Monday, July 15, 2013

DFW Pythoneers 2nd Saturday Teaching Meeting, July 13, 2013

18 Pythoneers showed up at the The Collide Center in McKinney. John Zurawski and Joesph Weaver found the location, and John was the gracious host and leader for the meeting. The venue was great, but unfortunately for us the meeting space will become more space for startups afterwards.

Upcoming Events

Kevin Horn announced that PyTexas 2013 is August 16-18 in College Station. Early registration ends July 16th.Friday is oriented towards tutorials and training. See the web site for details.

July 18th is Project Night at Gazeebo Burgers in Frisco from 6:30 to 8:30. There's a separate meeting room that I'll request and the WiFi is usually good. Topic is pandas and data analysis, so show up prepped with software loaded and data to rip. If you are having difficulty loading all the required packages, consider loading the Anaconda distribution from Continuum Analytics.

July 20th is Moon Day at Frontiers Of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas. Our buddies at DRPG will be demoing various robots, plus there will be other cool displays. Moon Day is my favorite unofficial holiday, so even if you can't attend, pause for a moment and realize what an awesome achievement the Apollo program was...

July 25 will be the normal casual meeting at Taco Cabana in Addison. This is a informal get together to chat and network with other Pythoneers and techies. If you are seeking a solution for a problem, ask around and chances are someone can help you. Otherwise, just geek out and enjoy the company.

Group Discussions

One of the main topics of discussion revolved around meeting locations and meeting content.

Meeting Space

In the past the group has had corporate sponsors whom had meeting facilities. Currently we need locations for Saturday teaching meetings and alternative sites for the 4th Thursday informal meetings. I can lead the 3rd Thursday Project nights at Gazeebo Burgers.

An ideal teaching location would be central, easy to find, with a room for 30 or 40 people, WiFi, power outlets and restrooms. We also need a slightly large venue than Taco Cabana for the casual meeting since the largest table there is about eight seats.

Meeting Topics

There was an active discussion about Topics, Teaching, Presentation and Projects/Challenges. John proposed a meeting structure that works to start the meeting. and the group discussed various ideas for the "meat" of the meeting. It was recognized that people into Python have different needs, skill levels and interests. Some of the various topics brought forth:

Web Frameworks 
  - Flask
  - Django
  - Idea: Framework Shootout - Simple web app spec; write it in diff frameworks
    Related: find a way to allow beginners to work on subject area before talk

- Database?
  - ORM's

- REST API's in Python

- Network Programming
  - Twisted / Tornado

- Scientific Computing
  - Pandas

- Game Programming

- IPython
  - IPython Notebook

- Python eco-system/community

- Best Practices
  - PEP8


 The breakout presentation of the meeting  was John Zurawski's pixel accurate clone of Sharknado done in cocos2d. Most awesome use of Python, ever!


It was observed that  programmers don't learn unless they have projects or challenges. So I'm borrowing a Python challenge from elsewhere and will be working on this particular project in my spare time in the next couple of months. Let's swap notes and review code at a meeting in the future if you are interested. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

DFW Pythoneers Meeting June 27, 2013

13 Python enthusiasts showed up at the Taco Cabana in Addison for the monthly meeting. There was some confusion about the meeting location and some participants were disappointed with the lack of formality. Overall most of the attendees enjoyed themselves and there was much discussion about Python and related topics. This was the largest group that has met up for the Thursday night meetings.

The good news: We may have found a space for the upcoming 2nd Saturday Teaching Meeting. Joseph Weaver mentioned that John Zurawski had found a possible meeting space in McKinney. John got in contact with me and will try to contact some of the more veteran members and leaders of the group. From what I've heard of the location, it will be good for the larger teaching meetings.

The challenge: With increasing attendees, Taco Cabana is difficult to have more than the most casual of meetings. I spoke with Jay, who said that this meeting has usually never been larger than 4 to 6 participants. If you wish to have a larger space that is more conducive to larger meetings, we're open for suggestions. Key things to consider are central location since we attract folks from 20 to 40 miles away.