Q: Thanks for agreeing to this interview Tori! We heard you got a lot out of attending PyCon this year, how was it?

Tori: Attending PyCon Philippines 2016 was an amazing experience, to say the least. Although the conference doesn’t solely focus on data science, majority of the talks presented uses data in their respective fields, from creating a dancing spider using Raspberry Pi to discovering blackholes using Python. This just highlights the value of data and data science in the Philippines, and the rest of the world.

Q: What was it like attending a Python conference given that your primary programming language is R?

Tori: At first, I thought that I would have a hard time understanding the technical aspect of the talks, given that I’m more used to programming in R. But most of the speakers spoke more on the background of their research, why they were conducting their research, and how their research is useful and beneficial for a lot of people. There still was some parts I couldn’t understand, but overall, the insights I’ve gained from the experience wasn’t hampered by my inexperience with Python.

Q: What was the most interesting talk for you?

Tori: All the talks were really interesting, but there were two talks that really struck me in particular. The first one is entitled “Developing PhilSHORE a Marine Spatial Tool with Python” which was given by Ian Panganiban & Charmyne Mamador. In a nutshell, if I remember correctly, they are part of a team that uses the ocean current to produce renewable energy. And the second talk was “Deploying Arches, a Python/Django app to help document and protect cultural and historic sites in the Philippines” given by Joel Aldor. Thinking about it, the reason why these two hit hard is because of the shared goal of two very different projects, using data to help improve our country.

Q: What would you say to people who are thinking of attending PyCon next year?

Tori: Go for it! Regardless of your experience, or lack thereof, in Python, this conference is really worth it. Also to see people wanting to help our country is what was the most inspiring and moving thing about this conference, not just the two talks I was talking about a while ago. To attend PyCon Philippines is to witness the coming together of this entire group of people that uses data to improve the lives of the community. Honestly, I can’t wait to go back next year!