My First Tech Conference Post-Bootcamp

Sarah Morris O’Keefe
4 min readFeb 11, 2019

PyTennessee is a conference held in Nashville, TN for Python developers and those currently learning the language. Though I’ve only been writing and developing with Python for 4 months in my current job, I had a fantastic experience at this welcoming and open-minded conference, and highly suggest you try to attend if you’re interested.

As a female in the industry, it’s generally (blatantly) obvious that I’m part of the minority. This was at the forefront of my mind as I was gearing up for PyTN throughout the week. After talking to a few “seasoned professionals” at the conference it became apparent that the overall theme of this conference was different from others; the code of conduct was thoroughly discussed and the PyTN Chair’s phone number was written on every whiteboard in the building, to encourage everyone to speak up when they see something.

With that being said — I never felt insecure or overwhelmed because of my gender. I, of course, felt outnumbered. However, that’s something that will continue to dissipate as the tech industry gets more and more diverse. I was consistently bombarded with new information and new faces and new ideas and new systems. I found that my favorite talks were focused more around processes and ideas, than the thorough and technical talks (but those were great too)! There weren’t as many “soft” talks as I had assumed, and that was a little deflating. But there were plenty of topics both interesting and relevant to my current job as a junior QA engineer and developer. I had the chance to get a fantastic introduction to Python as a whole from Grishma Jena, which really set a tone for the rest of my experience. I was able to comprehend the syntax thrown at me a little quicker after listening to Grishma explain the foundations and Jigyasa Grover explain the history and best uses for the language.

Though the Deep Learning talk from Sebastian and Deborah Hanus went over my head pretty quickly, it was really interesting getting some exposure to the topic and hearing about their experiment with detecting voice disorders. I found out about the Kaizen Method to rewriting old code from Brandon Williams, who blew my…

Sarah Morris O’Keefe

Software Engineer @ iHeartRadio // Writing + Tech + Music + Mindfulness + Wine + Gaming //