Eli Holderness

United Kingdom

Eli has been in tech since being released back into the wild from studying maths at university 7 years ago. They've spent their time working in industries ranging from telecoms to biotech to analog circuit design, continually getting nerd-sniped along the way. These days, they're a freelancer who speaks at conferences, runs workshops, and learns whatever they want. In their spare time, they like to play video games, knit and sew, and hang out with their cat.

Pointers? In My Python? It's More Likely Than You Think! Talk

English language

Eli Holderness

Python is a wonderful thing that takes all the complication of memory management away from us. We don’t have to worry about pre-allocating memory for our objects, or remember to free it once we’re done. So, given that we’re not doing it manually, how do these things happen? Do we have to care? Well, sometimes. Maybe.

In this talk, we’ll discuss what a pointer is, where they crop in in Python, and what you need to know in order to avoid getting tripped up by them. We’ll also cover the id of an object, why it's implemented the way it is, and why 'equal' is different from 'identical'. Finally, we’ll talk about garbage collection, what reference counting is, and how CPython knows when it’s time to get rid of unused objects.

Whether you just want to understand what’s going on under the hood without having to dive into the implementation, or you’re on the hunt for some new diabolical things to do with code (self-referential lists are only the beginning!), come along to this talk and learn about the pointers in your Python.

This talk is aimed at anyone with an interest in how Python handles objects in memory, or who’s ever been confused by side-effects popping up in their code. Absolutely no knowledge of C is required, and Python beginners are extremely welcome.