Saturday, November 26th, 2011
Dalhousie University, Faculty of Computer Science
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Hey Developers!
There's more to life than Java and C#.
Come learn about the speed and efficiency of programming with Python. See how innovative companies within Halifax are using Python. Learn how this versatile dynamic language might help on your projects.
9:00am Registration
10:00am Python 101
If you're new to Python or you've dabbled with it ... this talk is for you. Learn what makes Python one of the hottest languages on the go today. We'll go over core concepts and then into the more advanced features. These are the building blocks for all other talks throughout the day.

Sandy Walsh - Dark Secret Software Inc.
Based in Halifax, Alex 'Sandy' Walsh is the owner of Dark Secret Software. He has been a senior professional developer for nearly 20 years and a Pythonista for 10 years. He is a core developer on the OpenStack project with Rackspace. You can learn more about him at or follow @TheSandyWalsh.
11:00am Django 101
Django's tagline is, 'The Web framework for perfectionists (with deadlines)', and we at Sheepdog Inc have found that tagline to be apt. Django's DRY web framework is flexible enough for complex projects while simple enough to have a short start-up time for newcomers.

This talk will act as a tutorial introduction to Django, but will also include learnings which we have gleaned which experienced developers will also appreciate. Throughout we'll include references to some of our favorite open-source apps (modules) which we include in our projects. We'll also leave a few minutes to invite the audience to share their knowledge about Django or its open-source codebase community.

Peter Darrow, David Wolfe - Sheepdog Inc.
David Wolfe is a lead developer at Sheepdog Inc. He was on the faculty of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department of Gustavus Adolphus College for a decade before coming to Norex and later Sheepdoginc, where he has lead the development of PHP and Django projects quite varied in scope and size.

Peter Darrow is software developer at SheepDog Inc. He has a passion for writing high quality code and has experience with Python and Django on a number of large projects.
12:00am Python and High Performance Computing
This talk provides an overview of how Python is used at Flagstone RE for the development of infrastructure software to support a variety of High-Performance Computing applications for insurance services. The presentation focuses on two specific applications, a workflow execution system and a load-balancing service. It will discuss the evolution of the software and code-base over time, and analyse some of the challenges that were faced with respect to scalability and robustness of these applications and provide insights into the practical solutions that resulted from them. The talk will also review some of the external Python libraries that are used in those projects.

Oliver Baltzer - Flagstone RE
Oliver is a Systems Architect for High-Performance Computing solutions at Flagstone RE. Among many years of experience in software development, Oliver has been developing Python applications professionally and personally for more than 8 years and continues to do so on a daily basis. He is also an avid supporter of Free and Open Source Software and uses such software on principle for most of his work.
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Automatic deployments with Chef and Fabric
If you are a web developer, you want to focus on what you are good at - writing your application. You don't want to spend endless hours debugging your servers and tweaking your database. Chef aims to provide an easy way for developers to provision servers and deploy cutting-edge web applications.

Honza Pokorny - Sheepdog Inc.
Honza is a software developer at SheepDog Inc. He has a passion for open source software.
2:00pm Python Performance
People are sometimes obsessed with the notion of speed and think that C provides the least overhead and best performance then it must be the be all and end all of languages. Pythonistas on the other hand think that speed of development, time to write proper tests (quickly) is far more important and therefore choose to use Python even in applications where it might run slower. People are also surprised to find that Python code, especially in large applications, is comparable in speed to their C counterparts and nearly always faster if a similar amount of development time is spent. In this presenation we will briefly discuss some of the optimized algorithms and optimizations already built into Python that grant you speed of development as well as speed of execution. Examples will be shown to demonstrate the code complexity and performance of different snippets of code as well as a demonstration on how Python is used on to query ~14 million listings, augmented with user data such as reviews and comments, and displayed to the user quickly, a task that is a challenge using any programming language.

Hatem Nassrat - GenieKnows / Yellowee
Hatem Nassrat is the Chief Technical Officer at GenieKnows Inc. His responsibilities include maintaining and enhancing the wide array of platforms built by GenieKnows one of which is, a Local Search Engine which is deployed with a Django (Python) Frontend. He has an interest in Data Representation (for data interchange), Database Design and Development. Also interested in Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Reverse Engineering.
2:30pm Python in OpenStack
OpenStack is a collection of open source technologies delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system. It is backed by NASA, Dell, Citrix, Cisco, Canonical, Rackspace and over 50 other organizations. OpenStack is entirely written in Python. This presentation will provide a technical overview of the project as well as a detailed bit-dive and demo.

Sandy Walsh - Dark Secret Software Inc.
3:00pm Next Steps