[Baypiggies] Thoughts on the commercial talks at BayPiggies meetings?

Jimmy Retzlaff jimmy at retzlaff.com
Thu Mar 17 18:28:42 EDT 2016

It's been awhile since I've made it down from the city for a meeting, but I
used to be a regular and gave several BayPIGies talks way back in the
Stanford days and one or two since (some about open source, others not).

One thing that always interests me in attending a talk, even if it isn't
about open source, is how people are using Python. Where is Python used and
what are the benefits and hurdles involved? There are many interesting
organizations using Python in ways we can't see directly (NASA, Google, my
employer Yelp, etc.). As long as the focus is on how/why Python is being
applied and not an overt sales pitch, then I'm interested. Hearing about
how NASA deals with the latencies involved in communicating with rovers on
Mars, even when Python is only tangentially involved, is fascinating. As is
hearing about how Google/Yelp/etc. work with very large quantities of data
in Python.

I also think it's fair to have a slide or two that motivates companies to
pay their engineers to develop presentations and get out and speak. That
could be "we're hiring" or "you can use our non-free API and here is what
it does." I don't think it should be the focus of the presentation, but
without that there isn't a lot of motivation for companies to open up and
teach lessons they've learned. Make it practical for companies to be open
and more of them will be.


On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 2:34 PM, William Deegan <bdbaddog at gmail.com> wrote:

> Rich,
> You should check out some of the AWS and other similar meetups.
> As long as there's reasonable competition, these guys are making decent
> contributions to open source.. (Yes.. even.. amazingly (My younger self
> would never believe I"m saying this) Microsoft).
> I do agree that nobody wants to come to baypiggies and get a product
> pitch. (free of reasonably generically useful technical info)
> -Bill
> On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 5:21 PM, K Richard Pixley <rich at noir.com> wrote:
>> I'm conflicted.
>> On the one hand, the package appears to be free, the service it accesses
>> is well known, popular, and, at first glance, the package appears to come
>> from someone other than the people who are selling the well known service.
>> On the other hand, if microsoft offered a free library for interacting
>> with it's domain, or oracle offered a free python interface to one of their
>> database platforms... well, first off, I'd want to know why they were
>> giving it away for free rather than offering it with commercial support
>> along with the rest of their product line.  But in this case, I'd expect
>> that a presentation by these folks was more likely to be a non-technical,
>> sales pitch than anything that would advance my understanding of the
>> language or our art.
>> I think I liked the idea of free stuff first, free stuff that access paid
>> stuff second, and paid stuff a distant third, depending on what can be
>> scheduled and who's interested in presenting.  I think that might be a
>> better strategy.
>> --rich
>> On 20160317 13:18, William Deegan wrote:
>> Rich,
>> Would boto (for example) qualify or be disqualified for you?
>> -Bill
>> On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 3:26 PM, K Richard Pixley <rich at noir.com> wrote:
>>> I'd prefer to stick with open source offerings.
>>> I think of these talks as an opportunity for personal development, not
>>> an opportunity for more advertising.  For advertising, someone should be
>>> paying for my time.
>>> If this forum devolves into a purely commercial marketing channel, I'll
>>> be leaving.
>>> --rich
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