Jupyter Days Boston

Last week, I attended the Jupyter Days in Boston. Hosted by  O’Reilly Media, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Library and the Harvard Law School Library, the event brought together over 100 iPython/Jupyter enthusiasts (and experts!) from academia and industry.

I started using Python about six months ago when I dived into remote sensing data, and I have used Jupyter notebooks on occasion, mostly for debugging code, so I was curious to see what else could be done with them! This was also my first time attending this kind of workshop, and I was excited to see what the community was like.

Many great talks were given, and you can see the list of presenters and their slides HERE. On day 1, I really enjoyed learning new tricks, like how to use Binder to turn a GitHub repo of notebooks into an executable environment, allowing the code to be reproducible by anyone. I also discovered the magical plots made with Plotly, which I am looking forward to using. Finally, one of the highlights was the very impressive Safia Abdalla, college student, CEO of DSFA and Jupyter expert. It was very inspiring to see such a young woman rock the room with both her humor and her knowledge on kernels (the thing you have to restart in your notebook every once and a while without knowing really why…). Check out her hilarious slides!

Day 2 was a bit more technical and hands-on with an extensive intro to Docker in the morning, and a few more examples of application in the afternoon. I especially enjoyed Brian Keegan’s demonstration on how to use Jupyter to analyze Wikipedia’s network!

In summary, lots of new knowledge, probably more than I will be able to process, and I’m certainly looking forward to going to a similar workshop again soon!