PyCon 2023: What I learned from the Python community

Discover what Capital One learned at PyCon, the largest gathering for the Python community.

Discover what Capital One learned at PyCon, the largest gathering for the Python community.

This past April, I was afforded the incredible opportunity to attend the 20th PyCon conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. PyCon is the community's largest and longest-running annual gathering using and developing the open-source Python Programming language. Attending this conference allowed me to learn about different ways to improve the use of Python for both my and Capital One’s benefit.

Tyler Katz at PyCon 2023

Tyler Katz at PyCon 2023

It highlighted the importance of Capital One’s presence in this space. It was a unique opportunity to discuss with other engineers regarding the value that the Open Source Program Office provides to our company.

I flew into Salt Lake City on Thursday to meet some of our associates and explore other companies’ booths. I immediately visited Capital One’s booth to introduce myself to some of our tech associates and was blown away by how friendly everyone was.

I enjoyed learning about everyone's perspectives and advice on PyCon and Capital One since we all came from various stages of our careers and had various levels of Python experience. Talking with the representatives of other companies at their booths allowed me to understand the types of questions people might have when frequenting our booth.

Showcasing our Open Source Program Office at PyCon

Working the booth on Friday allowed me to showcase our great work at Capital One and on the Open Source Program Office team.  

The main question asked was, “Why is Capital One (a bank) at PyCon?” This allowed us to highlight some of our Open Source projects, such as Data ProfilerFederated Model Aggregation, and DataComPy. Many people who visited our booth were surprised to hear about how invested Capital One is in technology and open source, and throughout the conversation, expressed interest in how much Capital One gives back to the open-source community.

I also attended some talks, including one focused on PyScript, Python's syntactic sugar and how to avoid it and subclassing within Python. Listening to these presentations helped me learn how to engage audiences more effectively in my presentations and gave me tools to better utilize the language at work and on personal projects.

Learning new skills at PyCon

I also was given the opportunity to attend some talks, including one focused on PyScript, the syntactic sugar that Python has and how to avoid it, and subclassing within Python. Listening to these presentations gave me tools to better use the language both at work and on personal projects, and demonstrated some good practices for an engaging presentation.

Networking at McCune Mansion following the PyCon conference

Finally, Capital One hosted a networking and recruiting event at McCune Mansion for PyCon attendees, which attracted more than one hundred guests.I answered more pointed questions about our company and how Python and Open Source play a role at Capital One. 

Capital One's presence generated a lot of interest and many of my conversations resulted in an introduction to our recruiters about potential job openings. Attending PyCon allowed me to network with people inside and outside the company. I am very grateful for this experience and hope to represent Capital One again next year at PyCon. 

Tyler Katz, Associate Software Engineer, Cloud and Productivity Engineering

Associate software engineer with interest in coding, data structures and software. I enjoy putting knowledge to work in real-world environments.

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