PyCon 2014 was awesome

PyCon was a ton of fun this year. Always the highlight of my conference season, 2014 was no exception.

I gave a talk this year on Big-O notation. I told the story about how not knowing it led to a few costly mistakes and then explained it so that (hopefully) no one will make the same mistake again. You can watch the video below. Thanks to everyone who came up to me after my presentation to talk about it!

The conference was great as always. There were a few key talks that I'd suggest looking into.

My favorite talk of the conference was definitely Hynek Schlawack's presentation on OpenSSL. It was not only timely (coming the week following heartbleed), but was a bunch of great content that was delivered well. He started off giving an overview of SSL and how it transitioned to TLS and the evolution thereafter. He had several practical suggestions for securing your own traffic that operates over HTTPS. If that wasn't enough, he also gave a full run-down of the popular python libraries and how they ranked in their TLS support. I highly encourage you watch it.

Other stand-out talks of the conference include Gary Barnhart's Birth & Death of JavaScript, which details a possible history where javascript (specifically asm.js) is a replacement for the modern C toolset. I'm not well-versed enough in operating system architecture to know whether the speedups he suggests are feasible, but it has gotten me a bit more interested in learning more.

I also really enjoyed Alex Gaynor's talk on Pickles. Pickles are python's built-in object serialization mechanism, similar to YAML. He detailed some security issues that this presents and why you shouldn't use the pickle module. Alex is a very knowledgable speaker and there were some fun phrases like "legacy pickles" and "dumping and loading the funky pickle" thrown around, which is just fun to think about.

Last, but not least, it was a great opportunity to meet with some great people and talk about one of the things that I love: Python.

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