PyCaribbean 2016

Steve Dower

Last week I attended the first ever PyCaribbean conference, organised by the local community and held in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.

The conference was held in Biblioteca Pedro Mir at the university
The conference was held in Biblioteca Pedro Mir at the university

Conferences like PyCaribbean are an opportunity for Python developers and enthusiasts to come together and meet, network, discuss, and generally enjoy being part of a global community.

Attendees at PyCaribbean 2016
Attendees at PyCaribbean 2016

There were over 250 attendees at around 50 sessions, including talks, workshops and keynotes. Topics ranged from Python’s new type-hinting tools, Django and conda through to machine learning, supercomputing and metaprogramming. One room was dedicated to Spanish-language sessions.

Sponsors of PyCaribbean 2016Steve Dower presenting on AzureAzure features and services that were presented

Steve Dower presenting on Microsoft Azure

As Microsoft helped sponsor the conference, we were invited to come and present a session. I spoke about Microsoft Azure, teaching attendees about core services like virtual machines and Azure Machine Learning, and also demonstrating some of the magical features that we have built on top of them, such as Project Oxford.

Dancers at the first night's entertainment
Dancers at the first night’s entertainment

Besides the main conference, the organisers did a fantastic job of entertaining attendees. We were treated to social events each evening, which were a great opportunity to experience local food and culture (especially for those of us who couldn’t speak Spanish well).

Attendees and speakers at PyCaribbean 2016
Attendees and speakers at PyCaribbean 2016

It was very exciting to see the first PyCaribbean be such a success. Though many speakers came from other countries, the majority of attendees were local to central America.

The organizers deserve congratulations for an excellent conference, and we are very excited to support and participate in future PyCaribbean events.


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