The Money, Money, Money talk by Russ Keith-Magee, President of the Django Software Foundation, was one of our favourite presentations. He covered a topic that's front of mind for a lot of open source developers: we know free software is better for everyone, but we can't code when we're living under bridges like common trolls, evicted from our homes because we can't pay the bills.
He asked, "is there a way to pay the piper? Or is open source doomed to eke out an existence at the edges of a 'real job'?"
Like any weighty question, the answer doesn't come quickly or easily, but we've got to keep talking about it.
Another excellent talk was Graeme Cross' Python for less than $7. He showed us how to set up a wifi-enabled microcontroller - about the size of a $1 coin - with Python 3.4 to create the small but mighty MicroPython. He predicted the live demo might fail, and fail it did, but the device is bleeding edge, and as a concept to work on, it's pretty incredible, not to mention its potential in terms of the internet of things.
The last morning of the conference found us and a lot of other lanyard-wearing conference goers desperately (and fruitlessly) searching for breakfast and coffee before the conference started. Word to the wise: never come between a developer and his or her source of caffeine.