As I fly back to my university from Chennai after Pycon, I cannot stop recalling everything that has happened to me for the last 3 days. Leaving the Airbnb and going towards the airport wasn’t an easy thing for the mind. I had to pen down what’s been going on in my head for a release.

After finishing my exams midst Durga Puja (which I was really looking forward to), I spent a few gloomy days in the hostel because I couldn’t go back home. Desperately needing a break, I was counting my days till Pycon.

To be honest, I wasn’t as excited I was last year to go to Pycon - partly because I just had my exams done, and I couldn’t enjoy the 3-day holidays I got after that.

I packed all my essentials on my backpack and ran towards the airport thinking that this will suffice. Boy, was I wrong. Upon reaching Chennai, I met up with Kuntal (@hellozee) and a two more #dgplug members with whom I will have been staying for the next few days.

We got into the Airbnb, me being socially awkward, stayed silent for a while. The rest of the #dgplug gang joined in with Pizzas and Pepsis. I got my mental cooldown over a game of Uno and having pizza for the first time after Fall, 2017.

“Dedipyaman” is not an easy name to pronounce. We had a good laugh over people trying to pronounce my name. Even the Bengalis in the group were struggling. Now you know why this blog is called “Twodee’s kitchen” and not “Dedipyaman’s”.

Well, I was living with developers from different parts of the country. We had met for the first time, this did feel like home.

At the Chennai Trade Centre, I made sure I collected my stickers first. I participated in my first challenge at the Jetbrains booth to bring home some goodies. I didn’t want to miss out on a T-shirt featuring my favorite set of IDEs in the world.

Thoughtworks (I know it as the company Martin Fowler works at) gave me a nice Wireless Charger for a simple Binary Search snippet re-arrangement. I don’t have a phone that supports wireless charging. If the generous reader would like to gift this poor soul with a phone that supports Wireless charging, they can have a virtual hug from me.

AQR presented me with a T-shirt, a cool coaster and a mousepad with USB slots. I am yet to figure out how that works, but as the first person who solved your Pycon challenge - I thank you for the goodies.

As for the talks, I wasn’t sure how the silent conferences would turn out to be - but for a change, it worked out pretty well!

I really loved David Beazely’s (@dabeaz) concluding Keynote (although I’m not sure what his original intended topic was). He wrote a stack machine in front of a live audience, and then went on to do WASM with Python while making mistakes - like a normal human would. It was really fun to listen to his insights, and he deserved the whole standing ovation at the end. Python’s (or any language for that matter) future is what we make it.

Pycon is not Pycon unless you walk till you tire your legs out. I went to random people, said hi, talked about our experiences. Met a couple of old faces too. Interestingly, a significant portion of Pycon attendees don’t write Python. Well, good to know that I am not the absolute minority.

It was all cool and fun. At some point the goodies got heavy and it was a challenge for me to carry my backpack. Two days back, I had squatted and deadlifted after a long three week break. The DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) didn’t fade away, and the backpack somehow equalized the pain by hurting my upper back while the DOMS killed my lower back.

I had a backpack situation that the genius of @hellozee helped me solve. Lesson learned: Carry another bag next time.

But this time, Pycon for me was not really about the conference - it was about the people. I realized, you don’t really feel the impact of Open Source at a personal level, unless you spend time with the community in real life. Yeah, Open source is changing the world - but how its bonding people from all groups, ages, sexes, races - can only be felt when you play a game of cards or have dinner together.

Or when you have the tech-stack wars: No one writes JS willingly, Java yields loooong lines…

Unfortunately, I live in a tightly packed bubble with almost no exposure to the outside world. The only communication I do get with like minded people is through online channels. I didn’t know about #dgplug being this online IRC-based thing and meeting at least once a year at Pycon.

The way they came together as a family, laughing at each others jokes and enjoying the moment - it was something special. I have had the chance to meet and talk to them about what they do, what tools they use on a daily basis, their adventures in life. A real life human-to-human experience sharing.

So, here’s my take on my experience in this year’s Pycon:

Coding solo is great, you can write code all the day alone and get things done. The community is greater, you can empathize, share, and grow together.

I would like to thank all of the #dgplug folks to make me feel welcome and a part of the group. It was something I really needed, but didn’t know that I did.

As I arrived at my dorm room, I conclude this with a heavy heart. I look forward to the next conference and hopefully will be a more social person.

Pycon was all worth it.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out this post about my first time Pycon experience: How Pycon India 2018 changed the way I see things. To sum up, I can reuse what I said on my last Pycon post:

It was never just about Python. It has always been about the community.