A guest blog by Sam Brice, NumFOCUS Visiting Fellow.

Cross-posted from https://medium.com/@sbrice/highlights-from-the-2019-pandas-hack-331c132f89e8


  • Thank you to Walmart Technology for hosting the Pandas Hack !
  • MicrosoftDell, and VARIdesk for their generous sponsorship.
  • Marc Garcia from the Pandas core developers team for helping facilitate the event.
  • Andy Ahonen for the Tech Talk on How to Give a Great Hackathon Demo.
  • Desmond ThomasDani Rose, and the extended Walmart Technology team for organizing the event.

50+ developers participated in the 3-day event, submitting various bugfixes and improvements.


Taking place simultaneously in AustinBentonville, and Dallas from August 16–18, the Pandas Hack was a weekend hackathon focused on providing updates and bug fixes to the pandas data science library.

Planning the Event:

Walmart Technology reached out to NumFOCUS early May to discuss partnering on a pandas themed event.

Over the course of several months Jim Weiss, Walker Chabbott, and Sam Brice from NumFOCUS partnered with Desmond ThomasDani RoseKevin Horecka, and the Walmart Technology team to coordinate a tri-city simultaneous hackathon for August!

With help from Jeff Reback of the pandas core developers team, a set of themes were drafted for the event and volunteers from the community were recruited to help facilitate the open-source development process.

Day One:

The turnout on Day One was great!

Attendees pitched ideas around to spark creativity and get a sense of who they would like to work with over the course of the event.

Groups naturally formed between like-minded attendees and hacking began right away.

Day Two:

Things got serious on Day Two!

By then most developers had set up a local environment, picked an issue, and submitted a few PRs. It became harder to find more generic issues to work on.

That’s when our very own datapythonista (Marc Garcia) came to the rescue with Issue #27977!

Dallas certainly didn’t mind the pressure — opting to add a little corn hole challenge while at it…

…oh and Fußball. Because, why not!

Day Three:

Plugging-in and cracking knuckles, for it’s the last minute prep!

Day Three marked the final countdown — by 2 PM teams had to submit their presentations before getting a chance to practice, then demo on stage.




Event Summary:

50–60 engineers participated in the Pandas Hack over the course of three-days across Austin, Bentonville, and Dallas — with more than half making their first ever open source contribution!