Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Welcoming a new co-chair and the next PyCon host city!

As PyCon 2015 gets underway with a fresh new website and a recently opened Call for Proposals, the conference organizers, led by chair Diana Clarke and co-chair Mathieu Leduc-Hamel, would like to welcome Brandon Rhodes to the team as co-chair.

Brandon has been a prolific speaker in the Python community, covering a wide array of topics in the talks he's given at PyCon US since 2008, each PyOhio since 2011, PyCon Poland, Code Mash, DjangoCon Europe, and both PyCon Canadas, as well as the presentations he's given to user groups. Along with speaking, he's volunteered in several capacities, including assisting with the A/V crew. He's also authored the second edition of Foundations of Python Network Programming, and has written a host of helpful blog posts and some quite complete Stack Overflow answers. Overall, he's a very active and helpful member of the Python community.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brandon at the PyCon 2011 sprints in Atlanta to walk him through getting started as a CPython contributor. While getting started by running coverage, he noticed something was off in the results, so we dug into the order of imports during interpreter startup in order to fix coverage before going further with the results. Rather, he methodically worked everything out and talked his way through every step, as I mostly watched and got to hear how he worked. It was a really great experience, and myself and the rest of the PyCon organizers look forward to working with him.


PyCon's next home is...


After a thorough evaluation of several potential host cities, the Python Software Foundation has chosen Portland, Oregon as the next location for PyCon. Following PyCon 2015, taking place in Montréal for the second time, Portland will play home to PyCon for 2016 and 2017.

Portland edged out several other cities in the running, and will be a wonderful venue. Several other technology conferences call Portland home, including OSCON, which hosted the last International Python Conference, the precursor to PyCon.

Following PyCon's trip into Canada, the Portland PyCons will represent the seventh location of PyCon, coming after Washington, D.C.; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Santa Clara, California; and Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

As dates for the Portland events become available, we'll be sure to announce them here.

Monday, August 04, 2014

PyCon 2015 Call for Proposals is open!

The PyCon organizers are thrilled to announce the opening of PyCon 2015's Call for Proposals for talks, tutorials, and posters! We've seen a lot of growth in response to our CFP over the years, and our program committee is expecting a ton of proposals this time around. In 2012, you put us to work with 374 talk proposals and followed up the next year with 458. For 2014, 107 more talk submissions came in, for a jump to 565. We'll be accepting proposals through September 15 for talks and tutorials, and posters are accepted through November 1.

We want everyone to be a part of making PyCon what it is, which is why we invite everyone to submit proposals, and we invite everyone to be a part of the program committee. It's your PyCon, not mine. Whether you started with Python yesterday or you've been writing it since the 90s, everyone has different experiences, different knowledge, and a different story to tell. This is why we aim to strike a balance between beginner, intermediate, and advanced talks. We want the entire community to level up as a result of PyCon.

I often hear people say, "but I don't have anything to talk about." Well, what do you do? Why do you do it? Why did you solve the problem this way instead of that way? Why do you continue to do this? It usually only takes a couple of questions to find a good talk out of someone. Many PyCon proposals started this way, and after some refining, they've become great PyCon talks.

Over the years, we've put together proposal resources and advice to help answer some common topics surrounding our CFP. We even put together a sample proposal and reviewed it for you. If you have any questions or tips that may help others, please email them to pycon-pc@python.org.

There are likely 95 talk slots to fill, assuming we keep the usual balance of 30/45 minute slots the same, and we'll have room for 32 tutorials. This makes for some steep competition given the potential to reach over 600 talk proposals, while seeing three to four times as many tutorial proposals as available slots. While proposals will be accepted through September 15, we encourage submissions as early as possible, allowing reviewers more time to assess and provide feedback which may prove beneficial as the various rounds of review begin.

As with all past PyCons, we continue to be an "everyone pays" event, run by volunteers. Financial Aid is available thanks to the Python Software Foundation and our generous sponsors, and applications will open September 1. If Financial Aid would make your trip a possibility, we encourage you to apply once it opens.

Here are some important dates to put on your calendar:

  • September 1, 2014: Registration opens, Financial Aid opens
  • September 15, 2014: Talk and tutorial proposals due
  • November 1, 2014: Poster proposals due
  • December 1, 2014: Talk and tutorial selections announced, Financial Aid grants for speakers awarded
  • December 15, 2014: Poster selections announced, full conference schedule announced

The PyCon organizers are going to give you everything we have to create the best PyCon yet. In exchange, we need you to give us your best talk, tutorial, and poster proposals. We also need your help getting the word out there about this CFP. If there's someone you want to see speaking at PyCon - tell them! If there's a topic you want to hear about - tell us, and we'll try to get people involved.