Thought about python from a rubyist

This weekend there was a python conference here in Taipei (pycon apac). As Gandi was sponsoring it, I went there and tried to figure out how python and ruby communities differ in my local area. As a matter of fact, I also push my python coding skills a bit. I kind of like to nurture a general polyglot approach.

It first seems that the python community is more largely supported by sponsors than ruby one. It’s more mainstream in the general engineering world, I guess. There was google, facebook, microsoft, having a table and talking about their cloud things. But the general setup was pretty similar to the ruby or rails conf I’ve been in.

The topics in this conference were maybe a little more scientific and less web-oriented than we can find in ruby world. Python has tighter bindings with lower level languages. I think it’s not a specificity of the language because you also can build C extensions for ruby. But it’s more a result of the community interests.

I have the feeling that the ruby community dedicated more efforts towards the web front and other rails related principle like testing suites, DSL and meta-programming. But my general feeling is that there is no technical reason for that. It’s just how things happened over time, mostly given the weight of rails in the ruby communities.

Actually, I also had the feeling that pythonists don’t consider ruby as a ‘competitor’. They feel closer to java, node or golang, and at various occasion I had the impression that they consider ruby to be only the language behind rails.

I also thought that the ruby community was special about its adoption of macbook laptops. Even if actually the python coder has more diversity, I evaluate around half macbooks, the rest split between ubuntu and windows. It’s less that in ruby confs where macbooks are kinda 90% and windows users are very few.

Also, I noticed a similar movement about diversity with django girls and pyladies, comparable to the rails girls, which tries to close the gender gap in the engineering world.

Anyways that was good and interesting. Geeks are the same kind, whatever language they use (by trade or by taste). I strongly advise, if you have the occasion, to wander out of your usual communities and join other circles. It gives a good perspective on you usual world.