The 8 conferences featured here can help address some of the biggest concerns keeping engaged CTOs up at night, such as:
Here are a few suggestions you can use to get the most out of attending the conferences:
This cannot be overstated. These events provide a great platform to share your ideas and stories. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to showcase a particular project with other developers, invite debate, and build connections.
For more information on the subject, we recommend you use the PyCon US page as a point of reference.
Depending on your recruitment needs, this gives you a chance to meet potential developers face to face. It does involve bringing some extra team members, but the costs may well be justified. PyCascades has a page discussing the benefits of such an approach.
Use the app in advance to craft your profile and schedule meetings. Here is an example from last year’s edition of EuroPython.
Learn from other people who are driving innovation. Don’t shy away from engaging in the Q&A to press the speakers on key points you are interested in.
For the hands-on CTO, this is a great way to contribute to an open-source project or even introduce one of your own. PyCon US has an overview of what this encompasses.
Even without a booth, this can be the best tactic to reach talented developers. Check out the PyCon Jobs Fair from 2019 to understand how this is organized.
Python.org does a wonderful job of listing the top Python conferences globally. However, wading through the list can be cumbersome and some noteworthy regional events are left out.
With that in mind, we have selected and listed below some of the essential Python conferences that any CTO or Engineering Manager should consider attending in 2020.
The conferences are ordered by proximity to the actual date of the event. If you’re last minute, start from the top.
This year, PyCascades moved to Portland, Oregon. No wonder: the organizing team includes members of the Vancouver, Seattle and Portland Python user groups, and the first two cities hosted the event during the previous two editions. The conference aims to bring together people not just from the Pacific Northwest, but all around the world.
The 3rd edition of PyCascades included key sponsors such as Microsoft Azure, Nexmo, and Twilio.
Now, let’s wait for the 2021 edition!
PyCascades is at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. Per the statement on their website, they are committed to follow the Python Software Foundation's diversity statement: "Our community is based on mutual respect, tolerance, and encouragement, and we are working to help each other live up to these principles. We want our community to be more diverse: whoever you are, and whatever your background, we welcome you."
PyCascades offers grants for “people with relatively low income, speakers, active builders of Python community, notable open source contributors, and people in need of childcare,” but they encourage everyone whose budget would suffer from attending the conference to apply
For more information, head over to the PyCascades subpage.
The 1st edition of the original PyCon was held in 2003, in Washington, D.C. Boasting an intimate group of 200 “Pythonistas,” the event was a far cry from the 3,300 guests who attended in 2019.
The hosts claim the 9-day event is actually set up to be 5 events in a row. These are broken down into the following days:
Early-stage startup CTOs and VPs of Engineering who use Python should take advantage of Startup Row, having taken in all the latest discussions on their programming language of choice.
The organizers of PyCon US claim “StartupRow companies have been acquired by corporations such as Amazon, Rackspace, Splunk, and Baidu.” You can apply for a free booth if your startup:
For Spanish-speaking CTOs, PyCon introduced a track entirely in Spanish called PyCon Charlas. “Charlas” is a Spanish word, meaning “conference talks.”
It was a very welcome addition, since around 12% of the U.S. population speaks Spanish. Genial!
DjangoCon focuses on Django—Python’s “web framework for perfectionists with deadlines.” By a wide margin, Django is the most popular web framework used in Python. You can learn more about Python web frameworks here.
The 12th edition of DjangoCon Europe will take place in May in Porto. It’s hard to imagine a better place for a trip! Spend a few days wandering the historic city center, take a cruise across the river, lie on the beach, or visit one of the famous wine cellars. And learn more about Django, of course.
DjangoCon Europe offers a grant program that “prioritises speakers first, and then anyone who is part of an under-represented or marginalised group.”
The conference also claims to be sold out every year, so make sure to grab a ticket while it’s available.
2020 will mark the 4th edition of AnacondaCON. Hundreds of “Pythonistas” from every corner of the world will descend on Austin to attend lectures on data science, predictive analytics, machine learning, and many more.
The 3-day conference attracts a growing community of data scientists, IT professionals, analysts, developers, and business leaders—certainly a good mix for the networking CTO.
Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning are all topics of considerable interest for today’s executives. Every year, AnacondaCON devotes the first day for running “product- and package-specific tutorials”—last year, they focused on SciKit Learn, GPUs, the Anaconda Enterprise platform, and more. The number of seats is limited, so don’t miss out this year!
This one is a must for CTOs seeking to understand whether an algorithmic approach to technology will provide better customer experience, increase business, and/or produce cost savings.
Last year, the convention finished with a giveaway drawing, courtesy of Anaconda and NVIDIA. Let’s see what kind of surprise this year’s edition holds.
Actually, EuroPython 2020 is still under construction. The full version of the official website will be launched late February/early March and the Call For Proposals will follow soon after. You still have a chance to become one of the speakers!
The 1st EuroPython actually predates the 1st PyCon by a year. The original event brought together a small group of 240 attendees. Now, the number of participants is close to 1200 every year.
The 7-day event is broken up into the following days:
I attended the event two years ago and was impressed to find a very solid mix of developers and C-Level executives.
The event in August will be the second edition of the first ever pan-African conference of its kind. The University of Ghana, which is where the event will take place, was also the venue of PyCon Ghana in 2018.
Last year, the event’s agenda was packed and included workshops, talks, sprints, and more. This year, we can only expect the same.
Ghana has an active Python community. Check out the Twitter account of PyLadies Ghana to see what they’re up to.
I attended PyCon UK back in 2016. While the travel plan from Poland wasn’t ideal—a flight to London, followed by a train to Cardiff—the event was worth the trip.
The 5-day conference attracts 500+ attendees, mainly focused on the UK. Over those days, attendees can join keynote presentations, talks and panels, as well as lightning talks and sprints.
As is the case with all conferences on this list, PyCon UK offers an option for companies to sponsor a booth and pair their conference efforts with recruitment.
Since 2016, a PyCon UK Slack is created every year for the purposes of putting together meetups and events with other conference attendees.
The social channel provides networking opportunities for those unable to stick around over the entire 5-day session.
We’re still waiting for more announcements about this year’s edition.
Apart from the typical convention panels, PyCon UK 2019 hosted a few additional activities that they proudly announced at the top of their website.
In cooperation with Django girls, the organizers threw a one-day free Python course for beginners. Raspberry Pi Foundation and CoderDojo curated a Children’s Day initiative to teach the basics of coding to the youngest attendees. And in the evening, the participants could try their luck in board games and… manual crafts. Knitting a scarf at a Python conference? Only in the UK.
I hope this year the conference will be just as exciting and light-spirited.
Last year, two major Python conferences eamed up: PyCon DE and PyData. This year, the cooperation will continue.
The official website for the 2020 event hasn’t been launched yet, so stay tuned!
In 2019, the conference offered over 100 sessions dedicated to PyData topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and ethics, as well as Python topics like programming, DevOps, or Django. I’m sure we can expect a program just as rich this year.
By the end of 2019, all the conference videos were released on YouTube.
For those unfamiliar with this small, passionate community of 200+ core developers and 800 contributors, Plone is a content management system (CMS) geared toward users of varying technical skill levels. Organizations such as NASA, eBay, and the FBI have used Plone for both public-facing and internal websites.
Some developers I work with may take exception to Plone making this list, since it is considered to be outdated and increasingly redundant in certain circles. However, there is no denying that the CMS has a devout following, meeting up annually to discuss recent developments.
While the annual meetup focuses on Plone, conference track themes are quite diverse and may appeal to the larger Python community. According to this year’s call for proposal, the topics will include “not just Plone, but also related technologies such as Volto, Guillotina, React, Angular. And of course topics such as accessibility, user experience, documentation, continuous integration, community organizing and others.”
STX Next holds its very own Python conference, called the Tech Power Summit. The 2020 edition of the annual event will be our sixth and biggest to date.
Aside from the traditional Python talks, our top specialists will be discussing the latest trends in software development, including AI, React Native, cloud technologies, Agile, and more.
Expert lectures and in-depth presentations by STX Next personnel are followed by an exquisite gala with drinks and dancing to conclude the event.
Feel free to check out this playlist with hand-picked presentations from the previous editions:
Stay tuned for the full agenda of the Summit!
While the event is invite-only, we are discussing opening up the 2021 edition of the summit to the broader Python community. Check back here for updates.
Being a CTO means you’re obviously extremely busy. You can’t afford to attend every great Python conference out there, even if you wanted to. There’s a lot of work to be done, like updating your app, contributing to an investor’s pitch, or opening recruitment to expand your team.
That’s why if you only have time for 1 or 2 Python conferences in 2020, I strongly recommend PyCon US and/or EuroPython.
While there is a wide range of amazing Python conferences to choose from—some of which we’ve probably omitted—both PyCon US and EuroPython offer just the right combination of engaging discussions on emerging technologies and stimulating prospects of expanding your engineering team mix.
Pick either, and I promise you’ll get your money’s worth.
Thanks for taking the time to read through the list.
Do you agree with our selection? Think we’re missing a critical piece of information about the conferences listed? Know of another Python conference that should have made the list, but didn’t?
Go ahead and leave us a comment. We’ll verify your suggestions and include them in our next update of the post, if we decide they could be of interest to CTOs.
And if you’d like to learn how to improve your process of managing software developers, look no further.