Over 80 people attended last night’s London Financial Python User Group (LFPUG), with presentations given by Den Pilsworth of AHL/MAN, Eric Jones of Enthought, and Wes Mckinney of Pandas fame. It was an evening filled with practical content, so come on out for the next meetup if you are in town (or for drinks at the pub afterwards)!
The agenda for the evening:
1. “Moving an algo business from R and Java to Python”, Dennis Pilsworth, AHL, Man Group
2. “Financial data analysis in Python with pandas”, Wes McKinney
3. “Fostering Python Adoption within a Company”, Eric Jones, Enthought.
Den presented a case study of how his firm introduced Python into production and ensured that “network distributed” deployment worked quickly enough to ensure good local response time with out overloading the network. He also discussed visualization and pointed out native Python tools need some work to remain competitive with the R user’s sweetheart, ggplot2. He graciously acknowledged the role Enthought’s training played in getting things rolling.
Wes Mckinney discussed the latest Pandas developments, particularly the Group-by function. A number of attendees were interested in potentially using this functionality to replace Excel pivot tables. Make sure to check out Wes’ new book, “Python for Data Analysis.”
Eric Jones discussed how to get Python adopted in the face of opposition, featuring some of the classic objections (e.g. “Python is too slow”).
LFPUG meets roughly every other month, so look us up on LinkedIn and keep an eye out for the next meeting!
It’s been a while since the Enthought blog was updated with something other than the odd EPD release announcement. Pycon would have been a good time to recommit ourselves to blogging, but of course technical difficulties with the blog threw a wrench into that plan.
Pycon recaps are now all over the internet and it seems silly to review talks that are readily available on pyvideo.org. Pycon 2012 does mark something of a turning point, however. Enthought has been involved with the Python community for some time. In fact, it came out that Eric Jones, Enthought’s CEO, has been to all 10 Pycons! How do ya like them apples!? In that time, the Python community has grown from a small rag-tag group of rebels into a very large and shiny unicorn.
Guido and some fanboys
Listen to me! I speak French!
The UnDancing Room
The latest Pycon was the slickest iteration to date. Some of the old Pycon hands were a bit surprised at the step function upward in expo hall booth quality. It was a veritable cornucopia of booth lounges, t-shirts, and other swag. Recruiting has become much more of a focus as Python has entered the mainstream. The sheer number of people involved has grown more daunting as well (at least for the introverts among us). The YouTube party proved, however, that some things remain the same (can you guess what it is?).
Nevertheless, “community” remained one of the central themes of the conference and we are certain that the next couple of years will offer some interesting developments as programmers push the Python envelope further (e.g. PyPy, domain specific languages, etc.).
Enthought contributed in its own small way. Jonathan Rocher talked about “Storing, manipulating, and visualizing time series data using open source packages” in his Pycon presentation. Enthought staff participated in a number of BOF sessions and Chris Colbert managed to squeak in his lightning talk on Enaml, a domain specific language for declarative UIs. A slightly longer version of his lightning talk is included below for those of you looking to simplify your UI development.
All in all, Santa Clara was a gracious host and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!