Feb 21

PyCon 2011 Interview with Corey Oordt

A question and answer session with one of the many talented speakers at PyCon this year.

Corey Oordt is Deputy Internet Director at The Washington Times. He has been selected to give two talks at PyCon 2011:

About the speaker

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m just a man with aspirations of adequacy who works at The Washington Times. If I were a tree, I’d be a Catkin-yew. My favorite color is ultra-violet.

The talks

Why did you decide to submit talks for PyCon this year?

I was under the assumption that accepted speakers received a $25,000 speaking fee, a free trip to Hawaii, use of a personal assistant for one year and membership in the “Deli Meat of the Month” club. But my submissions weren’t entirely motivated by deli meats. I enjoy public speaking and have found that writing presentations helps me understand the material better.

A presentation, to me anyway, is about conversation: it is the start of a healthy sharing of ideas regarding the subject matter. And PyCon attendees have such a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

How did it feel to learn that two of your talks were accepted?

Surprise, followed shortly by fear, nausea, a rash and facial ticks; although in retrospect some of that may have been from lunch. I really didn’t think Documentation Driven Development would get accepted. The idea was really still germinating when I wrote the proposal and I wasn’t sure I communicated it clearly. I had presented Pluggable Django Patterns several times before and reviewers could at least see the slides.

What will you cover in Documentation Driven Development?

The core idea is writing documentation before code. I briefly cover the origins of the idea, why I think it is good, and then practical tips on getting started. This is truly the way I currently develop, so I’ve tried to be more aware on shortcuts that I use.

Give us an overview of what to expect from Pluggable Django Patterns.

At The Washington Times, our team has developed a somewhat unique perspective on developing projects and applications in Django. We want our applications to be as pluggable as possible, so it is easy to mix and match functionality in our projects. The presentation covers a little of the philosophy behind what makes an application truly “pluggable” and goes quickly into code examples showing how to accomplish specific hurdles.

PyCon 2011

As someone who has attended PyCon in the past, what keeps you coming back?

The sushi. Wait, I hate sushi. That’s right, it’s the people. The people that remind me of sushi. While the talks themselves are great and interesting, it is hearing the challenges and successes of others between sessions, over lunch, at the bar, or in the restroom that keep you pumped. Each person there has interesting ideas to relate, and I really want to hear what they’ve learned from experience. I don’t think most people realize how much they have to contribute to the community. I know I many times feel like there is no way I could contribute as much as some of the outstanding people in the Python community.

What talks are you looking forward to attending this year at PyCon?

Other people are giving talks, too? I really can’t be specific because I want to see way more than I’ll have time for. I’m not really big on the panels, unless I happen to be on the panel, that is. But my favorite topics this year are deployment, cloud computing, and Ian Bicking’s brain. I was really hoping for a vivisection, but I understand that the facilities don’t allow for it.

See Corey present

Corey and I both work in Washington, DC, and I have seen him speak on a number of occasions, often at django-district. He has a great blend of technical information, style and wit to his presentations. I would encourage you to attend either of his talks or chat with him over a beer.

If you haven’t already, register for PyCon! If you’re on the fence, check out the full list of talks, tutorials and other general information. It’s bound to be another great year.