Dask Summit Recap

Last week was the first Dask Developer Workshop. This brought together many of the core Dask developers and its heavy users to discuss the project. I want to share some of the experience with those who weren’t able to attend.

This was a great event. Aside from any technical discussions, it was ncie to meet all the people. From new acquaintences to people you’re on weekly calls with, it was great to interact with everyone.

The workshop

During our brief introductions, everyone included a one-phrase description of what they’d most-like to see improved in the project. These can roughly be grouped as

  • Project health: more maintainers, more maintainer diversity, more commercial adoption
  • Deployments: Support for heterogeneous clusters (e.g. some workers with different resources) on more cluster managers. Easier deployments for various use cases (single user vs. small team of scientists vs. enterprise IT managing things for a large team)
  • Documentation: Including example
  • Data Access: Loading data from various sources
  • Reliability: Especially on adaptive clusters, as workers come and go.
  • Features: Including things like approximate nearest neighbors, shared clients between futures, multi-column sorting, MultiIndex for dask.dataframe

One of the themes of the workshop was requests for honest, critical feedback about what needs to improve. Overall, people had great things to say about Dask and the various sub-projects but there’s always things to improve.

Dask sits at a pretty interesting place in the scientific Python ecosystem. It (and its users) are power-users of many libraries. It acts as a nice coordination point for many projects. We had maintainers from projects like NumPy, pandas, scikit-learn, Apache Arrow, cuDF, and others.