This year’s PyCon 2017 was the largest gathering of Python users yet, and the talks were as high caliber as one would expect. Below I’ll highlight some of my favorites by familiar and less familiar speakers that I thought were particularly well done or presented a great argument.

Raymond Hettinger: “Modern Python Dictionaries: A confluence of a dozen great ideas

Raymond is a Python core developer and definitely a crowd favorite. His talks are often simple yet profound. This year, he gave a talk on updates to the dictionary type in the latest versions of Python, which he proposed to python-dev nearly five years ago and have finally come to fruition:

Łukasz Langa: “Unicode: what is the big deal?

Łukasz is also a Python core developer, but is perhaps the only one who stands to personally benefit from Python 3’s more sane handling of Unicode due to special characters in his name. Łukasz documents the history of character encodings, as well as his personal struggles with software which doesn’t understand special characters, to make a strong argument in support of Unicode:

Joe Jevnik: “Title Available On Request: An Introduction to Lazy Evaluation

Joe is a great speaker who really understands Python internals and is able to translate that knowledge into great talks about it. In his 2017 PyCon talk, he goes in depth about lazy evaluation in Python to reveal how and why Python uses lazy evaluation, and how you can optimize lazy evaluation as well:

Guido van Rossum, Barry Warsaw, Jim Fulton, Paul Everitt: “Panel Discussion

This panel discussion is not a talk per se, but is an interesting look back at the early days of Python and PyCon. The panel consists of some of the attendees of the very first PyCon in 1994 sharing their thoughts and memories of the history of the Python community and thoughts about where it is today:

Kelsey Hightower: “Keynote

Kelsey is a developer evangelist at Google who usually is evangelizing about Kubernetes. He gave a great closing keynote which modified his tried-and-true Kubernetes live-demo with some new features and after gracefully overcoming some initial hiccups, he pulled it off:

Dr. Russel Keith-Magee: “Emoji Archeology 101

This lightning talk originally written by Russel was instead presented by someone else, but it still contained all of his wit and humor. Although it doesn’t have much of anything to do with Python, it’s definitely worth a watch:

Dustin Ingram: “The Fastest FizzBuzz in the West

Finally, I’ve got to plug my own talk, which evolved from my original blog post, The Fastest FizzBuzz in the West. You can watch it here:


PyCon was great, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming regional Python conferences, including PyGotham 2017, PyCascades 2018… and maybe even PyTexas?