Global DevSlam will bring together more than 15,000 participants from 170 countries, including the coding world’s leading talents, decision-makers, and visionaries, at Dubai World Trade Center between October 10-13. The mega event will also feature the popular Python community conference PyCon in the MEA region for the first time.

PyCon MEA will be held with the collaboration of the Python Software Foundation and Global DevSlam. PyCon has held successful Python community events in over 50 countries. The conference will feature 80 speakers and more than 100 hours of interactive learning opportunities.

We recently spoke with the regular keynote speaker of the PyCon events, David Mertz, about what to expect from PyCon MEA and the latest trends in development with Python.

1. Python is very popular in today’s emerging fields, such as data science, analytics, machine learning, and others. This may sound cliché, and you’ve probably answered this question countless times before, but we would love to hear it from you anyway: What makes Python so popular in these and other fields where it is a popular choice, and what advantages does it offer to developers?

David Mertz
David Mertz

I cannot speak for everyone, but for myself—as a member of the Python community for more than 20 years—a large part of what drew me to Python was precisely its community.  Pythonistas, by an large, are friendly, caring, cooperative, but also brilliant, innovative, and dedicated to our technical work. In more narrowly technical terms, Python has benefited greatly from popular scientific computing libraries like NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, and more recently PyTorch and TensorFlow.  The language itself is well designed and flexible, but the numeric tooling developed for it has made it the obvious first choice for data science and other scientific fields.

2. The world-renowned PyCon event series is coming to the MEA region for the first time. What should attendees expect from this great event?

I have worked with the organizers of PyCon MEA to move the focus of GITEX at least partially towards developers and the general Python community in its PyCon MEA program.  We have attracted many of the most prominent people in Python communities worldwide as speakers—most of them my friends and long-time colleagues, I can say proudly—which I think will make this event one where developers can share technical thoughts, and not only for managers to share product pitches.

3. In your opinion, what are the prominent trends affecting development with Python, what should Pythonistas keep their eyes on?

Python encompasses so many different software domains, that it is hard to name just one main trend.  I myself have worked largely in numeric and scientific computing, but Python is equally prominent in web applications, in education, in computer science, and in bread-and-butter commercial applications.

In all of these areas, the breadth and quality of supporting libraries are central to Python’s popularity.  Within the language itself, however, I think the growth of type annotations and gradual static typing have made the language more appealing to large application developers who have historically had a resistance to purely dynamic languages.

4. Would you like to add anything else about Python, PyCon MEA 2022, and/or Global DevSlam?

I would love it if PyCon MEA succeeds in reaching out to the developing world, and most especially to Africa (part of the name “Middle East & Africa”, after all) which has seen an amazing and rapid growth in developer communities and conferences throughout the continent, often drawing multi-national and continent-wide audiences to events.

There are many reasons to attend the world’s biggest coding and development networking event, and here are five prominent reasons not to miss the Global DevSlam.

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