Django Stars at PyCon UA 2016 in Lviv

In the end of April four of Django Stars team members — Gleb Pushkov, Denis Podlesniy, Andrey Yuschuk and Dmitriy Upolovnikov — visited PyCon UA 2016, the biggest Python developers’ conference in Ukraine that took place in Lviv this year.

The Python conferences bring together developers, application designers and business people everywhere in the world. PyCon Ukraine is an independent, community-run, community-controlled and not-for-profit conference dedicated to the Python programming language, Python applications, toolkits and frameworks and other "related" technologies — databases, GIS, high-load systems. It also features the place for socialization of the Ukrainian Python users. The event was organized by the Kyiv Python User Group, Lviv Python User Group, and partners. And here are some of our impressions and thoughts of it.

The Place

The location was perfect — not only because Lviv is a beautiful historical city, a real touristic gem of the western Ukraine. But also because of the fact that today it’s one of the biggest IT and hi-tech hubs in the country.

Lviv also lies closer to Europe that helped attract more participants from neighboring European countries. So, the 5th — kind of milestone — PyCon Ukraine proved to be geographically and internationally successful, which is especially important because such events are aimed to discussing trends, sharing best practices of programming in Python, and getting new insights from the industry leaders.


The Schedule

PyCon Ukraine lasted for 2 days — on 23-24 of April, and was held in 3 languages: English, Ukrainian and Russian.

The whole event was divided in 4 tracks:

  • Speeches for developers in English;
  • Speeches in Ukrainian and Russian;
  • Workshops;
  • Accompanying HR & LITS for KIDS events.

All the events and reports were very diverse, and so any participant with any level of knowledge or experience could find there something new, interesting and useful.

The Speakers

This year PyСon Ukraine gathered more than 600 participants and around 20 speakers — leading developers working in Ukrainian and international companies. Here are some of the most interesting speakers and reports of the event in our opinion.

Lukasz Langa, Production Engineer at Facebook, with ‘Thinking in Coroutines’

Core developer of the Python interpreter and standard library, plug-in developer for the built-in testing framework for Python 2.3 – 3.3 etc. gave a very interesting and informative speech dedicated to coroutines and asyncio.


Franco Carbognani, Works Coordinator at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Pisa, Italy, with ‘Python and the Dawn of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy’

On-site Works Coordinator within the Advanced Virgo Gravitational Wave Detector Project Office of the EGO told about the detector and its role in the international detectors network, as well as about different uses of Python within the Ligo and Virgo projects — for supervisory control automation, slow sample rate data acquisition and control room user interfaces development.

Brian Bell, engineer at DataRobot, ‘Intro to Python for Data Science’

One of the most prominent speakers of the event, Brian presented another report on applying Django in science and his visions of the industry. His workshop lasted for 3 hours but nobody was bored!

Maciej Fijalkowski, freelancer working on PyPy, ‘GlyphScript – a tutorial from the future’

Being a core PyPy developer since 2006th, working on all kinds of parts in the entire codebase including JIT, GC and assembler backends, Marciej shared his observations on Python’s place in modern development.


The Speeches

We were especially interested in more applicable and practical talks. Here are some of the talks we attended and liked:

  • 'CPU profiling of Python applications' by Roman Podoliaka. The talk was dedicated to different ways of getting CPU profiles of Python applications, their pros and cons, and which one to use in certain situation.

  • 'Concurrency and Parallelism in Python' by Igor Kalnitsky.

  • 'Building apps with asyncio' by Nickolai Novik. Asyncio is the hottest theme in the community today, so the topic was particularly interesting.

  • 'Using Rust to build asynchronous IO for Python' by Paul Colomiets. The speaker presented Python bindings to a family of asynchronous libraries for Rust and performance improvements and other benefits of the combination.

  • 'Lessons learned using Celery in production' by Domen Kozar.


  • 'Natural Language processing with Python' by Tetiana Kodliuk. The talk revealed advantages of Python in text processing and its opportunities in working with large collections of unstructured text.

  • 'What is the best full text search engine for Python?' by Andrii Soldatenko.

  • 'Maintaining a high loaded Python project for newcomers' by Viacheslav Kakovskyi.

  • 'API trends and Python' by Max Klymyshyn.

More Impressions

There were other interesting and informative talks, workshops, events and meetings at UA Python. For example, at one of the talks we had a chance to ask Andrew Svetlov, known as Python Core Developer, participant of development of the asyncio library and author of the aiohttp and the dozen of other asyncio-based libraries, when he's going to release something new. His reply was very reasonable: you need it? Then go and do it! He also encouraged the auditory to contribute to Python more.


Since all Django Stars are big football fans, we were happy to have a chance to watch an interesting football match between local Lviv team 'Karpaty' and 'Goverla' from Uzhgorod that fell exactly on the lunch time on the first day of the conference. That's what we call 'when wants and needs meet'!

In general, PyCon UA once again proved to be an exceptional and atmospheric event for sharing information and experiences, getting new knowledge and inspiration, meeting like-minded people and achieving new heights. That is why Django Stars not only regularly attend but also take active part — as sponsors and/or speakers — in the events of the kind.

See you at a next PyCon!

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