June Meet Minutes

The June edition of Chennaipy meetup happened on 27th. I have started this weird habit lately of relating the meetup to the end of a month. So when the meetup date approaches, you kind of know - Oh, so another month is about to get over. The meetup notification for June kind of scared me a bit as it was only then it dawned on me that half the year is gone leaving behind only piled up todo lists. Believe it or not RSVPing Yes to the meetup brings a sort of closure - in the sense a thought deep inside that the month is going to end on a high with that feel-good feeling.

If I recall correctly, this was the 7th time IMSc is hosting Chennaipy and what a great venue it is. This coincidentally was my 7th meetup too or in other words I haven't attended a Chennaipy meetup elsewhere. I would have missed this edition, but then some good fortune smiled out of somewhere and I was able to make it.

The schedule for June edition was really promising. All the four talks looked very interesting from the meetup agenda page, the talks were on diverse topics and all Chennaipy aficionado's would have been eager to attend this edition of meetup. My flatmate a Pythonista himself quipped a day before the meetup that talks were rock solid this time and I felt a tinge of geek-excitement hearing that from him.

Object Oriented Programming Paradigms in Python

Fast forwarding to the meetup day. The meetup began once again by Vijay our Benevolent Host For Life (BHFL) welcoming everyone to another edition of meetup. The first talk of the day was "Object Orient Programming Paradigms in Python" by Chandrasekhar Babu.This was a refreshing talk that debunked many myths on the state of Object oriented programming in Python. The talk made a great deal of sense to people like me who started with OOP in Java thanks to an engineering curriculum without knowing what programming is at the first place (Sigh!). The speaker through his witty Slide points titled 'Pythonism' took us on a ride through the wonderful object oriented world of Python. Ideas such as 'Everything in Python is an object', 'duck typing' etc were reinforced thanks to a crisp wonderful talk. The humorous anecdotes matched well with the pace of the talk and the pleasure was certainly ours in listening.

Writing Parsers in Python by Hand

KS Sreeram gave a talk on "Writing parsers in Python by Hand" and it is no exaggeration to say that it would have been one of the most anticipated talks at Chennaipy. As someone who slept through most of the 'Compiler construction' classes back in college, I had initially doubted whether I would understand anything at all. But then Sreeram surprised a great deal by saying that creating a parser is much like assembling a collection of Lego bricks and it is inherently very simple. The slide which began with a dragon exhaling fire (a tribute to the much dreaded Dragon book perhaps ?) moved gently to a dragon built using Lego bricks. A parser takes some string as input, it basically checks for a format or rule ; if the format matches the input is passed forward else the input position remains unchanged - This simple idea of building rules one by one and combining them was demonstrated effectively through code snippets. As the talk got over, I felt more smarter at having learned the basics of a really cool concept and a riveting question on how I had managed to clear this particular paper without knowing much remained. Well, learning never stops.

Networking Tea Break

Networking Tea Break

Break time @ Chennaipy and the Chennai weather gods took all of us by surprise with a sudden downpour of rain. The tea and the biscuits paved way for many interesting conversations among the Python geeks of Chennaipy with a much more pleasant weather as the backdrop this time.

Managing Jenkins with Python

The next talk was by Vijay on the topic of "Managing Jenkins with Python". This talk was super useful for me to know some of the best practices in implementing CI, Vijay was briefing us on how he used AutoJenkins a python package for connecting with Jenkins and how it can save us from the trouble of handling multiple jobs. Speaking from his own experience at his organization where he manages around 150 jobs via Jenkins, he explained the very basics on what constitutes as CI practice and how Jenkins come into the picture. The talk was in effect an elegant solution that he was able to find to fix the problem of violating DRY principle by copying jobs multiple times. As Jenkins is something that I use extensively at my project, I could possibly relate more to this talk more than the others and I could realize very quickly that there are lots of neat things that could be done with Jenkins than what I had expected.

Building Websites using Plone

"Building websites using Plone" was the next talk which was given by Suresh. I had a brief chit chat with him during the break and was playfully asking when we could have a next 'free for all' debate reminiscent of net-neutrality, the sportive person he is ; he replied something along the lines of he 'is ready for it provided Shrayas is also there'. That brought laughter across our faces and then discussions moved gently to Plone. Skipping to the actual talk, Suresh started with a basic overview on Plone which is a CMS system built using Python. He explained us on how Plone is a great option for people who are looking to setup a website and Plone with many of its add-on features makes the job of designing a CMS system pretty easy. He also touched on places where Plone is used and it's track of record for being very secure. There was supposed to be some demo which he couldn't share unfortunately due to a bug on his machine.

Vote of Thanks

And then it was time for the Vote of thanks. Vijay thanked the sponsors of the June Meetup 'Clay labs' and everyone else who attended the meetup braving the heat and the rain. At this point, someone in the crowd suggested something along the lines of 'we should thank Vijay for all his effort in organizing the meetup', on hearing which the audience broke to a thunderous applause - a nice gesture to see. Vijay also hinted on a possible Python conference in Chennai which is certainly something to look forward. After small wonderful conversations with the Python folks (err I should say Pythonistas), we all eventually left from IMSc with the satisfaction and gratitude of having spend an evening well.

Meeting minutes contibuted by Krishna Sangeeth.

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