we see in our own design community. Python is the peanut butter to our jelly. We're excited to share our jelly with you. Chris McAvoy, VP of Technology at Threadless (and the founder of the Chicago Python Users Group), will share a bit about the companies history, the role of technology in supporting the community at the core of the business, and why Python and Threadless are going to be totally BFF's.

An Open success for the cloud: OpenStack

  • Andy Smith, Core Developer - Openstack
  • Sunday, 9:40am

OpenStack is a collection of open source technologies written entirely in Python, delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system. OpenStack is currently developing two interrelated projects: OpenStack Compute and OpenStack Object Storage. OpenStack Compute is software to provision and manage large groups of virtual private servers, and OpenStack Object Storage is software for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of commodity servers to store terabytes or even petabytes of data.

This talk will go into details about the success of OpenStack with Python, limitations and how overall, Python was the right technology choice.

home/keynotes Recently modified by jnoller: March 7, 2011, 9:44 p.m. (History) Edit