March 16, 2012

Couchbase at PyCon

You've probably seen those ubiquitous bumper stickers that state a driver's "other car is a ..." where "..." is some other form of transport that isn't a car.  If my laptop were to be accessorized with such a sticker, it would read "My other language is Python."  That's why when this .NET guy was asked to attend PyCon, I jumped at the chance.

Along with my colleagues Dustin, Ali and Allie we manned the Couchbase booth.  We had such a steady stream of visitors that I didn't have time to attend any talks.  That's OK though, I instead learned more about the state of Python and hopefully helped some Python devs learn more about the state of NoSQL and Couchbase.

What I learned about Python is that it is alive and well.  It's used at a wide variety of companies - companies where I never would have expected to find code without curly braces.  Pythonistas also tend not to identify themselves "%s framework developers" % random.choice(['Pyramid', 'Django', 'Tornado', 'Twisted']) in the way that Ruby devs call themselves Rails developers or .NET devs sometimes call themselves ASP.NET developers. 

This framework diversity suggests to me that Python engineers are likely to consider using non-relational databases for a variety of use cases (not just the obvious ones).  It's already part of the culture that the best tool for the job should be used.  In the .NET world, we suffer from the "not invented here" syndrome perhaps more than most.   Even the Python devs I met who considered themselves RDBMS developers were very open and excited about Couchbase and non-relational ideas.

I had the opportunity to introduce several developers to NoSQL.  Others knew of the broader space and I was able to demonstrate where Couchbase fits in.  And others were already actively engaged in non-relational prototyping.  I'm looking forward to working with some of these developers in the future. 

Here at Couchbase we use Python for a variety of tasks.  From client support, to QA to server dev, we're using Python in a variety of ways.  We're excited to work with the community and move our Python Client Library along.  The latest commits have brought the client inline with our latest developer preview, but it's still a work in progress.  Look for it to improve significantly as we move closer to Couchbase Server  2.0. 

Also keep an eye out for my Tornado client*.  I started it on the trip out to PyCon and I'll get it online soon. 

*Note that the Tornado client is totally unofficial and not Couchbase supported! 

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