Real Python Podcast Episode #151 Title Artwork

Episode 151: Evaluating Python Packages & Celebrating 20 Years of PyCon US

The Real Python Podcast

Mar 31, 2023 1h

Have you ever installed a Python package without knowing anything about it? What best practices should you employ to ensure the quality of your next package installation? Christopher Trudeau is back this week, bringing another batch of PyCoder’s Weekly articles and projects. We also have Python Software Foundation executive director, Deb Nicholson, to share details about PyCon US 2023.

Episode Sponsor:

We cover a recent Real Python tutorial by Philipp Acsany on evaluating the quality of Python packages. The piece provides a tool kit for researching the traits, history, software license, and current condition of external Python packages. We also discuss the techniques that we personally use before selecting a package for our Python projects.

We share several other articles and projects from the Python community, with topics such as the underlying structure of virtual environments, the overhead of Python asyncio tasks, documentation for Python projects with Sphinx and Read the Docs, a project for creating argparse boilerplate, and a way to generate seemingly realistic fake numbers using Benford’s law.

Deb Nicholson is also here to talk about the 20th anniversary of PyCon US, hosted in Salt Lake City. We dig into the details of the upcoming conference, including keynote speakers, tutorials, scheduled talks, and improvements to the hybrid online experience.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:46 – How to Evaluate the Quality of Python Packages
  • 00:11:35 – Overhead of Python asyncio Tasks
  • 00:14:53 – Sponsor: Courier
  • 00:15:37 – How Virtual Environments Work
  • 00:23:48 – Documenting Python Projects With Sphinx and Read the Docs
  • 00:28:29 – duckargs: Code Generator for argparse Boilerplate
  • 00:30:46 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:32:04 – Are Those Numbers Realistic or Fake? Try Using Benford’s Law
  • 00:34:37 – Introduction for Deb Nicholson
  • 00:36:33 – What is your role with PyCon US?
  • 00:37:28 – Hybrid conference and dates
  • 00:39:07 – Tutorials
  • 00:40:30 – Education Summit and Typing Summit
  • 00:42:06 – Keynote speakers
  • 00:42:57 – Lightning talks, posters, and job fair
  • 00:45:04 – 20th anniversary of PyCon US
  • 00:46:56 – Resources for proposals and talks
  • 00:49:22 – Previous podcast guests and talks
  • 00:51:26 – Mentored sprints for diverse beginners
  • 00:53:12 – PyLadies auction
  • 00:54:29 – COVID policy
  • 00:56:50 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 00:58:07 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 00:59:24 – How to follow the PSF and PyCon US?
  • 00:59:55 – Thanks and goodbye

Show Links:

  • How to Evaluate the Quality of Python Packages – Just like you shouldn’t download any file from the Internet, you shouldn’t install third-party Python packages without evaluating them first. This tutorial will give you the tool set to evaluate the quality of external Python packages before you incorporate them into your Python projects.
  • Overhead of Python Asyncio Tasks – The Textual library uses a lot of asyncio tasks. In order to determine whether to spend time optimizing them, Will measured the cost of creating asyncio tasks. TLDR; optimize something else. This article also spawned a conversation on Hacker News.
  • How Virtual Environments Work – This article attempts to demystify virtual environments, specifically why they exist and how they work. It even delves into why Brett is heading down this alley and how running into challenges with cross-platform tools has prompted the creation of microvenv.
  • Documenting Python Projects With Sphinx and Read the Docs – In this video series, you’ll create project documentation from scratch using Sphinx, the de facto standard for Python. You’ll also hook your code repository up to Read The Docs to automatically build and publish your code documentation.


PyCon US 2023 Links:

Additional Links: