PyTN 2019 Speaker Series: A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis is one of our two keynote speakers presenting a talk at PyTN 2019. We are thrilled to have Jesse as a speaker, and share the enthusiasm for Python and PyTN 2019 below!

Jesse Jiryu Davis

I’ve been reading about distributed systems algorithms, and learning TLA+, a language for specifying and checking algorithms. These topics turn out to be more approachable than I thought. As I get older I’m seeking to learn, not just new skills, but new kinds of skills that transcend what I’ve learned before.

What’s a way that you think the Python community has grown that you didn’t expect? Where do you think the Python community/ecosystem could develop further?

Python used to be an upstart. The community was struggling to prove Python could compete with “serious” languages like Java. Now it’s the most popular language. The Python community has shifted a lot of its effort to making programming more accessible to underserved groups, and I hope we do that more, and cover it more in blogs and podcasts. It used to be interesting to hear how Python was used in various industries, or to ask programmers “How did you get into Python?” I’m less interested in Python as a language now, and I want to hear more about coders from poor neighborhoods or poor countries.

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

I don’t know! I wish I were learning Python today, I hear there are terrific books and courses now.

How hot do you like your hot chicken, and for how many meals are you going to eat it while you’re here?

Fried things don’t agree with me. The only reason I’m returning to Nashville is for the grilled avocado at Two Ten Jack. Please don’t tell the conference organizers.

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

Speak! About anything! It announces what you’re interested in and smart people will find you later to talk with you about it. If you’re not speaking, research a few people you know will be at the conference whom you want to talk with. I like to schedule lunches or coffees with people I admire but don’t know well: it’s ok to write a stranger and ask to sit with them for lunch, they’re free to say no.

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?

I’m so glad that PyTennessee has brought me to Nashville for the last few years, otherwise I never would have come and my life would be worse. The Grand Ole Opry is slow and boring in the best way and the vendors serve whiskey. Lounge in the cheap seats upstairs. Tour Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Shop haphazardly from thrift stores and artists around Five Points.