2013-08-31

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

2013-08-16

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?

2013-08-14

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!

2013-08-03

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!

2013-08-01

Lightning Talk Proposals - Now Due October 15!

A new thing we're trying for PyCon 2014 is the pre-acceptance of some lightning talks. Lightning talks have been a staple of PyCon since the beginning, and if you're not familiar with them, they're 5 minute talks. We typically have two podiums setup, an emcee coordinating the session, someone with a 5 minute timer (really, it's strict!), and a big list of speakers who jump in, setup their laptop, give their quick talk, jump out, and another one jumps in. It's an awesome way to see a ton of topics shared in a short amount of time.

We're not removing the on-site signup that has been ubiquitous with lighting talks at PyCon and elsewhere, because plenty of great spontaneous ideas have been generated at dinner one night, and presented about the next day. Lighting talks have also been a great venue for followups to talks from the previous day.

They're also the perfect duration for a ton of other topics, including ones that our community is thinking about right now. So, for the first time, we're going to be pre-accepting a portion of the available lightning talk slots through the same process we use to judge the other types of proposals. They'll go through a few rounds of reviews and the best will be selected for our schedule. The remaining portion of the schedule will be filled on-site like in the past.

Just like posters, talks, and tutorials, you'll see the option to submit a proposal for a lightning talk at http://us.pycon.org/2014/dashboard/. If you haven't done so, you'll need to start by creating an account and filling out your speaker profile.

While the deadline for our 30 and 45 minute talks is September 15, lightning talk proposals are being accepted through October 15. Submit yours today!