Slides and audio from SXSW, videos from PyCon, recovering from jetlag and tinkering about under Lanyrd's hood.
So that's SXSW Interactive over for another year. It was every bit as enormous as we expected, made more intense by the weather driving all 20,000+ attendees indoors for the first few days. This year we took the team out, rented an apartment near the convention center, hacked, ate a LOT of meat and tried to make the most of the sunshine while it lasted.
Our unofficial SXSW session guide proved a big hit at this year's conference, and we even scored a couple of mentions as one of the top apps of SXSW 2012:
Over the past week people have been using Lanyrd to collect together slides, notes and audio from the event - and our collection currently stands at 125 slide decks, 425 audio recordings, 49 sketch notes and a bunch of other notes and write-ups. If you know of any that are missing please don't hesitate to sign in and add them to the corresponding session pages.
Now that we're safely back in the office we're looking forward to rolling a bunch of the features we trialled at SXSW back in to the rest of the site - so watch this space for updates.
We've spent the week since we got back paying off some of the technical debt that's accumulated over the past few months. We've upgraded the site to Django 1.3... just in time for version 1.4 to come out and leave us out of date again. Thankfully the next update should be pretty straight forward - the Django team do an amazing job keeping upgrade pains to a minimum.
Since bringing Tom on board our infrastructure has evolved from a terrifying mess of digital duct tape to something more akin to a well-oiled machine. We made it through SXSW without any downtime at all, mainly thanks to Tom looking at a graph, saying "that doesn't look good enough" and firing up a couple of extra servers to handle the extra load (thanks, puppet).
We've been using Munin for most of our graphing, but Tom's latest infrastructure project is an installation of Graphite which makes graphing anything and everything even easier. We've rolled out several performance improvements informed by our new Graphite-powered graphs, so the effort has already started to pay off.
We write most of our code in Python at Lanyrd, and I was sad that PyCon US, the annual Python community conference overlapped with SXSW again this year. Thankfully the PyCon team did an amazing job recording and publishing full videos from 94 talks at the conference, and we've also indexed 31 slide decks to go with the talks. If you're only going to watch one video from that conference, I'd suggest checking out Militarizing Your Backyard with Python: Computer Vision and the Squirrel Hordes. Computer vision has never been so useful.
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