Over the course of the last week I attended both PyCon in Montreal and LamdaConf right here in Boulder. I have always enjoyed using Python, but thanks to one outstanding professor, I also have very fond memories of functional programming and lambda calculus from grad school. Both conferences were amazing, and there were similarities between the communities, but these are two fundamentally different styles of programming.

Computation, Church-Turing, and all that jazz – Massimo Pigliucci

While my inner nerd may be in a state of philosophical turmoil, that doesn’t change the fact that PyCon was awesome. Special thanks to Nick Lang (@fxdgear) and Piper Merriam for giving me a glimpse into their world as Django developers. Not to mention the leadership at Simple Energy for sponsoring the event and sending us out there.

My favorite talk was “All Your Ducks In A Row: Data Structures in the Standard Library and Beyond” by Brandon Rhodes, but Gary Bernhardt also delivered The Birth & Death of JavaScript, which has definitely caused a lot of buzz over the last couple of weeks.

I was blown away by the keynote from Jessica McKellar. Hearing the story of one teacher making such a large impact with computer science students actually made me emotional. The most entertaining keynote by far, however, was given by Guido Van Rossom. He decided to do some live coding, and in the midst of debugging his program, made a few comments about static typing and compilers which will stick with me for a while.

Guido's Keynote

Guido’s Keynote

Python and PyCon will always have a special place in my heart. I understand now why my colleagues are so passionate about the community there. However, I have other co-workers who are equally ardent about functional programming. The comments that Guido made about static typing and compilers were funny, but also bothersome in a way. I tagged along to LamdaConf the following weekend to explore this a little bit further.