Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Python Brasil – People > Technology

It's October 17th, 2018. I've arrived at Natal, a beautiful coastal city in Brazil's northeast region. Known for its beaches and hotness, it's surprising how I'm not thinking about all the Caipirinhas I'm going to drink at the shore after the conference. My excitement is because I'm going to attend Python Brasil[14]!

After six months out of my home country, I'm thrilled to once again join this conference, now as an attendee and speaker. It's only my second edition – out of prior fourteen – but enough to know how great Python Brasil is. Full of amazing people, talks, tutorials and evening happy hours, this is possibly the most fun Python conference in the world. Seriously.

It's big

Lasting for 6 days, 784 people attended the event. Out of that, 153 were women and about 120 students. Within 4 different tracks, there were about 120 talks, 30 lightning talks and 6 keynotes, being the first Python Brasil to livestream the whole main conference. 

Additionally, 5 tutorials, 1 sprint day and 1 independently organized Django Girls were held for those wanting more practical hands on. All of this was possible due to an outstanding organization team and the support and sponsorship from 8 entities.

It's incredible how the biggest Python Brasil ever still feels so much like a family.

A beginner friendly conference

Welcoming beginners is one of the pillars in this community. To make it happen, the organization team created a specially priced ticket pack for the IFRN (Federal Institute of Rio Grande do Norte), allowing them to bring over 120 young students from 3 different cities. It was beautiful to see all these students around, watching talks, talking to the speakers and enjoying every moment of the conference. 

During the sprints, a group of students learned about data scraping. In a world where it is very hard to capture the attention of youths, it was fascinating to witness how they were so focused on learning. It demonstrates how a small gesture – like discounts on a ticket – can change people's lives.

To express their gratitude, one of the students wrote and presented during the lighting talks a Python Brasil themed Cordel – a pamphlet with novels, poems and songs, very popular in that region – bringing some of the attendees to tears.

Student presenting the Cordel

Financial Aid

Besides the support for the students cited above, tickets were granted for people unable to pay for them. To justify the concession, the person needed to tell their history. After reviewing the applications, 6 out of 7 tickets were donated.

Let's talk about Open Data

A different keynote was presented on the second day: a panel about Open Data and Civic Technologies. Mediated by Mário Sérgio, five participants discussed topics like what is open data, how our legislation is currently dealing with it, tackling fake news, and what the expectations for the future are. In the light of Brazil's last election – which also happened in October – it was a perfect moment to create a debate and demystify the subject.


The first PyLadiesBRConf was organized to celebrate the PyLadies Brasil 5 year anniversary. The motto of the conference was to help more women become active members of the Python community, inspiring those who were recently getting involved.

Independently organized by the PyLadies, the conference happened one day before Python Brasil. The event was totally free, receiving about 120 women, with 8 speakers and ending in a fishbowl discussion. Likewise, the whole organization committee was formed only by women volunteers.

The main organizer, Débora Azevedo, said that it was five years cultivating the community, involving a lot of hard work to get them to this point.

PyLadiesBRConf official photo

PyLadies at Python Brasil

Dorneles Treméa Award

Named after the founder of the Python Brasil Association, the award is a tribute to Dorneles Treméa, a developer, community member, and open source leader, always willing to help and share his knowledge, who sadly passed away in a car accident in 2011. The award is given to the member or members of the Python Brazilian community who keep alive the spirit of collaboration, entrepreneurship, and commitment.

In this edition of Python Brasil, it was given to Filipe Cifali, Humberto Rocha and Rudá Porto Filgueiras, for their incredible work at running and maintaining the Python Brasil and the Python Brasil Association online infrastructure.

Filipe Cifali receiving the Dorneles Treméa Award

The Challenges and the Future, by the Staff

According to the organization committee, scalability and inclusiveness were the biggest challenges for running the conference this year.

Ítalo Rossi, the Big Kahuna (chair):
"The conference was initially planned for 400 attendees, but we ended up with it with 784. Adapting the budget, venues, and logistics was a big challenge."

Ítalo Monteiro:
"The challenge was to promote the best infrastructure for the biggest Python Brasil in history, making it a safe space for everyone, not accepting any kind of prejudice or intolerance."
When asked about the future of the conference and the community, all of the organizers said they wanted to improve the diversity of the event even further. Having more women attending and speaking, more participation of beginners and more involvement of minorities. Additionally, they all want to have a bigger and more united community, believing in its growth, visibility, and engagement.

People > Technology

My first contact with the Python community was at Python Brasil in 2016 and it changed my life.
A lot of the experiences and opportunities that I had – personally and professionally – came from being part of it. It's not just about the technology, it's about the people.

Of course, this wasn't the whole conference, there's no way to cover every amazing thing that happened there. At least, I hope to get you excited to go to the next one!

I'd like to say thanks to all the organization committee and everyone involved in putting together this superb conference and helping me with this article.

Python Brasil official photo.
The sign represents Python in BSL (Brazilian Sign Language),
made by Amanda and Sávio at Python Sul 2018

You can take a peek at this wonderful conference’s photos and videos.

The Python Brasil[15] will happen at Ribeirão Preto, in São Paulo. Date still to be confirmed.