PyCon SK 2018

Thanks to, I had an opportunity to attend PyCon SK conference that took place on March 9 – 11, 2018 in Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava. Its intent was to promote Python, spread open source technologies and open source ideas. Speakers were professionals from various areas of software development – from documentation writers through big data analysts to coders as such. Thus, the lectures covered a wide area of topics and possibly anyone could have found their cup of tea.

Friday, 9 March

The day started with Alex Ellis’s talk about OpenFaaS (Functions as a Service). He introduced the OpenFaaS project, made an account on how to build one’s own serverless functions in containers using Docker, or Kubernetes, or other orchestrators through the extensible architecture. In the talk, practical demonstrations of the use of serverless functions were made, such as voice-driven getting of information on weather and other stuff, turning black-and-white pictures to colourful in one click, etc.

Later on talks continued with Mikey Ariel, also known as That Docs Lady. She talked about docs and the community. In her talk, she pointed out various types of project documentation – from READMEs, through quickstart tutorials, to error messages. The talk introduced or re-acquainted us with topics such as content strategy, docs-as-code, optimized DevOps for docs, and contribution workflows. One of many witty observation she made was: “Instead of documenting a bunch of bugs, why not to fix them?!”

Saturday, 10 March

For me, personally, Saturday provided few highlights.

Anton Caceres talked about big data analysis, and libraries and tools that Python provides in this area of programming. What he emphasized as core skills of data scientists were ability to read data, to visualize it, to formulate right questions, and to endorse one’s imagination while answering those questions by visual presentation of the data.

Another interesting one was by Michael Kennedy. The topic was “Pythonic code, by example”. He explained the concepts of writing idiomatic code in Python (i.e. Pythonic code) that is most aligned with the language features and ideals. This talk took us on a tour of some of the more important pythonic concepts using many examples of perfectly functional Python code that was non-pythonic with pythonic equivalents. Most of the code examples were written in Python 3.5.

Ryan Kirkbride gave the last talk of the day; or better said a performance. He suggested that while coding is mostly quite a lonely activity in which a coder interacts with the program, there is also a way to make coding an interactive activity shared with a community. He himself provided an example by live coding a program that generated music. The idea of sharing an experience of coding with others underlined the idea behind the conference – collaboration, sharing and community.

Sunday, 11 March

On Sunday, we had a look at end-to-end testing of UI of the application. Vladimir Kopso spoke about writing an end-to-end testing automation Framework and some tips for making the code cleaner. He also spoke about parallel running of multiple test suites in Docker containers and time saving this approach brought to running automation test suites.

Tibor Arpáš presented his ideas on how to make writing code in various IDEs more efficient and how to give the coder valuable information on their code. He suggested that when running a code, valuable information is created about the code itself. He came up with few ideas on how to display this information together with the code at one place.

To sum it up, in three days which were full of Python and open source topics, we learned a lot from the speakers. Some of them were better, some of them a bit boring, but there were few that were highly motivating and engaging. Community was the leitmotif that appeared across almost all of them and was apparent also in the overall atmosphere of openness in the hallways, where you could address speakers and discuss with them.

Big thanks to and to the organizers of PyCon SK 2018 for this amazing experience.


Daša Šimková @ PyCon 2017 in Bratislava

The PyConSK 2017 conference took place at Slovak University of Technology’s Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies in Bratislava over the weekend from March 10th to 12th.

First day & its challenges

The first day, the Slovak Day took place. The presentations in the large auditorium were focused not only on Python, but also on Robot Framework, artificial intelligence, Open Data, e-government and many other topics. Presentations in the Small auditorium discussed education, elaborating on best practices in teaching Python at high schools.

The presentation “Alternative Methods of Running Tests and Evaluation of their Results” gave a good insight into using test suites and their interpretation. Another interesting presentation was “Custom Python Libraries for Robot Framework,” which was an inviting introduction to Robot framework for beginners. Another two presentations caught our attention: the first one, by Exponea’s Jožo Kováč, was rather more serious.

In “How can Artificial Intelligence in Python Help a Company Grow?” he gave examples of AI’s benefits for e-commerce. The second one, and also the last presentation of the first day, was the funniest of the whole conference. Speaker Michal Kaukič shone out from others by his excellent sense of humor on the topic, which was otherwise boring – “Graphics in Jupyter Notebooks.” He did not give us much opportunities to fall asleep, as twenty per cent of the time the whole auditorium was laughing.

Second day & Django Girls

Saturday’s presentations were mostly in English. The first one was given by Pavel Serbajlo: “What Makes Silicon Valley Software Developers Special?” Since he spent over 4 years in the USA, he knew what he was talking about. It was interesting for all of us to hear what the values in Silicon Valley are, how people work, communicate, commute and how they live.

Other two presentations, “Making Monitoring Boring” and “Building Data Pipelines with Python” were presentations which I definitely wanted to hear due to personal interest in data mining and Linux administration.

The lunch break was a perfect time to establish new contacts, or simply talk to each other while enjoying a great meal. There were several sponsors booths representing RedHat, Fedora, Mozilla, Exponea, Kiwi, Eset, Kistler and others.

After the lunch break, I attended an interesting presentation, “From Code to Community,” which was focused on a community and its ability to organize not only smaller meet-ups, but also bigger conferences like PyCon.DE. The last speaker that day, Adrian Holovaty, co-BDFL of the Django web framework, had a humanely-focused speech about the community aspects of open source.

On the event’s third day, Sunday, I briefly visited the Django Girls workshop and shortly after that I went to Code Analysis with Coala sprint. I did not know much about Coala, so I really appreciate that I could learn something new about this great open source project helping developers improving their code quality.

Two presentations in the large auditorium were interesting for me as well. In “Object Calisthenics,” Pawel Lewtak discussed nine steps leading to a better code. He showed us how to use nine rules called Object Calisthenics in order to write the code shorter, more precise, easier to read and easy to test. At “Automating Network Equipment with Python,” by Elisa Jasinska, we could learn about automated access to devices by Cisco, Juniper, Arista and others.

I can recommend such a great conference, as PyCon surely is, to all Python enthusiasts. Videos from the event can be found on YouTube.

Ján Hradil

Software Developer

We believe in women in IT

The biggest Python conference in Slovakia, Pycon 2017, is being held during the weekend of March 10 – 12, 2017. We have decided to grant sponsorship to a one-day workshop called Django Girls. The project believes in women’s potential in IT and since the co-owner of Pantheon Technologies, Janka Švorcová, is a woman, we considered our support as a matter of course.

The workshop is focused on website development and thanks to sponsor contributions is completely free of charge. Also, a grant programme covering the travel and accommodation costs for the participants was set up. The application was open to all girls who speak Slovak or English and own a computer. The participants do not need any previous skills or knowledge in this field, since the programming curriculum covers even the very basics.
The whole project and workshop take place as a part of Django Girls, an international initiative and NGO aiming at making IT more attractive to women. Django Girls’ learning tools are being used by volunteers to teach programming skills all around the world.


Gabriel Žifčák

Marketing officer at Pantheon