Friday, February 24, 2012

What to do on Friday at PyCon?

It's the day we've all been waiting for: the beginning of the best talk schedule we've ever put together!

Registration

Registration opens at 7:00 AM every day. Due to the record attendance, it is highly recommended you arrive early to register if you were not able to do so on Wednesday or Thursday. After you pick up your badge, head over to the Swag Bag location and pick up a very nice PyCon tote filled with goodies, and most importantly, the PyCon Program Guide. It's a must have resource to everything the conference.

Breakfast

In past years, one of the most consistent pieces of feedback was requests for better food in the morning. Coffee and a bagel is not everyone's ideal powerup meal. We have been listening, and this year we have finally been able to provide a much larger selection of hot food and new beverage options. How many other conferences provide you with breakfast, lunch, and two snack breaks at this price?

Talks and Keynotes

After a warm welcome by the conference chairman, the festivities ramp up quickly with a keynote speech by Mozilla's Head of Developer Engagement, Stormy Peters. Following her is Y Combinator's Paul Graham. Following these two great speakers, we're on to the next three days of 95 talks across five tracks.

After a record number of submissions came in, it was an intense series of reviews and meetings for several weeks. From PyCon veterans to first timers, we think the schedule provides a wide variety of interesting and hard hitting topics. In fact, we're fairly certain you're going to find yourself conflicted when it comes to choosing which talks to see.

Hallway Track


In fact, sometimes the best talks occur out in the hallway. As PyCon is a gathering of all types of Python users from all walks of life with all types of backgrounds working in all types of industries, it plays host to some excellent discussion. It's a gathering that you really should take advantage of. If you see Saturday's keynote speaker and Python creator Guido van Rossum chatting with a group in the hall, go see what they're talking about. If it's an interesting topic, chime in - he's a friendly guy.

Expo Hall

Many of our generous list of over 130 sponsors will be in our expo hall strutting their stuff. These sponsors are all active members of the Python community, some of whom had their creation at previous PyCon's. From demos to coupons to t-shirts to squeeze toys, the expo hall is always a fun time. If you use products or services by any of the sponsors, go say hi and chat with them. It's a laid back environment and you can come and go as you please. Stop by, you'll learn a thing or two and pick up some goodies.

Lunch

As we mentioned Wednesday, lunch is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and get in touch with those you may know, but have never meet in person. Treat lunch as a structured Hallway Track and you will be richly rewarded.

Open Space



PyCon has another conference within the conference. Specifically the Open Space Unconference.  We have have two large divided ballrooms set aside for attendees to use for open, unstructured talks. There is a signup board in the hallway, where anyone can post a suggested talk in a room at a given time. This board is constantly being updated, and there is always something interesting going on. For a full description of how Open Spaces work, please watch the above video by Bruce Eckel.


Lightning Talk Signup

Lightning talks are a PyCon favorite. These are strict 5 minute talks, in rapid succession, given by the attendees themselves. Anyone can give a Lightning Talk on any subject. We have seen talks asking for help on a project, to a passionate dissertation on the bane that is candy corn. In order to give a Lightning Talk, all you have to do is sign-up, and the sign-up opens Friday at 6:00 PM. There is only a small number of slots and they go quickly, so be ready. We will discuss Lightning Talks more in tomorrow's post.

Dinner and Evening Activities


There is so much to cover that we have to do a separate post to cover the evening festivities.






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