Snake it up with Python, PyData, PyCon

More than 400 participants met at the ZKM for the PyCon.DE2017 – 10 PTV colleagues among them (Photos: Michael König).

End of October, techies from all over the world gathered in Karlsruhe. The Data Science community met at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media for the PyCon.DE2017 and PyData, a conference dedicated to the Python programming language. 10 PTV colleagues were among the over 400 participants who came to learn about the latest trends and developments.

They could choose from a significant number of presentations. A total of 68 talks and tutorials were offered during the three-day event. “I haven’t used Python that often yet, so for me the conference was the perfect opportunity to look at the bigger picture and expand my horizon,” says Julia Schröck, GIS Data Engineer at PTV. “There were many incredibly interesting presentations to listen to. Two speakers from Munich, Germany, for example, presented a robotics system based on a Nao robot, an Oculus Rift and a Kinect One that you can control via gestures.”

Christian Mähler, Principal Software Engineer, was able to gain some helpful insights and establish new contacts at the PyCon.DE2017: “I mostly listened to overview presentations. Python is simply the “it” language when it comes to machine learning and big data. Its developer community is basically exploding. I believe that with the entire ecosystem of libraries and tools it has to offer, we will also be using Python more in the future.”

At PTV, Python is currently used as a scripting language that enables users to automate recurring processes and combine PTV software with other products. The geoinformation system QGIS and PTV’s test center also works with Python.

“Personally, I use Python to develop our map database,” says Julia Schröck. “At PyCon.DE2017, I discovered the so-called Jupyter Notebook that can be incredibly helpful. And I am actually making use of it now.”

The PTV colleagues could choose from a significant number of presentations: A total of 68 talks and tutorials (Photo: Michael König).

The organisers did an excellent job at choosing the venue of the PyCon.DE2017. Karlsruhe is a significant IT location in the south-west of Germany and the ZKM had just opened the exhibit “Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds” a week prior to the conference.

Christian Mähler was also happy with the venue: “It’s great that Karlsruhe gets to host such a large conference. And the venue is simply perfect for this type of event. Some workshops actually took place in the exhibition space. In other words, coding workshops were offered at an exhibition about codes – that’s awesome! We are already looking forward to next year’s conference – hopefully with speakers from PTV.”

The PyCon.DE will be back at the ZKM Karlsruhe in October 2018.