Monday, August 25, 2008

Google App Engine at the Utah Open Source Conference

App Engine is probably the biggest thing to happen to Python this year, so of course I volunteered to give a presentation on it at at the Utah Open Source Conference. (I'm scheduled for Friday, Aug 29, at 10:00 AM.) Last year's conference was a big success, so I'm looking forward to an even better experience this year.

Here's the abstract I submitted, before they blew away my paragraph breaks:

Google launched the App Engine service earlier this year to immense interest from the web development community. App Engine allows running applications on Google infrastructure, including BigTable, Google's non-relational, massively scalable database.

App Engine is appealing both at the low end, where small shops don't want to have to deal with hardware procurement and systems administration, and at the high end, where the kind of "instant scaling" App Engine promises to deal with bursty traffic is the holy grail of infrastructure planning. This tutorial will cover the basics of App Engine development, including development and deployment of a simple application.

Please sign up for an App Engine account and download the SDK ahead of time so we can jump right in to the code. Basic Python knowledge will be assumed.

After I submitted the proposal, I found out that all presentations are going to be 60 minutes long. That is not much time if we're going to do hands-on work, but you retain so much more by doing than you do merely from watching that I don't consider it optional. So seriously, come with the SDK installed. Those who do not, can look over the shoulders of those who do.

If you don't know Python and you're a last minute kind of person, you might want to attend Matt Harrison's talk the day before, 90% of the Python you need to know. Matt has presented several times at the Utah Python User Group as well as PyCon.

Bonus tip: if you can't make it to the UTOSC, the two best talks on App Engine are Rapid Development with Python, Django, and Google App Engine and Building Scalable Web Applications with Google App Engine. My presentation will cover similar material to the first of these.

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