Thursday, February 28, 2013

EuroPython, PyCon AU open their Call for Proposals

Talk selections for PyCon 2013 were intense. We had a ton of submissions to wade through, and our three levels of review were jam packed with some really great proposals. Our expansion from 95 talks to 114 allowed us to take a few more that past years, but it couldn't include everyone.

Of the 458 proposals we received, the batch was so good that we could be running two or three PyCons in parallel if that was possible. The community put out their best work and made it really hard for us on the program committee. It was a great problem to have, and we hope to see all of these talks given in some way throughout the year.

As the conference season kicks off, consider proposing some of those awesome submissions to conferences around the world. Two CFPs were recently announced for summer conferences:

EuroPython is taking place in Florence, Italy from July 1st through the 7th, and their call was opened a few weeks ago. They'll be accepting proposals through March 5th at https://ep2013.europython.eu/call-for-proposals/.

PyCon Australia runs during the same period, with talks happening July 6th and 7th in Hobart, Tasmania. Their call opened today and runs through April 5th at http://2013.pycon-au.org/programme/call_for_proposals.

Keep an eye out for a conference near you. It's going to be a great year for events in the Python world.

PyCon Australia 2013 Call for Proposals is now open - Closes April 5

PyCon Australia 2013 is pleased to announce that its Call for Proposals is now open!

The conference this year will be held on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2013 in Hobart, Tasmania. We'll also be featuring a day of miniconfs on Friday 5 July.

The deadline for proposal submission is Friday April 5, 2013, and more information can be found at http://pycon-au.org/cfp

PyCon Australia attracts professional developers from all walks of life, including industry, government, and science, as well as enthusiast and student developers. We’re looking for proposals for presentations and tutorials on any aspect of Python programming, at all skill levels from novice to advanced.

Presentation subjects may range from reports on open source, academic or commercial projects; or even tutorials and case studies. If a presentation is interesting and useful to the Python community, it will be considered for inclusion in the program.

We're especially interested in short presentations that will teach conference-goers something new and useful. Can you show attendees how to use a module? Explore a Python language feature? Package an application?

Proposals about the Django web framework are very strongly encouraged, and will also be considered for inclusion in DjangoCon AU, to be held on Friday 5 July.

We welcome first-time speakers; we are a community conference and we are eager to hear about your experience. If you have friends or colleagues who have something valuable to contribute, twist their arms to tell us about it! Please also forward this Call for Proposals to anyone that you feel may be interested.

To find out more go to the official Call for Proposals page here: http://pycon-au.org/cfp

See you in Hobart in July!

About PyCon Australia

PyCon Australia is the national conference for the Python Programming Community. The fourth PyCon Australia will be held on July 5--7, 2013 in Hobart, Tasmania, bringing together professional, student and enthusiast developers with a love for developing with Python. PyCon Australia informs the country’s Python developers with presentations, tutorials and panel sessions by experts and core developers of Python, as well as the libraries and frameworks that they rely on.

To find out more about PyCon Australia 2013, visit our website at http://pycon-au.org or e-mail us at contact@pycon-au.org.

PyCon Australia is presented by Linux Australia (www.linux.org.au) and acknowledges the support of our Platinum sponsor: Australian Computer Society (Tasmanian Branch) (www.acs.org.au); and our Gold Sponsor, Google Australia (www.google.com.au). For full details of our sponsors, see our website.

Monday, February 25, 2013

PyCon US 2013: Volunteers and Session Staff Needed!


Volunteering

Once again, the volunteer staff of PyCon is in search of... more volunteer staff!  Please check out the Volunteer page and see if there is anything that sounds interesting to you. Even if there is nothing specific you would like to help out with, and you just want to help out in general, fill out our Volunteer Form and join the on-site volunteer mailing list; which you can opt out of if yet more e-mail is not your thing.

Registration and Swag Handout

The Registration Desk and the Swag Handout are in need of some extra help during the peak registration times. This is a great way to help out and not miss any of the core talks. Any time you can give to help out the other attendees would be greatly appreciated. Just add your name to the open slots for the Registration Desk and/or Swag Handout. Please also fill out the Volunteer Form.

Session Staff

We are in desperate need of people willing to be a part of the PyCon Session Staff, being Session Chairs, and Session Runners.

A Session Chair will chair a block of talks. What that means is he or she will introduce the speakers manage the time, and facilitate the question and answer period.

A Session Runner will help the speaker get from the Speakers Lounge to the appropriate stage. They help in any way needed to make the session run smoothly. In other words, they assist the Session Chair.

You can meet fun people and make new friends by signing up for one or both of these positions. Create an updated volunteer profile, go to the schedule page and click on the “S” symbol next to a talk to sign up. You can also get a quick view of all the open positions on the sessions page. Just remember that you’re signing up for a 2 or 3 talk session in one room. Be sure to check in at the Speakers Lounge to get your gear probably 15-30 minutes before the first talk in your session.

Volunteering to be a part of the Session Staff provides a unique opportunity to meet and work with the presenters and take an active role in the conference. You can find out more information on being part of the Session Staff or any of our volunteer opportunities on the PyCon website.


Bag Stuffing

Join us for the Bag Stuffing event on Thursday, March 14th, starting at 3:00pm, on the 2nd floor, until we are done. It is a great time to meet other people and take part in a cooperative event.

PyCon 2012 Bag Stuffing - Photo By Kenneth Reitz

Friday, February 22, 2013

PyData, Tutorial registration still open and more!

PyCon US 2013 is just 19 days away - scary! It feels like only yesterday we were in Santa Clara with 2300+ other Python Hackers from all over the world!
Just a few announcements:

PyData Registration still open

We want to make sure everyone knows that PyData, which is happening during our sprints, is still open for registration.
PyData is an excellent event that lets users and developers of Python tools share ideas and learn from each other how data challenges are being solved.
See the PyData talk and tutorial schedule and register for the conference at pydata.org. Follow them on Twitter @pydataconf.

Tutorial Registration still open

That's right! Our main conference may be sold out - but the stunning line up of tutorials we have from seasoned instructor are far from full! You can still join us an expand your mind with this awesome lineup - register now.

Young Coders Tutorial still open

Somehow, we haven't run out of tickets for "The Young Coder: Let's Learn Python" yet. I'm floored! Flabbergasted!

Reserve your spot for the Opening Reception

We'll be having an opening reception at PyCon on Thursday March 14th at 6pm in the expo hall - everyone is invited, and two drink tickets (!) will be provided: register here.

Sponsor Workshops/Tutorial registration still open

Registration for our free to attend sponsor workshops is also still open, and more spots have opened! Come check out the workshops and tutorials our excellent sponsors will be hosting. Registration is free!

Don't forget the PyCon 5k Fun Run for charity!

That's right - you can still sign up and join us for the fun run for charity - check out the stretch goals for maximum fun.

Or the Charity Auction Benefiting PyLadies!

Not enough? We also have a Charity Auction with all proceeds going to the PyLadies! Please RSVP to reserve a spot!


Wrapping it up: Don't forget to start planning your Open Spaces and Sprints!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview with tutorial presenter Brandon Rhodes

Last year was a busy one for PyCon tutorial and talk presenter Brandon Rhodes. His conference trips took him from Santa Clara to his home state of Ohio and up to Toronto, with talks at all of them. PyCon was particularly busy with two tutorials as well as two talks, going with single talks at PyOhio and PyCon Canada later in the year. He also made a busy 2011 for himself with three talks at PyOhio in 2011 after his PyCon tutorial, and gave great dictionary talk the year before at PyCon 2010 with the tutorial that started it all. Save for the tutorials, you can check out those presentations on pyvideo.

He’s kicking 2013 off right with a redux of his well received “Documenting Your Project in Sphinx” tutorial, giving its fourth run on Thursday March 14 at 9 AM. Started at PyCon 2010 in Atlanta, the tutorial introduces the widely used Sphinx documentation framework, a staple of the Python community. Sphinx lets you focus on writing great documentation rather than inundating the writer with all sorts of presentation details. The powerful framework is hard at work powering Python’s own documentation at http://docs.python.org/.

Brandon uses a presentation style he dubs “lightning lectures”, where he gives a small lecture on a particular topic, then immediately gets the attendee into an example. New for this year is a streamlining of the exercises, where instead of having attendees make up documentation on the fly, they’re provided with pre-written text, allowing them to focus their efforts on the Sphinx features they just learned.

Two new topics were added for the 2013 edition, both of which are worth the price of admission for anyone getting started towards better documentation. Brandon will be working in some examples of theming to style up your documentation, and deployment to the popular Read The Docs Sphinx hosting service gets some well deserved coverage.

I asked Brandon about the popularity of RTD and its addition to this year’s course, and he was ecstatic to be introducing it. “I think that hosting is only half of the reason for its popularity: the other reason is how simply it integrates into a project's version control system, where commits on GitHub can automatically cause the documentation to be rebuilt on Read The Docs!”

“The tutorial really tries to describe how documentation in text files under version control can integrate with a live project,” he said to describe the course. Organization is key when it comes to documentation, and he covers Sphinx’s layout “in a way that makes sense to people using the library for the first time, as well as for people who are quite experienced with the software but need to look something up.”

He’s also taking the stage for a talk on Friday morning at 10:50, titled “The Naming of Ducks: Where Dynamic Types Meet Smart Conventions”. “I sometimes see snide comments from static language folks about how Python code is unreadable because you never know the types of any of your variables,” he said of how the topic came up. Through this talk he hopes to dispel the unreadability myth by showing the conventions Python programmers use and how they affect the utility of a name. “Variable names in Python are not throw-away; they are our lifeline, that make it possible to read each other's code, and to read our own code months later,” he exclaimed.

Be sure to check out Brandon’s talk on Friday and sign up for his Sphinx tutorial on Thursday at https://us.pycon.org/2013/registration/. Although the conference is sold out, tutorials are still accepting registrations for the low price of $150 per session. That gets you three hours of learning from some of the best educators in the Python world, and includes lunch and a snack break. It’s really worth it, so check out the schedule: https://us.pycon.org/2013/schedule/tutorials/.

Check out what Brandon’s up to on twitter at @brandon_rhodes and take a look at his recent open source project, Skyfield, a really cool astronomy tool. PyCon is happy to have him back again for another year and we hope you enjoy his presentations as well as all of the others on our schedule.

Monday, February 18, 2013

10 days left to apply for Startup Row

Back in December we announced the opening of applications for inclusion in our Startup Row event in the Expo Hall at PyCon. It's a great chance for your Python-using startup company to get some exposure and meet the community.

We're accepting applications to the event through February 28th. The original blog post incorrectly said February 10th, and the actual application said February 29th, which doesn't exist this year. Sorry for any confusion on that.


Here are the rules:
  • Seed stage only. For purposes of startup row, that means less than $350K in outside funding or, if self-funded, less than 18 months old.
  • You must use Python somewhere in your startup. Backend, frontend, testing, wherever.
  • 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.
  • If you are accepted, you must guarantee your attendance for at least the Expo Hall hours on your appointed day. We will work with you as to which day is better for you.
Here are the selection criteria:
  • Interesting technology. Are you doing something hard or unique? Tell us about it.
  • Traction and reach. Are you affecting a lot of people? How?
  • Concept. Are you changing the world? Disrupting an industry? Solving a problem? Sometimes you see what a company is doing and your jaw drops. If that is your startup, we want to hear from you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two Expo Hall Booths Remaining!

A lot of things are selling out around PyCon. We recently sold out conference tickets, and everything else we have left is flying off of the hypothetical shelves. Tutorials are filling up, the first annual sponsor tutorials are going quickly, and we're left with two booths in our Expo Hall.

The Expo Hall is a great place for your company to interact with our community. Let them know you're hiring, show off your latest products, whatever makes sense for your organization. It's central to the layout of the conference center, and it's sure to get significant foot traffic with all 2,500 tickets sold. Check out our "Why become a PyCon sponsor?" page for more details.

Not only is the Expo Hall great for the company, it's great for PyCon. Sponsorship allows us to "go big" and do some of the things we've introduced this year. We're offering a free kids tutorial, started up the sponsor tutorials, will be running a charity auction, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves that we think the community will enjoy. It's because of our excellent sponsors that PyCon has been able to grow and keep getting better year after year.

If you're interested in filling one of our two remaining booth spaces, contact conference chairman Jesse Noller at jnoller@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with tutorial presenter Jessica McKellar

If you’re interested in learning to program, PyCon 2013 is the place to be. Each year the conference draws a wide range of individuals, including those who work on and teach the Python language. The tutorials are an especially great place to be as they’re an affordable way to gain the freshest knowledge from the best in the community.

That’s where Jessica McKellar comes in. She’s a PSF board member, Twisted contributor, and organizer of the hugely successful Boston Python Workshop. The group hosts weekend training sessions in Boston, and they’ve been so popular that the methods are being applied around the country. The courses have gotten countless people up and running with Python, and that’s what her PyCon 2013 tutorial aims to do.

At 9 AM on Wednesday March 13th, her “A hands-on introduction to Python for beginning programmers” gets attendees on their way to loving programming via the Python language. “Thanks to the ‘batteries included’ philosophy and rich package ecosystem, you can do useful work in just a few lines of code after just a few hours of learning,” she says of the short road to getting started with Python.

Jessica with Boston Python Workshop attendees

Jessica and her fellow organizers in Boston are big on project-based curriculums, hooking the attendee on fun applications and showing them the way there. While learning some language basics, “attendees are programming graphical effects for a Color Wall, cheating at Words with Friends, and checking out live Twitter trends and data,” by the end of the day. Attendees of the tutorial will get their hands on some great introductory projects and have plenty of ideas to take home and further their learning.


“How could you not want to keep learning and practicing Python after that?!”

I knew Jessica had some experience planning events that target not just beginners to Python, but beginners to programming in general, as her tutorial will do. It turns out all of the intro workshops for the Boston group were like that!

Her popular PyCon 2012 talk, Diversity in practice: How the Boston Python User Group grew to 1700 people and over 15% women, presented with fellow organizer Asheesh Laroia, covers the successes of Boston Python Workshop’s efforts to grow and include more women in their community. At the time of that talk only a year ago, the group had just surpassed 1,800 members, 15% of whom were women. As of today, they’ve grown to over 3,000 while maintaining the 15% participation by women. At the heart of their growth are those beginners they brought in through the workshops.

In addition to Jessica’s tutorial, she’ll be giving one of the keynote talks during the conference weekend. The Outreach & Education Committee member has a lot to say about the decline of computer science enrollment at the high school level, and she’s amped up to speak about both formal and informal computer science education approaches. Be sure to check out her keynote, it’ll be a great one.

Even though the conference is sold out, tutorials are not. Sign up for Jessica’s tutorial or any of the others today at https://us.pycon.org/2013/registration/!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sold out!

We just hit our capacity of 2,500 attendees for the conference, so registration is now closed!

You know what isn't closed? Tutorial registration! We have some excellent tutorials on our schedule this year that you should definitely check out. If you're already registered for the conference, you can add tutorials to your existing account by going to the registration page. If you're not registered for the conference but are interested in coming for the tutorials, you can get started at https://us.pycon.org/2013/registration/!

Announcing the PyCon Charity Auction, Benefiting PyLadies

Another new event for PyCon 2013 is our charity auction on Saturday March 16, with the proceeds benefiting PyLadies! They’ve been a driving force in diversity efforts around the Python community and we’re thankful to have them involved in another PyCon. Their actions have made a significant impact on our call for proposals for tutorials and talks, and their financial aid grants as well as events throughout the conference have made PyCon a better event for everyone.

We have a lot of great items lined up for the event, including some from our wonderful friends in the clothing business: Elegant Stitches. They’ve been running a booth for many years at PyCon to sell various Python related items, from t-shirts to laptop bags, and much more.

Conference sponsor Eventbrite is also joining the fun with the donation of a two-hour lunch with co-founder and CEO, Kevin Hartz. You never know where this delicious conversation could go!

If your company is sponsoring PyCon or you want to donate items for this charity event, please contact Ewa Jodlowska at ewa@python.org for more details. As we get more details figured out, we’ll update https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/charityauction/ with a list of items and participating organizations.

There are under 100 tickets remaining!

If you're planning to join us at PyCon 2013, today would be the day to purchase your ticket. We're down to our last 100 tickets for the March 15-17 conference in Santa Clara, California.


Take a look at our tutorials, talks, keynote speakers, posters, new sponsor tutorials, Young Coder tutorial for kids, and even a 5K charity race. There's a whole lot more to check out to poke around https://us.pycon.org/2013/ and sign up before tickets are gone!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Announcing the PyCon 2013 Job Fair Participants

Looking for a job? PyCon knows where to find them: the Job Fair. On Sunday March 17th from 10-1:00 PM, we’re hosting our own job fair where you can mingle with the coolest Python-using companies around and see who’s building the next great product, who’s using what tools, and most of all, who’s hiring!

Last year’s event was a great success with a lot of traffic and a lot of resumé exchanges. Some companies were even doing mini-interviews at their table. We’re aware of numerous people hired out of the event, so sharpen your skills and take the your newfound knowledge from the previous three days of talks to the table and see who’s hiring.

The current list of companies attending the job fair include:



Be sure to stop by their tables and see what’s up!

If your organization is interested in joining the job fair, please email Ewa Jodlowska at ewa@python.org!