Jack Diederich: Stop Writing Classes

Python is famous for making it easy to get into programming: The syntax is simple, the constructs readable, and the data structures rich. Python also makes it easy to create new classes and work with objects.

In some ways, though, Python makes it too easy to create and work with objects. Python, unlike some other programming languages, doesn’t require that you use classes, but makes that possible. This means that developers wills sometimes create new classes when it is unnecessary — when functions and Python’s built-in data structures more than suffice.

In this talk, Python core committer Jack Diederich describes and demonstrates many cases in which Python developers went overboard, creating and using classes when there was no good reason to do so.  Using classes made the resulting code slower and more complex than as otherwise necessary.

David Sanders: Introduction to the Julia language

The Julia programming language has positioned itself as a high-performance alternative to R, NumPy, and Matlab. People point to its combined easy syntax, high performance, and built-in functionality for analyzing large quantities of data. In this tutorial, David Sanders introduces Julia, showing its advantages and why people have been excited to use it.

Max Mether: MariaDB, a MySQL Replacement?

MySQL is the most popular open-source database. As an open-source project, it can be forked and distributed under a new name. MariaDB is not just a fork of MySQL, but an open-source project led my Monty Widenius, the original author of MySQL. MariaDB thus promises a large degree of MySQL compatibility, while also improving on it in many important ways.

In this talk from 2012, Max Mether introduces MariaDB, comparing it with MySQL and indicating how its many improvements make it a strong candidate to replace MySQL, now and in the future.

Dimitri Fontaine: Implementing High Availability with PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is a popular and powerful open-source relational database. As organizations use it for increasingly complex and mission-critical projects, they want to be sure that their database is available under many circumstances. Even if a server goes down, the database must continue to be available. For this reason, many people have begun to investigate and implement high-availability solutions for PostgreSQL. In this talk, PostgreSQL contributor Dimitri Fontaine reviews the high-availability options available for PostgreSQL users, and the problems that each of them attempts to solve.

Simon Riggs: How VACUUM Works and What to do When It Doesn’t

One of the most important things that PostgreSQL users and administrators need to understand is VACUUM.  VACUUM is used to collect statistics, to mark tuples (rows) as deleted, and to reclaim disk space.  But what does VACUUM really do?  How does it work?  And what’s the difference between plain ol’ VACUUM and VACUUM FULL?  This talk, by PostgreSQL veteran Simon Riggs, introduces VACUUM, and describes what you should (and shouldn’t) expect it to do.

Christophe Pettus: PostgreSQL Proficiency for Python People

Python is a very popular open-source programming language. PostgreSQL is a very popular open-source relational database. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, to discover that many people are using PostgreSQL to store and retrieve data in their Python projects. This talk, given by Christophe Pettus, introduces PostgreSQL from the perspective of a Python programmer; the emphasis is on PostgreSQL, but there are also Python elements here.  If you are thinking of using PostgreSQL in your project, but feel like you don’t know enough about it, this is a good place to start.

David Crawshaw: The State of Go on the Android Platform

Android is (as we all know) a major mobile platform. To date, virtually all Android programs have been written in a version of Java. However, it is now starting to be possible to write Android programs using Go. Go was designed to be a new, compiled system programming language, meant to replace C for many modern tasks. If you are interested in Go, Android, or both, then it’s worth learning about this new direction in which the mobile application world may be moving.