Note: this is a guest post by Andrew Dodd who was developper for Adimian from 2017 to 2018

I'm writing the first cut of this on the Saturday following Europython 2017. I'm writing from my hotel room looking out over the Rimini beach, which has been extremely pleasant.

The week has been an interesting semi professional development, semi team bonding, semi holiday experience. I think it is worth commenting on the conference itself and the experience of the week away with new colleagues.

On tour with Adimian

Eric, the owner of Adimian, was kind enough to organise for the majority of the company to attend the conference in Rimini, with most also bringing their families along for the week (or part thereof). I had never travelled with work colleagues for an extended period for anything that wasn't directly work related (I have had plenty of experience with work colleagues in Zambia, but that's a topic for another day), and so I did not know what to expect from the week.

Overall, I feel that the week has been an overarching success for me. The eclectic bunch from Adimian (two flems, one walloon, a frenchman, a fin and a skip) have gelled in a way I didn't really expect. We have had joint dinners every night, and many shared breakfasts. We have ribbed each other about the different accents we all have (NB: as the sole mono-linguist, I typically kept the ribbing to a minimum), and have bonded over stupid 'in-jokes' that cropped up during the week (COMMAND FILTER, time-machines, fightin' round the world for chicken and rice)! I can't think of a better way to get to know a team that you have just joined than attending a conference together.

The week provided an environment where we often needed to do simple group logistics, like deciding on a lunch spot or organising transport to the conference. This provided a non-work-related setting for team building and cooperation, and is obviously quite a good way to build camraderie in a new team. It also gave us plenty of opportunites to have personable interactions outside of the office context, giving time for us to build a more 'real-world' insight into who our coworkers are.

Much Success! Such Bond!

No, you're a Python!

Europython was the first conference I have ever been to, so I guess I didn't really know what to expect. I think it has been a positive experience, but that it was a little disappointing at times.

My observations and reflections on the week are:

  • I was exposed to a bunch of technial libraries and language features of Python that I would otherwise avoid.
  • Parallel programming, concurrent programming are seriously hot topics at the moment, which is a bit frightening as I don't really have much experience in the area (well, not at the scale that people seem to be talking about).
  • I have a very broad set of experiences, but realised that I lack a degree of technical depth (esp in Python). However, I think I also tend to focus on the 'product' and design aspects heavily, which I think is a plus.
  • I discovered that it is really hard to pick what will be a good talk from the title and description. I found that many talks claimed to be one certain topics or promised to provide insights, but more often tended to be brief overviews of a topic.
  • I think that I tend to value engineering and craftsmanship over tools and techniques. I often chose talks that I hoped would provide me with guidance on improving my practice, but often these were too 'beginner' level.
  • I thought that many of the talks (especially the 'lessons learnt' or 'best practice' style) delivered too much school-research-assignment information and not enough critical analysis.
  • I tended to complain about talks and be frustrated early in the week, but managed to change my attitude by the end of the week.
  • I feel that I should really put my money where my mouth is and contribute a talk before I sign up to attend another conference

In summary, Europython was an inspiring week that has given me plenty to think about and I look forward to attending again some day....oh, and Adimian has a great personal development policy!