When I heard that there will be a Pyramid sprint directly before the Europython conference, I knew I have to attend to both events. So I did, and after 15 years I visited Italy again.
The Italy events began in Bologna, where RedTurtle started to be outstanding hosts by picking Gael Pasgrimaud and me up. The sprint, which took place in the RedTurtle office in Ferrara, went very well and we got a lot of improvements going. You can read about all the details in the RedTurtle Blog, so I shouldn't repeat myself here. As I wasn't very familiar with the code base, I took care of the outer parts, but I hope it will show to be a worthwhile contribution. RedTurtle was an awesome host, not only did they teach me a lot about italian food and conventions, they cured me from my coca cola addiction!
Europython 2011 was a blast! In average, the talks were more hands on than talks at Plone conferences. The talk from which I learned the most was the Pitfalls of Continuous deployment talk by David Cramer, I heartily suggest to watch the video of that one. Another talk you should really have a look at is How to build complex web applications having fun from Andrew Mleczko. If I would not have done something similar already, I would have had problems following anything else interesting during the day because my brain would have been busy imaging what kind of cool things I could do, combining Pyramid and Plone. So go watch it!
The venue and the organisation was very good. As you maybe have noticed, internet wasn't, but I heard the organization team tried a number of things to improve that and succeeded some improvements in short time. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to get a good internet. During the first day, the Europython team made a joke about Italians and organizing, but during the conference they proved all prejudice wrong. In fact, I was more than glad that they would walk the extra mile and get some tickets for the PyFiorentina event even for those who actually came too late (Like me). They did all this extra work while organizing the conference, and I am not sure I would receive that much attention on many other conferences.
My setup improved a bit in comparison to my last trips. Unfortunately I did not get my small laptop in time so I was carrying a large brick as always. The Europython team organized Italian prepaid sim cards with data tariffs, so I always had internet on the phone and used it a lot. My phones battery was usually depleted around lunch time. Due to some accident, I ended up with an universal power supply before the conference started. I got a thin one, about 1 cm of height with an additional usb port. That proved to be really practical. In Bristol I was carrying my laptop half open more than once, just to keep my mobile phone charging, this time it was always in my laptop bag, already connected to my power supply, and whenever I recharged my computer, my phone would get its charge too.
I'll never to live demos again. While all went well, clicking through something takes ages when several hundred people are watching you. I started to question my complete Plone talk while moving the mouse or watching the page reload, thus I completely lost the timing for the joke I was going to give.From some people I got the feedback that I should have mentioned more stuff. A full talk about Plone might have been in order, since interest was high. Only after the talk I realized, that I explained that it is possible to create browser views without writing zcml, but I did not mention at all, what to look for to find out how! So, if you are curious, look for the dexterity manual, it explains it all.