Sunday, August 22, 2010

PyTexas 2010 Breaks Out This Weekend

This coming weekend, on Sat Aug 28, the Texas region Python community holds the fourth annual PyTexas. This is a breakout year for PyTexas in organization, volunteers, and attendance as we strive to grow into a larger, more established yearly event.

PyTexas 2010 is a one day event held at the Baylor University Science Building in Waco, TX, featuring scheduled presentations, "open spaces", lightning talks...and a "Python Teach-In" to help beginners and intermediate level developers gain a learning boost through peer instruction and exercises (such as the Python Koans).

Sponsorship, Prizes, Partying, and Swag
Attendees receive a nifty PyTexas pocketed t-shirt, as well as a chance at many generous prizes from Wingware, ActiveState, No Starch Press, JetBrains, and O'Reilly Media. We'll be getting swag from all the PyTexas 2010 sponsors. In addition, Rackspace plans to host a "Meet & Geek" evening party for all attendees including food, drinks and airline tickets as a door prize.

We're currently expecting about 100 attendees, with 71 confirmed and 31 tentative, as well as a last minute rush of registrations as students from Baylor and several other local universities see flyers posted and hopefully receive email from their professors.

The higher attendance this year may be attributable to the choice of Waco as the host city, a more centrally located venue than previous years.

How to Register
The PyTexas website is a wiki, which means every page is editable. Because we don't yet have fancy registration software, attendees register by editing the PyTexas 2010 wiki registration page and typing their name at the bottom of the list of other attendees. If you are not sure if you can make it, please put your name under the "Tentative" list toward the middle of the page.

If you are interested in participating in the Teach-In, either as a learner or a tutor, please add your name to the Python Teach-In 2010 page. This helps us know how many volunteer tutors we need to recruit to help out.

How to Arrive
  1. Check the PyTexas 2010 venue wiki page for the latest instructions. (Edit: The parking pass is no longer required on weekends)
  2. After locating and arriving in the Baylor Science building parking garage, you'll need to walk a couple of blocks to get to the actual Science Building. If you check the map, it's not that difficult to find, but we're planning to make it easier by chalk-marking the sidewalk to point the way to PyTexas (university policy allows this!).
  3. Follow the signs in the building to the PyTexas area
  4. Sign in at the PyTexas registration desk
What to Bring
  • Your laptop with Python installed. If you don't have a laptop, and wish to attend the Teach-In, please indicate that on the Teach-In registration page so we can help arrange a computer for you to use.
  • We might be short on electical power strips, so if you have a spare, please loan one to PyTexas.  Label it with your name so you can take it back home afterward. 
  • A swag bag with which to haul your booty. We don't have swag bags this year and may have to give out grocery sacks! :-)
  • Any technical books which you don't want anymore; you can swap with others or just put them on a table for giveaways.
  • Bring along anyone you think might like to get started learning Python.
How to Stay in Touch
Announcements related to PyTexas (for things like parking passes) will be sent to the PyTexas list, as well as the Python user group lists for Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

However, I'd like to suggest that members of the Texas-area Python community should join the Texas Python mailing list. While this list has been primarily used to organize PyTexas, it can also serve as a "user group" mailing list for the local community. Many Texas towns don't have a user group, and even the established Texas user group mailing lists don't have many active participants. Let's use the Texas Python mailing list to stay in touch with each other year-round; the result will be a more active local Python community from which we'll all enjoy the benefits.

Ditto for IRC; most of the organizers this year hung out on #dfwpython at freenode, but we're planning to start a #pytexas IRC.

Please feel to contact me directly if you want to discuss any questions or issues about PyTexas.

Brad Allen
PyTexas 2010 Chairman

1 comment:

Brad Allen said...

I've updated this post to add a link to the Rackspace "Meet & Geek" party, at