Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Financial Aid Applications Due!

Just a quick reminder: Applications for our Financial Aid program are due on January 1, 2014. As long as it's the first of the year somewhere in the world, we'll be accepting applications!

Check out our previous post about how the application works and what financial aid is for. We're looking forward to evaluating all of the applications and notifying recipients by January 15, 2014.

Happy New Year from the PyCon organizers!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Startup Row is back

Startup Row is back – our offer to showcase the most promising Python startups out there!


The concept is very simple: if you convince us that your young company is the next big thing, we are going to give you a free booth for one day in our Expo Hall and two free passes to the conference.


Startup Row gives you a unique opportunity to connect with a global, highly technical crowd.  Among the 2000+ PyCon attendees, could be a new co-founder, your next investor, a future business partner, or even hundreds of new users, depending on who your target market is.  These are stories we’ve heard from previous Startup Row nominees.


The technological landscape of tomorrow is yours to make.  Come and show us that it's one where Python shines.


The rules are simple:
  • You must have less than 15 employees, including founders, and be less than two years old.
  • You must use Python somewhere in your startup. Backend, frontend, testing, wherever.
  • If selected, you have to come and staff your booth for the Expo Hall hours on your appointed day.  We will do our best to give you the day that works best for you (either Friday or Saturday).
  • No repeats. If you were on startup row last year, your startup is not eligible. We want to give a chance to as many startups as possible.

Startups will be selected by our panel of judges based on their business potential.  Ambitious new approaches to solving old problems count, so are world changing applications of cutting edge technology.  There are few wrong answers here.




All submissions must be received by March 1st, 2014.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Financial Aid Applications Due January 1

With the announcements of the tutorial, talk, poster, and several lightning talk selections, registration for PyCon 2014 is really on the rise. Before the announcements, we were just shy of 800 tickets sold, and our early bird registration rates were valid for those first 800. We're now on to the regular rates through the start of the conference, and sales are moving along nicely.

As we've mentioned before, PyCon's ticket price hasn't changed in quite some time. We think this conference provides a great value at a great price, but we're cognizant of the total cost of attending an event like this. That's why we've been setting aside a budget to make the conference more affordable for our attendees by way of our Financial Aid program. Applications have been open since August, and will close on January 1, 2014. We're aiming to have grant awards decided by January 15, 2014.

Coming to PyCon isn't just the $350 ticket cost, unless you live in Montreal or wherever the conference may be that year. For the majority of our over 2,000 attendees, travel and lodging are an additional cost. While breakfast and lunch are included in the ticket cost, dinner isn't. None of this is specific to PyCon, but we want to share this event with as many people as we can, so there are funds available to help make your trip more affordable.

The Application

Once you've created an account on the PyCon 2014 site, which you can do here, you'll see the application available in your dashboard. This is a departure from our previous Google Spreadsheet applications, but this is much easier to work with for everyone involved, and it's nicely integrated into our site and your profile.


Grant Types

As there are several expenses to cover for a trip to PyCon, we have grants to cover several of the common ones. Registration, both for the Friday through Sunday conference and for the Wednesday and Thursday tutorials, can be covered by a grant. Travel, be it by plane, train, or automobile, can also receive coverage. While PyCon really is a 24-hour conference, you'll probably want to rest at some point, and we can help cover hotel costs. We negotiate discounted room rates for all of our attendees, and we pair up recipients of hotel grants to share a room. This means we can help more people using less rooms.

We've also teamed up with PyLadies once again to offer a grant to women attending the conference. Along with other groups, they've been instrumental in changing the face of PyCon, and we're happy to work with them again.

Profession and Involvement

We like to know who you are, so the following questions help us get to know a bit about you, what you're doing with Python, and how you can help PyCon, and how PyCon can help you.

We start by asking what you do. We love students, and we've been doing everything we can to make this experience an option for them. We cut our student ticket prices in half, and through this financial assistance program, we hope to bring more of them in.

If you're employed, let us know what you do. If you're a Rocket Scientist, let us know. If you're unemployed, let us know that as well.

We also ask about your involvement within the Python community. Do you organize or attend local meetups? Do you contribute to any open source projects? Have you mentored other Python users? Anything you've done that has benefited the Python community is something we'd like to know about.

What do you want out of PyCon?

Everyone comes to PyCon for different reasons. Some people are hoping to turn from beginners to intermediates. Some are coming for specific tutorials. Some are coming to experience the environment and spend a few days at the sprints. Whatever it is you're looking to get out of your PyCon trip, let us know.

We're also looking for anything specific you want to learn. While there's plenty of information available right now about what's going to be at PyCon, there's still our on-site organized open spaces and Birds of a Feather sessions. Give us a hint at what you hope to leave Montreal with.

How you use Python

If you have public code available, we'd love to see it. We'd also like to know what you're using Python for. Tell us about your experiences and what type of software you're working on.

We're also interested in knowing your experience level. PyCon is a conference that aims to please attendees of all levels, whether you just found Python yesterday or you're a 10 year veteran. If you're a beginner, it'd be great if you can share how you've gotten into Python and what has helped you along the way.


Be sure to let us know if this would be your first PyCon!

Are you speaking?

Be sure to let us know if you have an accepted presentation in the conference. We want to make sure the people who are supposed to be on stage make it to the conference, so mark your application as such.


Remember: Applications for Financial Aid are due January 1, 2014! Apply today!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Talks, Tutorials, and Poster selections announced!

The wait is over: selections for PyCon 2014's talks, tutorials, and posters are now available! It took a lot of effort from a lot of people to review another record breaking year of submissions, but once again, the result is a stunning set of presentations.


Both the tutorial list and schedule are now available, with tutorial registration expected to be available later this week (we'll post/tweet when it's up). The 36 slots available on the schedule were filled from 71 proposals, making up yet another set of courses to get beginners started, and to help each type of Python user level up their skill set. The tutorials take place Wednesday April 9 through 10, and the schedule is comprised of morning and afternoon sessions over those two days. Each tutorial costs $150 and gets you three-hours of teaching and includes a 20 minute snack break.

The list of accepted posters is also available. Taking place on Sunday April 13, the poster session is a great event for both presenters and attendees in a more personal setting. Focused around a poster board, the speaker stands by to share their presentation, and conversation and focus is driven by the attendees who flow around the room. See an interesting graph as you're walking by? Ask what it's about, and that becomes the next few minutes of focus. It's a really fun event and we're happy to have it on the schedule for another year!

The talks, talking place Friday April 11 through 13, took a dedicated team of reviewers several rounds and hours per week of debate to assess the 564 proposals. "The committee spent months going over each one, and it was extraordinarily difficult to choose just 95 from such an excellent pool," said Program Committee co-chair Luke Sneeringer. In the coming weeks, these 95 selections will be arranged into schedule form, yet another tough task for Luke and co-chair Alex Gaynor. As with past years, making the decision of which talk to choose out of the five concurrent presentations won't be easy, but we'll once again be recording all of the talks for you to view afterwards.

If your proposal(s) weren't selected, we hope you'll consider sharing your work with the many other Python conferences within our community, and our strong group of local user groups around the world. We hope to see expansion in the regional conferences like PyOhio and PyTexas, and are happy to see the first PyTennessee starting up in February.


Early Bird Rates


As of this writing, there are 45 early bird tickets remaining! Our first 800 tickets have been offered at discounted rates of up to 25%, so try to snag one of the last few before registration rates return to their normal amounts. We've kept all registration rates the same since...well, I don't actually know, but at least since I've been going in 2008, so probably before then.

Financial Aid

While we strive to keep PyCon as affordable as possible by not increasing our registration rates and working deals with hotels in the area, it's still a flight and a few days away from home and work for a majority of our attendees. If financial assistance would make a trip to PyCon a possibility for you, we encourage you to apply for our our financial aid program at https://us.pycon.org/2014/assistance/. Applications are due by January 1, so please apply as soon as possible. We try to help as many people as we can, and hope we can make your trip happen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Travel Grants for Australians and New Zealanders to PyCon in Montréal, April 2014

By Chris Neugebauer:

PyCon Australia and Linux Australia are very pleased to announce that we're contributing to the travel assistance scheme of PyCon US, the biggest Python event in the world. PyCon US is next being held in Montréal, Canada in April.

This means that PyCon will be able to help fund the attendance of more members of the Python community from Australia and New Zealand.

Financial assistance for PyCon is offered to help people who otherwise couldn't afford to attend the conference, and is offered in the form of travel subsidies, discounted or free registration, and accommodation.

Basically, if you'll benefit from being at PyCon, or the Python community will benefit from your attendance, then we want to make sure you can make it.

For further details about the programme, and to apply for funding, visit https://us.pycon.org/2014/assistance/

There's no extra process for qualifying for the extra funding that we're putting up -- just note that you're from Australia or New Zealand in your application.

Applications close on 1 January, 2014.

If you've got any further queries about the programme, or PyCon Australia's involvement in it, send me an e-mail at chrisjrn@gmail.com -- if I can't answer it, I'll make sure someone from PyCon US does!

We're looking forward to seeing a record number of Aussies and Kiwis at PyCon in Montréal!

Monday, October 21, 2013

You should submit a poster! Nov 1 Deadline

While reviewers are hard at work putting together the schedule of talks and tutorials, and we recently closed the window for early submission of lightning talks, there's still another way for you to present at PyCon: the poster session! The poster session got its start at PyCon 2010 in Atlanta and quickly grew into a very popular event that we're happy to have on the schedule once again for PyCon 2014 in Montreal. We're accepting poster proposals through November 1, so put yours together soon!

On Sunday April 13, the last day of the conference, the poster session takes over the expo hall area and offers a great way for people to share their latest projects and ideas via poster. While the presentation medium is low tech, the presentations have been anything but low tech. We've seen some really interesting projects presented over the years, and the makeup of the event has lead to some great conversations that we're still thinking about.

Chad Cooper wrote a nice post about the session for PyCon 2013, and we have an FAQ page up on our site at https://us.pycon.org/2014/posters/faq/. The full details of our poster proposal process are available at https://us.pycon.org/2014/posters/!

If you haven't registered for the conference yet, we're still within the early bird pricing, with discounts of up to 25% off! See https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ for more information and to buy your tickets today. If financial aid would help make your trip possible, check out https://us.pycon.org/2014/assistance/ and apply!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Announcing Keynotes: Van Lindberg, Jessica McKellar, and Fernando Perez

On Monday, we announced the first two keynote speakers for PyCon 2014: Python's creator Guido van Rossum and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Perry Barlow. We're happy to announce that Van Lindberg, Jessica McKellar, and Fernando Perez will be joining them in the morning keynote slots!

Van Lindberg
Van brings a unique background to the keynote stage, being both a technologist and a lawyer. He currently serves as the Python Software Foundation's chairman, and he's Vice President of Intellectual Property at Rackspace. In 2008 he authored Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code, and in 2010-11 he served as the chairman of the Atlanta PyCons. He'll be giving the chairman's address, talking about the Python Software Foundation and Python community as a whole.

Jessica McKellar
Jessica serves on the PSF's board of directors with Van, is an entrepreneur and open source developer, and leads the hugely successful Boston Python Workshop. Her open source contributions and actions have been huge for the Python community. She contributes to OpenHatch and Twisted, among other projects, and shares the Workshop materials, which have been used by many to run workshops in their own communities. Her contributions have also extended to writing, including the second edition of Twisted Networking Essentials and contributions to The Architecture of Open Source Applications.

Fernando Perez
Fernando comes from a background of theoretical physics and applied mathematics, but has for the past decade led a double life split between the traditions of academic research and the world of open source development. He's currently a research scientist at the University of California - Berkely, and leads the IPython project. What started as an afternoon hack has blossomed into an incredible piece of software, earning him the Free Software Foundation's "Advancement of Free Software" award in 2012.

Each day of the Friday through Sunday conference kicks off with conference-wide keynote talks, before breaking out into the five separate tracks that make up the rest of the day. Our Program Committee is hard at work reviewing the 565 talk proposals that make up our schedule, as well as the schedule of tutorials for the Wednesday and Thursday tutorials. We're expecting to announce the schedule in December, so be on the lookout for that.

Ticket sales are now over 300 of our 800 available early bird discounted rates, which offer savings of 25% on corporate passes at $450, and bring the individual rate down to $300. Student rates were cut in half for PyCon 2013 to $100 during the early bird period, and we're offering that same deal once again.

Be sure to register at https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ and check out our financial aid program if assistance can make PyCon a possibility for you.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Announcing Keynotes: Guido van Rossum and John Perry Barlow

As our early bird sales hum along, about to pass 300 tickets sold, we've got some great news for you: keynotes! We kick off each morning of the Friday through Sunday conference with a few select speakers who address the entire conference in our main ballroom. In recent years we've had speakers like Eben Upton (Raspberry Pi), Stormy Peters (Mozilla), Paul Graham (Y Combinator), Hilary Mason (bit.ly), and Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu). The keynote speakers have been a great way to kick off the day, and they've always brought good topics, good thoughts, and got the community thinking.

Our first keynote speaker is none other than Guido van Rossum, Python's creator and Benevolent Dictator for Life. He oversees the development of Python, contributing code and decision making to the project. From its beginnings in the late 80's as a successor to the ABC language, with an initial source offering in 1991, Guido has been there every step of the way. He's currently an engineer at Dropbox, and will be making another great keynote as he's been a part of our keynote lineup since the beginning.


Joining Guido is co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Perry Barlow. John's background ranges from cattle ranching in Wyoming to writing songs for the Grateful Dead, on through writing influential essays and into his current startup, Algae Systems. He remains active in the EFF's operation and mission since its inception in 1990, and was inducted this year into the Internet Hall of Fame as an innovator.


We're happy to have both Guido and John on the keynote schedule, and we'll be announcing the rest of our keynote speakers on Wednesday, so be on the lookout!




If you haven't registered for the conference, we're still in early bird sales up through the first 800 tickets, so pick up your discounts now at https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/. We've kept our rates the same going back many years, and brought back the 50% student rate cut from last year.

If financial aid would make this conference a possibility for you, please apply for assistance! The Python Software Foundation provides us with a generous budget to help our community and we aim to help as many people as we can.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Lightning Talks Proposals Due October 15th!


PyCon 2014

us.pycon.org/2014

For the first time at PyCon, you can submit a proposal to give a Lightning Talk!  If you missed the earlier call for proposals for the longer talks, you still have a chance to present your beloved subject in front of a large audience.

The deadline is coming soon, so hurry up! You have until October 15th, 2013 to propose your 5-minute presentation. If your Lightning Talk is pre-accepted, you will have a reserved slot on the lightning talk schedule.

For those who enjoy spontaneity, don’t worry!  We will embrace our tradition of accepting Lightning Talk proposals on site.

For more information on submission guidelines, check out our How to Submit a Lightning Proposal, or get inspired by looking through previous year’s lightning talks.

Monday, September 30, 2013

PyConZA starts Thursday!

South Africa’s second PyConZA kicks-off in just three days time in Cape Town!

Opening the speaking is Simon Ratcliffe from the Square Kilometre Array talking about constructing a completely Pythonic high-performance data processing chain for the world’s largest radio telescope whose construction is scheduled to start in 2016.

The program continues with notable speakers such as Larry Hastings (speaking on Python’s bytecode), Armin Rigo (giving an introduction to STM), Stefan van der Walt (introducing image processing with scikit-image) and Stefano Rivera (explaining how to package Python applications for Debian and Ubuntu).

We’re very please this year to have more speakers from elsewhere in Africa including Kisitu Augustine (from Uganda) and Goddy Akpojotor (from Nigeria).

Of course a PyCon wouldn’t be a PyCon without lightning talks and open spaces. Lightning talks are happening on Thursday while this year open spaces are running in their own parallel track on both afternoons.

We also have tutorials on SQLAlchemy, Google App Engine, Vumi and Kivy (in case you didn’t know, mobile phones are quite a big thing in Africa :).

This year we’re experimenting and running our first ever panel discussion. The topic is Effective Team Practices in Software Development and is partly inspired by Alex Gaynor’s excellent keynote last year on scaling your software team.

The conference ends with Simon de Haan’s keynote Hack where it matters on the challenges faced when developing software for the majority (of the world’s population) and why Python might be a good language to choose if you do take on these challenges.

Immediately after the conference (at the conference venue) is a cocktail evening sponsored by Amazon. All PyConZA attendees are invited!

See za.pycon.org for all the details.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Registration is Now Open!

The PyCon 2014 organizers are thrilled to announce the opening of registration for the April 9-17 conference, taking place at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. This event represents the first of two annual PyCons to take place in Montréal, following a hugely successful two-year run in Santa Clara, California.

As with years past, ticket prices remain unchanged, and value is ever increasing. At the close of talk and tutorial proposals last week, a record 565 talks were submitted -- over 100 more than for PyCon 2013. Reviewers have been hard at work to begin shaping the 2014 schedule, which is expected in December.

Quantity-based early bird rates are back for 2014, with the cap set at the first 800 tickets receiving the discounted rates. Total sales are initially being kept to 2,000 tickets. For an individual buyer, the regular $350 USD rate is cut 15% for during the early bird period to $300 USD. The $600 USD corporate rate is dropped to $450 USD during early bird, a 25% savings. Early bird student rates were halved to $100 USD for 2013 and remain as such, with a slight increase to $125 during regular sales.

A conference ticket gives an attendee admission to three days of the Python community's best talks, complete with three days of breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Preceding the weekend talks are two days of tutorials, which run $150 USD per course. Tutorial registration will open later this year once the offerings have been chosen. All together, the price of PyCon is unrivaled for the value it provides its attendees and community year after year.




The Financial Aid program is back once again, with applications being accepted through January 1, 2014. The organizers know that registration is only one piece of a trip to another city, so there's a budget available to help make the conference more affordable for those who need it.


PyCon is made possible by generous support from the Python Software Foundation and from sponsors throughout the technology community. The organizers thank Diamond sponsors Heroku and Google, Platinum sponsors Caktus Consulting Group, Facebook, Walt Disney Animation Studios, edX, Basho Technologies, Stratasn, Python Anywhere, Lex Machina, American Greetings, PlaidCloud, Wingware, Excella Consulting, Continuum Analytics, Wargaming.net, Savoir-Faire Linux, and Enthought.


If your organization is interested in sponsoring PyCon, please contact Sponsorship Chair Jesse Noller at jnoller@python.org.

Original press release: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/-1833627.htm

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Talk and Tutorial Call Closes, Reviews Begin

As the September 15 deadline for talk and tutorial proposals approached, the Python community contributed yet another record setting group of submissions. Going from PyCon 2012 to 2013, we saw an increase of 80 submissions, bringing 458 proposals through the review system. It made for a lot of work by our volunteer program committee last year, but they did a great job in putting together a fantastic schedule, and our speakers did an amazing job on stage to make the best PyCon yet.

For PyCon 2014, you, the community, topped last year by 107, bringing us to a total of 565 talk proposals! This is simply incredible, especially as we've seen proposals from a wider range of people than ever. We've gotten a lot of proposals from first-timers, including more students than past years. Several user groups got together over the last few months to run brainstorming sessions, and they've produced some excellent proposals. The outreach groups in our community have done the same, and they've done awesome work to encourage more women to propose talks.

Even though the call for talks and tutorials has closed, lightning talk proposals are still being accepted through October 15, and posters are being accepted through November 1. For more information, see our Call for Proposals!

Join the Program Committee!


Those 565 talk proposals and 71 tutorial proposals aren't going to review themselves. Each year, a team of volunteers comes together to review each and every one of those proposals in order to shape the conference schedule. We could always use help and fresh perspectives, so we encourage everyone to join. We start by reviewing proposals in an online system, then we debate them in IRC meetings, and we pass them through rounds of review both individually and in comparison to others. It's a fun time, so read more about it on our Program Committee page and sign up today!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Talk and Tutorial Proposals Due September 15!

The deadline for PyCon 2014 talk and tutorial proposals is only four days away, with submissions being accepted through Sunday September 15. Once the submission window closes, our volunteer-staffed program committee will begin the process of reviewing each and every proposal, building another great schedule for our April 9-17 conference in Montréal.

Check out our Call for Proposals for the full details on our process. We've also put together a section on proposal resources, and our program committee has come up with a few pieces of advice that could be helpful when writing up your proposal.

Help us create the best PyCon yet by submitting a proposal! To get started, create an account and head to your dashboard, then fill out a speaker bio, then submit your proposal! Talks and tutorials are due September 15, lightning talks are due October 15, and posters are due November 1.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

PyCon Canada 2013 Videos

Thank You!

It seems like only yesterday that the first-ever PyCon Canada was announced... And now the second installment has already come and gone!

From Aug 9-13th, 400 Pythonistas gathered in Toronto to learn, do, and share with one another. Thanks to the amazing team of volunteers and organizers that donated their time and energy to the cause, everything went off without a hitch!

There were many high points throughout the weekend, but perhaps the most consistent praise we heard was how welcomed everyone felt to be there, regardless of background or experience level. Thanks to Google and PyCamp, we were able to greatly increase our diversity grant program this year, and to make PyCon Canada accessible to a large group of attendees who otherwise would have had difficulty attending - many thanks to the both of them!

PyCon Canada Videos

If you weren't able to make it out to Toronto, but find yourself wishing you could have seen the talks -- never fear! The videos are being made available on http://pyvideo.org.

PyCon 2014 in Montréal

Of course, the whole motivation for PyCon Canada in the first place was to get the Canadian community prepped for PyCon 2014 in Montréal, which is happening in just 7 months! Remember that talk and tutorial proposals are due on September 15th. If you could use some help getting there, the extensive financial aid program has already opened - check it out!


Thanks to all involved for making PyCon Canada 2013 an incredible experience, and we'll see you in Montréal!


Michael DiBernardo
PyCon Canada 2013 Chair
https://2013.pycon.ca

Friday, August 16, 2013

One Month Until Proposals Are Due!

We're now inside the final month of our Call for Proposals for PyCon 2014, with talk and tutorial proposals due on September 15. The conference takes place April 9-17 in Montréal, but we've been hard at work to prepare the event, and we're looking forward to putting together another great schedule. To do this, we need you, the community, to submit your best ideas for talks!

We know you're all up to awesome stuff -- we see it all the time. The Python world is as active as ever, with great projects popping up all the time on Hacker News and Reddit, then passed around on Twitter, and making their way to the mailing lists.

So not only should you submit a proposal, you should tell your peers to submit them as well! We want to put together not just a schedule we like, but one that you'll like even more, so we can always use help from the audience by bringing us the people and topics you want to see on stage.

If you have any topic ideas or speakers you want to see, email me at brian@python.org and I'll see what I can do. I'll gather up topics and make another post to share them, and if you have requests for people you want to hear from, I'll reach out to them and encourage them to submit a proposal.

If you're looking for help with your proposal, check out our resources and advice pages. Many of us on the program committee are repeat members, with several of us having seen over a thousand proposals to this conference. If there's anything we can do to help you submit a great proposal, we'll do it. All you have to do is ask. The best way to ask is to start with a proposal! Sketch out as much as you can, then ask your questions at pycon-pc@python.org.

We're already seeing some great proposals coming in. Will we see yours?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Financial Aid Program Is Now Open!

We're pleased to announce that we've opened our Financial Aid program for PyCon 2014! The conference takes place April 9-17 in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, and we're going to be opening up registration this Fall.

While we strive to keep PyCon affordable for everyone, the organizers know it's not cheap to spend several days away from home, halfway across the country, continent, or the world. This is a volunteer-led conference where everyone pays, from the attendees up to the chair, so we're all in the same boat.

With PyCon's low and long unchanged registration costs, we think it's an incredible value, and with the Python Software Foundation's help, the Financial Aid committee aims to make the experience a possibility for as many people as possible. Take a look at our assistance philosophy to learn how we go about distributing our budget. In short, we aim to help more individuals over fully funding a smaller amount of individuals, with an edge towards those presenting.

In the past, applicants used a Google Form to signup, but it's even easier for 2014. Once you've created an account at http://us.pycon.org/2014/account/signup/, you'll see the application form in your dashboard on our site.

We offer a few types of grants depending on your needs, with assistance available for registration, travel, hotel, and tutorials (which are paid separate from conference registration). There's also a grant for women, administered by the PyLadies outreach group, that we're happy to be offering once again. From there, we ask a few questions about what you do, what your Python experiences are, and what attending PyCon would do for you.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, from Canada or anywhere else in the world, we encourage you to apply for financial aid if it will help you get to PyCon. This conference is nothing without its diverse range of attendees, and we hope to see you all in Montréal!

If you're planning to come out to the conference, you should check out our Call for Proposals and submit a talk, tutorial, or poster proposal. Help us put together another amazing schedule by submitting your best presentations by September 15!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

PyCon 2014 - Summer Update


PyCon 2014

us.pycon.org/2014


Hello, Python Community! I figured it was about time for a PyCon 2014 status update from the chair. It's pretty long, but can be summed up with this call to action: 

Please actively encourage all corners of our community and beyond to submit proposals for PyCon 2014 in Montréal. The deadlines are fast approaching. Do it now!
Proposal Deadlines

You can submit four different kinds of proposals for PyCon 2014. Please spread the word at your regional user group meetings, at other conferences, during outreach events, on twitter, and in blog posts, etc.

  • 30 & 45 minute talks (deadline September 15th)
  • 5 minute lightning talks (deadline October 15th)
  • 3 hour tutorials (deadline September 15th)
  • posters (deadline November 1st)
Brian Curtin has written a couple of great blog posts you can link to, more information can be found on the PyCon call for proposals page, and we have new logos you should feel free to use in blog posts etc. You can also help spread the word by re-tweeting @pycon.

Conference Diversity

There is no easy way to achieve speaker and topic diversity. It requires a focused effort and means reaching out directly to individuals and communities that don't as readily jump at the opportunity to present at conferences. Quoting Jessica McKellar:

The thing that works most consistently in my experience is reaching out to great, diverse candidate speakers individually. Even better is customizing the e-mail in which you reach out based on the candidate's background.
There is no getting around the fact that this is time-consuming, but it works and is part of how PyCon US 2013 had record-breaking representation by women. I personally sent out around 30 e-mails recruiting speakers for PyCon US 2013.

* Action item: If each one of us sent just a few customized emails to great, diverse candidate presenters, encouraging them to submit a proposal and offering to help brainstorm ideas, it would go a long way in increasing the number of diverse proposals in the pipeline.

Remember there are four different kinds of proposals you can submit to PyCon this year (talks, lightning talks, posters, and tutorials). Please approach diverse candidates on all four fronts.

Financial Aid

There are a number of different diversity fronts that PyCon tries to address. Diversity in economic ability is another one of them. Last year PyCon gave out a record number of financial aid grants, totalling $100,000. These grants enabled a large number of people to attend that otherwise wouldn't have been able to because of financial constraints.

Financial aid applications will open by September 1st. New this year: we will be collecting financial aid applications directly via the PyCon site dashboard, just like talks proposals. Applicants will be able to login to the PyCon site to review their financial aid application status and communicate with the financial aid review committee.

In the mean time, if you are getting questions about financial aid please point them to the financial aid information on the PyCon site, and encourage them to check back in a couple of weeks.

And don't forget to let potential speakers know that financial aid priority goes to speakers with accepted talks, lightning talks, tutorials, and posters. Especially in those customized, diversity outreach emails we'll all be sending... Right?

Volunteer Shout Outs

PyCon is run entirely by volunteers. As always, they have been amazing. Thank you!

  • Thank-you everyone for your feedback during the site launch, miscellaneous planning, and brainstorming sessions. Keep it coming!
  • Thanks Noah KantrowitzGreg Ward, and Douglas Napoleone for converting the past PyCon sites to static sites and moving them to PSF hosting so that we can preserve that bit of Python community history.
  • Thanks Jessica McKellar for leading the outreach and recruiting effort for a diverse speaker pipeline again this year.
  • Thanks Brian Curtin for stepping up yet again this year, writing great blog posts and press releases for PyCon.
  • Thanks to the entire Montréal Python team (Mathieu Leduc-HamelDavin BaragiottaMarianne CorvellecÉric AraujoJulia EvansRory GeogheganYannick Gingras, and others) for your warm welcome, enthusiasm, help with the site launch, venue planning visits, and so much more!
  • Thanks Peter Kropf and Jean-Philippe Caissy for all your work on the new, in app, financial aid application functionality and process.
  • Thanks Jesse Noller for heading up PyCon sponsorship again year and securing a great batch of launch day sponsors.
  • Thanks to the proposal chairs (Luke SneeringerStuart WilliamsJuan GomezLynn Root, Alex GaynorRuben D. OrduzNilovna Bascunan-Vasquez), past and new, for revamping the proposal process and kicking-off the call for proposals.
  • Thanks Ernest W. Durbin IIINoah Kantrowitz and team for all the ops work that went into the launch of the PyCon 2014 site.
  • Thanks Mathieu Leduc-HamelEwa Jodlowska, and David Wolever for all your work on so many fronts. Too many to list.
Stay tuned for our next set of 10 volunteer shout outs, and be sure to thank these volunteers for the work they do year-round to make PyCon a huge success.

See you all in Montréal!