PyCon US - favourite moments, most exciting upcomings, best people?

The livestreamed portion of PyCon US 2023 has just concluded, so I want to start a bit of a thread to talk about what’s just happened.

My favourite moments:

  • Seeing Mariatta and her utter passion for what she is doing. She has previously been, to me, just a name on an email or a pull request; now she’s an actual person that I have seen. Also, she has a passion for typos.
  • Discovering that pip install jwst will install a bunch of packages named asdf. This is not a test. This is not a stub or placeholder. This is an actual specification called the Advanced Scientific Data Format. This is a massive win for the scientific community.
  • Learning that palindromic Python code is possible (albeit hilariously ugly).

Upcoming technologies and projects that I’m excited about:

  • WebAssembly and related technologies for Python-in-the-browser. Some of this already exists (check out PyScript!), some of it is still future (compiling Python code to WASM). All of it is looking amazing.
  • Powersort. I’m not sure whether this counts as a variant on Timsort or a similar-but-distinct algorithm; either way, it takes what Timsort sets out to do, and does it in very elegant ways. Python becomes faster without sacrificing anything.

Best people. I’ll be honest, I want to include this section but I know that I’ll be omitting way too many good people.

  • Deb Nicholson and Phyllis Dobbs for encouraging me to attend in the first place, and the PSF for offering a travel grant.
  • Mariatta Wijaya, as mentioned. She’s done so much for PyCon and her passion is fantastic.
  • Stephanie Rideout, very active in the live chat alongside the livestreamed sessions. When one session was about to dovetail into another, Stephanie posted the link to the next one, helping us to miss nothing.

If you were at PyCon, either in person or virtually, what were your favourite moments? If you weren’t, but you’ve seen the list of talks, which ones are you most hoping to see the videos of?