This past month, I attended PyData NY in midtown Manhattan. This is the second PyData conference and the folks at Continuum Analytics have done a spectacular job in promoting and running this conference. In less than a year PyData has grown to over 200 attendees. The timing (right after Strata) and location (NY and Bay Area) of the PyData conferences are definitely a strong part of the success.
The conference had a wide range of talks from a fantastic set of speakers. It is very clear that the community is growing in leaps and bounds and that there are a lot of bright people writing great code. It is always fun to think back on where the community and various projects were in the past. Just think, it wasn’t that long ago, that Pandas didn’t exist! Where will we be in another 3 years?
The representation of IPython at the conference was amazing. Not only did I present two talks on the IPython Notebook and IPython.parallel, but many of the other presenters used the IPython Notebook in their talks. Ultimately, in developing the IPython Notebook we are scratching our own itch. We are working scientists who need better tools for our research. But it is seriously gratifying to see that how useful other people find it. That makes developing it one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done.
Continuum has put all of the talks on Vimeo here, but I wanted to point out a few related to IPython:
First, I gave a talk about the IPython Notebook. With 45 minutes, I was able to give a talk that was almost tutorial in nature. In preparing this talk, I went through the IPython example Notebooks and organized/updated all of them. This should provide a much nicer set of materials for people wanting to learn about the Notebook. We are currently in the process of reviewing the pull request for these updates.
Second, I gave a talk about IPython.parallel. For this talk, I mostly followed a set of materials that Min Ragan-Kelley prepared for previous SciPy/PyCon tutorials. Min has done a fantastic job with IPython.parallel and this set of materials really goes into great depth on all of the details. This material is hosted here.
Third, Michael Selik gave a nice talk entitled IPython as a teaching tool, which explores using the IPython Notebook in a teaching context. It is becoming clear that the Notebook is particularly useful in this context and it was very helpful to have someone reflect on how that was going for them.
Finally, Massimo di Stefano is doing some amazing things with the Notebook and GIS. He is really leveraging the ability of the Notebook to embed arbitrary HTML. He even has a “gearth” function that embeds Google Earth in an output cell! Here is one of his Notebooks on nbviewer.ipython.org.
Unfortunately, many people left early because of hurricane Sandy, so the sprints were sparsely attended. I was glad to catch my flight back to the west coast only hours before JFK closed. Can’t wait for PyData in Silicon Valley after PyCon.