Home Assistant at PyCon 2016


It’s been already almost two weeks ago that a few of the Home Assistant developers headed towards Portland for PyCon 2016 - the conference about everything Python. We were there to learn all the nifty tricks to make our code better but most of all, to talk Home Automation.

Home Assistant developers Couple of Home Assistant devs. Left to right: [Paulus (@balloob)], [Alex (@infamy)], [Ryan (@rmkraus)].

On Monday I (Paulus) gave a presentation about Home Assistant to an audience of over 400 people! It was a bit scary at first but after a couple of minutes it went all great including some great questions afterwards. Slides can be found here and the talk is embedded right below:

One of the things that really impressed me was the amount of people that approached us to tell how they love Home Assistant, how it has replaced their previous solution, how they enjoyed contributing to Home Assistant and how helpful our community is. It makes me proud of Home Assistant and especially our community.

PyCon has a few great concepts that I haven’t seen at other conferences: open spaces and sprints. Open spaces give anyone the opportunity to get a room and host a session for an hour to talk about any topic. Sprints happen after the conference part of PyCon is over. For four days there are rooms available for participants to get together and hack on their favorite open source projects.

My talk had limited time for Q&A so open spaces offered a great opportunity to get all pending questions answered and connect with the commmunity. There was more interest after the first day so we ended up hosting another open space on the second day.

We’ve had such positive reception on our open spaces that Jonathan Baginski decided to repeat it online. We will be hosting a free online webinar Home Assistant Support 101 - Getting around in Home Assistant later this month. Make sure to RSVP.

After the conference part of PyCon was over we spent one extra day to host a Home Assistant sprint. This allowed us to help people get started with hacking on Home Assistant which lead to some great contributions.

Home Assistant sprint group photo Home Assistant sprint group photo.

I’ve had a really great time at PyCon. It was awesome to meet everyone in person and I hope to see many of you next year!