PyCon Pakistan 2018 attracts Python enthusiasts from all around the country

By Shaoor Munir on
November 20, 2018
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PyCon 2018, a two days long event covering everything Python, concluded after successfully engaging Python enthusiasts from all around Pakistan.

What is PyCon?

PyCon is an annual convention for the discussion and promotion of the Python programming language. It originated in the United States but is also held in many other countries that have active Python developer communities. PyCon has been arranged in coordination with Arbisoft for the past two years. Last year the event was held at FAST-NUCES, while this year the venue was the University of Central Punjab.

The significance of the event

Python is one of the most popular programming languages. It is especially popular among data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts. According to various online platforms which are concerned with measuring programmers’ engagement and interest with various programming languages, Python consistently rates among the top 5 languages. Most programmers who are working in Python or are looking to switch to Python rate it highly for its readability and ease of learning.

With such interest in the Python language, it is important to have a platform where newcomers, or even industry veterans, can come together and discuss merit and demerits along with the uses of Python language for different intents and purposes. PyCon provides such a platform to enthusiasts who can get together once a year and discuss everything Python.

Proceedings of the event

The event started with a talk by Yasser Bashir, CEO of Arbisoft, who explained why Python was among the best languages to use in most scenarios. He also highlighted some cons of using Python which included lack of optimization as compared to languages like Rust, Scala and Go. His talk was a continuation of the keynote he gave at PyCon 2017, where he compared Python with different programming languages based on how readable they were. Another interesting statistic shared by Yaseer was that more than 80 percent of this year’s PyCon consisted of professionals. This is in stark contrast with last year’s PyCon, which was geared more towards students, and it shows that Python is rapidly gaining prominence among the tech industry in Pakistan.

The whole event spanned over two days, with a number of keynote speeches and workshops intending to give a first-hand experience of Python’s abilities to the attendees. But the most important aspect of PyCon was not the learning or the discussions, it was about building a community. A community which can bring together like-minded people who can work to make the whole ecosystem around Python better for enthusiasts in Pakistan. Talking about the importance of such communities and how Pakistani tech community is lacking them, Mashood Rastgar, CTO of Sastatickets.pk said:, ‘The basic idea is very new here. We don’t have this concept of communities, especially tech communities. What we are doing right now is starting the process and hopefully, we can keep expanding and building upon it.’

In addition to keynotes by prominent figures such as Travis Oliphant, Founder of Quansight, PyCon also hosted a number of different workshops to give attendees a much closer hands-on experience with working on Python language in real life scenarios.

You can learn a lot about Python from tutorials and countless free courses that are available online. However, as Yasser Bashir explained in his keynote speech, this event is meant for networking with people who are just as passionate as you about Python language. And that’s exactly what the participants experienced both days of PyCon Pakistan 2018.

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