Monday, February 27, 2012

What to do on Monday through Thursday at PyCon? Sprint!

Monday begins four excellent days of sprints. Most projects, teams, or individuals use the days to sit down and hack. A lot of people use the sprints to get acquainted with contribution to a new project. Some spend time planning out redesigns, releases, etc. You can use the sprint days to do whatever you want to -- they're just open rooms with tables, power plugins, and Wi-Fi.

Development sprints are a key part of PyCon, a chance for the contributors to open-source projects to get together face-to-face for up to four days of intensive learning, development and camaraderie. Newbies sit with gurus, go out for lunch and dinner together, and have a great time while advancing their project.

What's a sprint?

PyCon Development Sprints are four days of intensive learning and development on an open source project of your choice, in a team environment. It's a time to come together with colleagues, old and new, to share what you've learned and apply it to an open source project. In the crucible of a sprint room, teaming with both focus and humor, it's a time to test, fix bugs, add new features, and improve documentation. And it's a time to network, make friends, and build relationships that go beyond the conference.

PyCon provides the space and infrastructure (network, power, tables & chairs); you bring your skills, humanity, and brainpower (oh! and don't forget your computer).

Sprints themselves will run Monday, March 12 to Thursday, March 15 from early morning until people leave. Realistically, sprints typically start up around 9am and run until dinner, but late-nighters and all-nighters are okay (and common). During the sprints, people often hang out in the #pycon IRC channel on to chat, coordinate tasks, and arrange meals.

There will be two pre-sprint sessions on Sunday, March 11, 2012 after the end of the conference talks:
Intro to Sprinting (4:30pm - 5pm) A plenary session which will begin with a talk explaining the basics of sprints and how they work at PyCon. That will be followed by a brief introduction to each project by the sprint leader.
Sprint Tutorials (5pm - whenever) Sprint leaders will gather sprinters and head to their sprint rooms for introductory sessions. Sprint leaders will explain their project, walk through code, help with repository access, etc. This way, come Monday morning you'll be able to get started coding right away.

Who can participate?

All experience levels are welcome; sprints are a great opportunity to get connected with, and start contributing to your favorite Python project. Participation in the sprints is free! 

Who's sprinting in 2012?

See the sprint projects page for the list of those announcing before the conference. Most projects announce at the Sprint Introduction session.

Can I join a sprint at PyCon?

Yes! Sign up over at the projects page, either for a specific sprint or just in general! You can always work on a different project, and talking to other groups is one of the best things about the sprints.

Can I host a sprint at PyCon?

Yes! Look at the call for project participation for details. 

Explore Santa Clara, San Jose, and San Francisco

Sorry, don't have a cute transition into this section. We often have sprinters self organize trips to see the locations of our host cities. These are not organized by the conference, but we do provide an announcement board where groups can form up and share van rentals for the day. There are a large number of attractions close to the venue, so watch the announcement board out side the sprint rooms, or form a groups yourself!

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