Last week I’ve travelled to Florence where I attended PyCon Otto, the 8th edition of the Italian Python Conference. As expected, it’s been yet another great experience with the Italian Python community and many international guests.
This year the very first day, Thursday, was beginners’ day, with introductory workshops run by volunteer mentors. Thanks to a cancelled flight, I’ve missed out on this opportunity so I joined the party only for the main event.
On Friday, I’ve run another version of my tutorial on Natural Language Processing for beginners. The tutorial was oversubscribed and the organisers really made an effort to accommodate as many people as possible in the small training room, so at the end, I had ~35 attendees. After the workshop, I had a lot of interesting conversations and some ideas on how to improve the material with additional exercises. Some credits for this are due to my friend Miguel Martinez who contributed with the text classification material for the first edition of the workshop.
As per tradition, at the end of the workshop I’ve also run a raffle to give away a free copy of my book on Mastering Social Media Mining with Python.
On Saturday, I gave a talk titled Word Embeddings for Natural Language Processing with Python (link to slides), somehow a natural follow-up of the tutorial with slightly more advanced concepts, but still tailored for beginners. The talk was really well received, and a lot of interesting questions and conversations came up.
Following the traditional social event on Saturday night (a huge fiorentina), Sunday was pretty much a mellow day, with the last few excellent talks, a light lunch and my journey back.
It was great to meet so many new and old friends! The quality of this community event was stellar, and this was possible thanks to the contributions of organisers, volunteers, mentors, speakers and all the attendees.
See you for PyCon Italy 2018!