I recently attended PyCon for the first time in several years
and thought I’d write a bit about my favorite sessions, the videos of
which are already online.
Ying Li and David Lawrence’s Introduction to Threat Modeling
provides an excellent framework with which one can think about
security at a conceptual level. It gave me the sort of confidence
for security that I had for deployment after I read
The Twelve-Factor App, filling in a bunch of mental holes
that I was previously uncertain about. I highly recommend pairing this
talk with Michal Zalewski’s excellent The Tangled Web, which
provides a deep dive into the technical details and human foibles
of web security.
Kavya Joshi’s The Memory Chronicles: A Tale of Two Pythons
is a fascinating examination into the ways that two very different
C implementations of Python manage memory. One of those implementations
is CPython, the standard and “official” Python interpreter used
almost everywhere. The other is called MicroPython–it’s a
compact subset of Python intended for use on microcontrollers and other
constrained environments, and uses some really interesting techniques
to minimize its memory footprint.
Modern Python Dictionaries – A confluence of a dozen great ideas
is a well-spun tale of the evolution of the implementation
of the Python dictionary. Hettinger is a compelling, entertaining
speaker and this talk is no exception. It moves very quickly
but that’s okay since his “slides”–actually a Sphinx document
that he scrolls through as he gives his talk–are available online.
I was also excited to meet one of my programming heroes, Bruce Eckel,
who ran an open session in which he scraped our minds for his
book on concurrent Python, which he’s writing in the open on
GitHub. Lots of interesting ideas were brought up and I’m looking
forward to seeing this book evolve.
One of my favorite things about PyCon’s nearly-instantaneous
publishing of talks is that it leads to very little
“fear of missing out” (FOMO). This made it easy to follow my
coworker Catherine Devlin’s advice and prioritize open
spaces over talks, since we can experience the latter anytime.