PyTN 2019 Speaker Series: Piper Thunstrom

Piper Thunstrom is a PyTN conference speaker presenting a talk on Making Games at PyTN 2019. We are thrilled to have Piper as a speaker, and share the enthusiasm for Python and PyTN 2019 below!

Piper Thunstrom

What have you been working on lately that you’re excited about? (It can totally be non-tech related!)

My most exciting project is PursuedPyBear. It’s a video game library meant to simplify a lot of the learning curve and make it a great tool for learning, either in a classroom setting or self driven learners experimenting with new CS concepts. It’s on PyPI as ppb and will be mentioned in my talk.

What are some of the learning resources you’d suggest to newcomers to the Python language?

In general, I like to suggest resources based on the newcomer’s interests. For games, I point at my own (now out of date, but not for long) tutorials. For web stuff, the Django Girls tutorial is still one of the best. For general “I don’t even know how to program” Al Sweigart’s books got me started, and Automate The Boring Stuff is a better book than the ones I learned on.

Do you have any advice for getting the most out of a technology conference?

It absolutely depends on your skill level and experience in the community. If I attended PyTennessee with the same goals, outlook, and strategy as I attended my first PyGotham I’d get a lot less out of it.

But in general, my current strategy for conferences are: check the schedule before you go. Find the talks that apply to what you’re doing right now. Earmark those. When you arrive, don’t be afraid to say hi to people you’ve never met. Attend those most important talks. And most importantly: Listen. The so-called hallway track is invaluable and is often the most successful part of conferences for me.

Have you ever been to Nashville? If so, is there anything you recommend first timers do while they’re here? If not, is there anything you’re excited to see or do while you’re here?

This will be my first time in Nashville, I’ve lived a lot of places in the US but North Carolina is the furthest into the South I’ve lived, so most of it is unexplored territory. That said, my girlfriend is also coming with me to Nashville because the NWHL All Star Game is the same weekend in Nashville so I get two awesome experiences in the one trip.