EuroPython 2019, as told by Numberly

EuroPython is the place to be for Python lovers across Europe. Here is what we thought of the 2019 edition.

EuroPython is the place to be for Python lovers across Europe. And there are many Python lovers in our ranks : Data Scientists, DevOps or Data Engineers. Many of them swear by this flexible and versatile language.

The EuroPython conference takes place annually in a different Euopean city : Edinburgh, Rimini or Bilbao… and part of what makes it special is that it is organized by volunteers. This year, the pythonistas met up in Basel to share their expertise with the community and learn about the most innovative uses of Python. A few of us had the chance to be there : they tell us all about the 2019 edition of the conference and share their observations. EuroPython, as told by Numberly…

Notre équipe à l'EuroPython 2019

A word from Alexys, our CTO

At Numberly, we’ve been using Python for over a decade. The versatility of the language and its rapid adoption by our tech teams has helped us transition from a startup to a larger company.

As a European tech company, it quickly felt important for us to engage with the European community of what became our language of choice (and dare we say, a common tongue for our diverse, international teams) ).

In 2013 we went to Florence to attend to our first EuroPython conference.

At that time, Python for the web was getting stronger and asynchronous programming using gevent was paramount. This experience has allowed us to discover that we were using the exact same technical stack as other players from other industries who faced similar problems as us (Spotify among them). We engaged in very interesting conversations and shared tips with a wide range of people.

After such a great experience it felt natural and important for us to support our community and its diversity by sponsoring the EuroPython conference. We’ve been doing it since 2014 (Berlin) so EuroPython 2019 was the 6th edition that we sponsored!

EuroPython also matches our “tech is made by people” motto: over the years we have made a lot of friends there and we are happy to meet them every year. There are also a lot of first time attendees that we get a chance to discuss with and welcome as EuroPython has become larger (it is now pretty stable at 1200 attendees approximately).

Through the years, we’ve witnessed the rise of Python in the data communities… and I hope, contributed to it. It’s both fascinating and exciting for us to see how the EuroPython talks trend shifted from web related topics to DevOps topics and is now reaching a peak on data science related subjects!

We feel very privileged because our own challenges match exactly those trends even if that’s not so surprising. After all: web + devops + data are the pillars of what we do at Numberly!

It is also important for us to contribute back to the projects and communities we have the chance to work with.

As a data company operating in the digital ecosystem, we build and run a lot of web services and large data processing pipelines which are both very sensitive to availability and latency. So we have been sharing our own experience in those fields by giving talks at the conference for a few years now.

Since diversity (in all its forms!) is vital for us, we are engaging with and participating in other tech conferences. We thus encourage every tech at Numberly to attend conferences as well as to give talks because that’s what conferences are about to us: meeting, learning and sharing!

Alexys, our CTO, on stage

Julien, DevOps

I have been lucky enough to attend EuroPython for several years now.

To assess the quality of talks provided and more generally of the conferences, the technical prism was my barometer. I now realize that I am much more sensitive to the community aspect even without knowing many people personally. I keep rediscovering how alive the Python community is.

As a sysadmin, I was drawn towards command line tools and how they can make my daily tasks easier. The talk Becoming a command line wizard is a rare bird for people wishing to increase their knowledge in this domain! It contains very useful command line tools that so many of us use daily and never think twice about. These alternatives have improved speed, new features and all the convenience of our old friends: ls, find, grep and time.

It’s always a good opportunity to compare and face off our technological choices. The choice to use Kubernetes, for example.

In this field, and operating a container ecosystem ourselves, I have the feeling that we have passed the “Must I use Kubernetes?” milestone. Today we are more on “Day 2 with Kubernetes”.

If you have an interest in Kubernetes, please make sure to check out Alexys’ talk, How we run GraphQL APIs in production on our own Kubernetes cluster (starting 2:02:02):

Our team enjoying the dinner

Roza, Data Engineer

As a woman and data engineer, I was happy to discover two things about EuroPython: first, the gender balance in the attendees, second, the impact of data.

I was hoping to be able to talk to people from various backgrounds who all share the same passion for data… and fortunately for me, the animations on our stand were widely popular: a lot of people took part in our snake game, and the prizes (stuffed snakes) were very attractive… which allowed us to spend some time with those who tried their luck!

Our team with the winners of our stuffed snakes

EuroPython was also a good opportunity for us to rethink our decisions and technological choices. The conference Building data workflows with Luigi and Kubernetes for example, proved that our choice to use Airflow was the right one. Airflow has an easy-to-use UI, a built-in scheduler, allows for easy testing of DAGs and boasts a strong and active community. Airflow features have also been developing at a much quicker pace.

Sébastien, Data Engineer

As a Data Engineer I work primarily with Python and database querying languages, so my scope on Python is at first glance quite restricted.

However I didn’t feel out of place as this EuroPython conference had a great number of talks and training sessions about how to analyse, extract, store and use data. But I wanted to use this opportunity to learn about other uses for Python, find conferences and trainings to help me evolve and see the full extent of what one can do with Python. Here are my favorites for EP19:

Amongst my favourite bits of the conference, I can mention Johannes Valbjorn’s lightning talk about reverse-engineering recycled heating meters to help hippy squatters who don’t like to pay bills get general heating during the cold Denmark winters… The next time you think something can’t be done, please watch this talk.

But overall, my favorite part of this year’s EuroPython was the PewPew device. This small handheld electronic device uses CircuitPython to execute any python code you upload to it. The enthusiasm and energy of seeing your code come to life in that little piece of hardware is profoundly rewarding. Some of the participants even programmed their own games during the conference and shared them with everyone. Writing some code, sharing it with people and seeing what they do with it, that’s what Open Source is truly about!


Christophe, Software Engineer

As a new attendee, I was really happy about the atmosphere at EuroPython. During the whole conference, I’ve met a lot of people from all around the world, sharing the same language, Python. But everyone had one other thing in common : a permanent smile. I’ve learned so many things during this conference, from the MyPy library to cool command line for Linux systems. My favorite talk during the EuroPython was about asyncio. Lynn Root explained, in depth and with real code from Spotify, how anyone can leverage the library to optimize performance and what the best practices are. It covered so many aspects asyncio in only 45m, even the tracing of a request! I was like wooow!


Our team at EuroPython