Sunday, February 14, 2010

Staggering Through PyCon

If you have been looking over the PyCon schedule while packing your bags this weekend, you might have noticed that — besides flat-out offering more talks than any PyCon in world history — this year's schedule has a really interesting feature: the start of lunch time is “staggered”, with some talks ending just after noon at 12:15, and others ending fifteen minutes later at 12:30. The talks that start right after lunch are similarly staggered across fifteen minutes, starting either at 1:20 or 1:35. Just take a look at the schedule and search for the word “lunch”:

If you have ever been at a conference where you had to stand in an enormous line as everyone at the conference tried to get lunch simultaneously, then you probably have an idea about why we are excited about this change! With this staggered arrangement, there should be a shorter line for lunch, since the conference-goers will arrive in two waves.

But the real win is that, for the first time, attending a 45-minute talk will not mean missing two 30-minute talks! For contrast, compare this year's staggered schedule to the 45-minute talks in last year's schedule, which you can see here:

Do you see the difference? Last year, many of the 45-minute talks forced you to miss at least parts of two other 30-minute talks! The staggered schedule eliminates this restriction entirely: because the 45-minute talks carve their extra 15 minutes from unstructured times like lunch and the afternoon break, you never wind up having to choose to see “one talk for the price of two.”

And this additional convenience, we hope, will make it a bit more bearable that you have to choose between such great talks in the first place!

Travel safely, and we look forward to seeing you later this week.

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