Friday, March 9, 2012

A new PyCon... and a new book (and a new article)!!

I'm excited about this year's PyCon conference happening this time in the heart of Silicon Valley. There are many firsts, so let's just list a few here (let me know if I'm missing any)!

This is the first PyCon...
  • ever held in Silicon Valley (although older Python workshops have been hosted here)
  • that had a cap; yes, we "ended" registration at 1500 people
  • where we ran out of swag bags; 1800 were ordered... POOF, gone by mid-Saturday
  • to have sold out! (even though we capped at 1500; didn't stop it from going over 2000)
  • with an attendance near or exceeding 2200 (2257)
  • that had to stop accepting sponsorships... at 136!!!
  • to feature a physical race (not to be confused with a race condition)
Another exciting announcement is that my first 3rd edition Core Python book will be published and debuting at the conference!! It's called Core Python Applications Programming and based on the second part of the original Core Python Programming book. All of the books' individual home pages are now unified at The books also have a shared Google+ page for you to encircle! They're literally "hot off the presses" as they were overnighted by the printer to the publisher's hotel and brought by hand to the conference! (Amazon's not shipping them for another 10 days after that!)

The new book features upgrades and new stuff added to existing chapters as well as brand new chapters on Django, Google App Engine, and text processing with CSV, JSON, and XML. There is even new material on Twitter and Google+ in case you're feeling more social than when the previous edition was published. Those of you asking for that PowerPoint slideshow generator for the past N years, or perhaps an intro to NoSQL/MongoDB? Yep, they're in there too! Finally, I've added not only Python 3 equivalents to many of the code samples, but I also cover some best practices when porting from 2.x to 3.x.

With all of the updates and new material, I'm hoping that this will be one of the most popular places for intermediate Python programmers to go once they've gotten comfortable with the langauge but want to apply their skills to a variety of topics in Python development today. While the coverage doesn't necessarily go particularly deep, the goal is to give programmers a kickstart with a comprehensive introduction.

To help kickoff the new book, I got to thinking about Python books in general, especially the numerous times that people have either asked me or asked in some online forum: "What's a good Python book?" Unlike Python, there's not one right answer for this question, so as part of this exploration, I came up with 3 different book lists for diverse audiences of readers out there. You can find that article at InformIT.

In the meantime, it's back to the drawing board for me as I prepare to work on the 3rd edition of the main part of Core Python. If you've got ideas or suggestions on updating part 1 or wish to participate in the review process, please contact me now! (@wescpy/+wescpy)

ps. For those interested in brushing up on your Python skills, I'll be offering my popular Intro+Intermediate course this summer near the San Francisco airport. Go to for more information!