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Showing posts from February, 2012

Diversifying PyCon: the power of cooperative outreach

This post by Jessica McKellar originally appeared at the OpenHatch blog Python practice at PyStar Philly 2I want to share an e-mail I received recently from a woman named Pam. It is a response to an e-mail I sent to the DevChix mailing list, calling on DevChixen to attend PyCon, the largest annual Python conference, and submit posters for the PyCon poster session:Holy wow. I've had your email starred since you sent it, and only just now realized that you're the Jess who was at PyStar Philly. Because of this email:I decided to try to go to PyConI submitted a posterSaid poster was acceptedI applied for money with PyLadies to goI'll hopefully be going, and it will be awesomeThis is an amazing e-mail.It is a response to an e-mail to the DevChix mailing list, which is "an international group of female programmers working to make the tech community a better place for everyone."Pam attended the first PyStar Philly, an intro to Python event focusing on women in the same …

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 projec…

PyCon 5k Fun Run: Update - 124 runners!

Holy moly!We already have 124 runners slated for the inaugural PyCon 5k fun run, scheduled for Saturday March 10th at 7am! Registration is still open (however, t-shirts registrations are closed; it's now donation-only). This is turning out to be an awesome event! Even if you don't want to run, we definitely need people to volunteer to help at the start, finish - cheer people on and take photos (lots of photos!!).Now, this awesome for a few reasons - first, well, it's our first PyCon 5k (obviously). Second, what's better than trying to "beat the chair" (me)? Right now I'm posting training times of 22:00 minutes to complete the run - wouldn't be nice to say "I beat the chair?!".Prizes! Yes, you heard me. The top finishers will be getting prizes, and we may have handouts for all runners! I can't tell you what they are just yet - let's just say it's going to be sweet.This 5k for PyCon is for charity - this is the best part, and the p…

What to do on Sunday at PyCon?

Sunday is usually a wind down day at most conferences, but not PyCon. We kick things into high gear! We may only have two sessions of talks, but that is because we have filled the rest of the time with pure awesome.

Sponsor Raffle


Our sponsors are very generous and have provided a large amount of items to be given away to attendees. We have streamlined the processes this year, but you will not want to miss the morning announcements for an extra special giveaway!


Guido van Rossum


The creator of the Python programming language will be giving the final Keynote; one you will not want to miss. What better way to start the final day of the conference than hearing from the man who started it all? Guido is even asking the community what they'd like to him to talk about at his Google+ page.


Jobs Fair

Our sponsors are hiring. In fact they are having a very hard time finding talented Python programmers. Luckily PyCon is chock full of exceptionally talented Python programmers. As such we are hold…

What to do on Saturday at PyCon?

Inaugural PyCon 5K

This year we have the inaugural PyCon 5K , a charity run supporting the Autism Speaks, the American Cancer Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation charities. The run starts at 7:00AM Saturday Morning. Registration for this run is still open (but you will miss out on t-shirts), but and if you don't want to run, you can still show your support by volunteering to hand out water or just cheer the runners on.


Power Valet

Have many electronic devices which need charging? Having a hard time finding an open outlet around the conference space? Stop by the registration desk's Power Valet station. For a free will donation to the PSF we will watch your electronic device while it charges at our secure registration desk. We have USB chargers, but a limited number of cables. As such it is recommended that you supply your own USB charging cable or wall charger.


Lightning talks

As we mentioned yesterday, these PyCon favorites are 5 minute talks, presented in rapid fire by the att…

What to do on Friday (and Saturday) Evening at PyCon?

The day does not end with the talk schedule at PyCon.

Yelp Dining Transportation

We have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. PyCon sponsor Yelp will help you find a dining destination, and provide you the means of getting there. Yelp will have a bus service set up to manage transportation between the conference venue to a select number of areas. Each bus will have a Yelp developer to help with venue selection. The bus service will start at 6:30 PM Friday and Saturday evening.

Birds of a Feather Sessions

Birds of a feather (BoF) sessions are where attendees gather to discuss a common topic, much like Open Space talks discussed earlier but with more of a jovial atmosphere. These informal sessions are sometimes held in the Open Space rooms, but more often they take place over dinner. The 2010 Django BoF took place at a restaurant of the same name for instance. To find out what off-site BoF sessions are taking place, and where to meet up, check the announcement board next to the…

What to do on Friday at PyCon?

It's the day we've all been waiting for: the beginning of the best talk schedule we've ever put together!

Registration

Registration opens at 7:00 AM every day. Due to the record attendance, it is highly recommended you arrive early to register if you were not able to do so on Wednesday or Thursday. After you pick up your badge, head over to the Swag Bag location and pick up a very nice PyCon tote filled with goodies, and most importantly, the PyCon Program Guide. It's a must have resource to everything the conference.

Breakfast

In past years, one of the most consistent pieces of feedback was requests for better food in the morning. Coffee and a bagel is not everyone's ideal powerup meal. We have been listening, and this year we have finally been able to provide a much larger selection of hot food and new beverage options. How many other conferences provide you with breakfast, lunch, and two snack breaks at this price?

Talks and Keynotes

After a warm welcome by the con…

What to do on Thursday at PyCon? Learn the in's and out's of PyCon!

As we mentioned in Wednesday's post, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities at PyCon. Thursday is both a setup and a teardown day, being the last day of tutorials and the night before the main conference activities begin. As always, we can always use help if you have the time!

As we approach the opening of conference talks, did you know that even the speakers are volunteers whom pay their own way? When you take into account that speakers wrote and submitted their proposals by mid-October and have been researching, writing, and practicing their presentations the last few months, they've donated a lot of their time to make this conference so great. If you get the chance, and we hope you do, thank your speakers!


Session Staff and Speaker Orientation

If you signed up as a session chair or a session runner, join us at 7:30 in the Great American Ballroom (Tutorial Track IV a.k.a. F1) room for a quick meeting. We'll go over your responsibilities, walk through the processes, a…

PyCon Australia 2012: Call for Proposals!

PyCon Australia 2012 is pleased to announce that its Call for Proposals is now open! The conference this year will be held on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August 2012 in Hobart, Tasmania.
The deadline for proposal submission is Friday May 4, 2012, 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 attendee…

What to do on Wednesday at PyCon? Help at registration and tutorials!

As we mentioned in Tuesday's post, volunteering is a just as big a need on Wednesday as registration opens and the first of the activities begin: tutorials! If you're signed up for a tutorial, obviously go to and enjoy your tutorial, but if you have some time to spare before or after your tutorial, we could use it.Registration DeskThe registration desk, as with everything else at PyCon, is staffed by volunteers. If you're looking to help out, make some connections, and meet new people from around the world, why not go where everyone has to go? Starting Wednesday and running through the weekend, everyone that shows up, all 1800+ attendees, will need to stop by the registration desk and pick up their badge. When working the registration desk all you need to do is ask for the attendee's name, find it in the system, then get them setup with a badge. While you're at it, introduce yourself and welcome them to the conference. It's a builtin ice breaker for when you ne…

Startup Row Winners for PyCon 2012

Part of the fun of PyCon is Startup Row, where we highlight the most promising Python-using startups and give them time and space at PyCon to show their stuff. After a massive response last year, we decided to bring back Startup Row and make it a tradition.

Well, like everything else this year at PyCon, Startup Row was packed. We received several times as many applicants as we had slots - and all were strong contenders. It was hard to pick, but our panel was able to winnow the field down to just twelve winners - and two of these stood out to become the judge's picks for 2012. The winners for PyCon 2012 Startup Row are:

Exhibiting Friday

GetCloak(Judge's Pick - Friday):We were immediately impressed with Cloak. Security is hard because it involves tradeoffs; making things more secure frequently makes them less convenient. Cloak is the Dropbox of VPNs: it just works. It installs on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad and keeps you safe from prying eyes on public wi-fi. Cloak raced up the char…

What to do on Tuesday at PyCon? Volunteer!

Tuesday March 6 is a huge day for PyCon. It's the day a lot of people fly into town, it's the day before tutorials start and registration opens, and it's a big day of setup. Besides the rows of chairs and the stages, a lot of the setup is left to the organizers. As you may already know, PyCon is a organized by volunteers, and we could always use a hand by a volunteer such as yourself. Of course this need isn't limited to Tuesday - we could use help all week!


It's hard to forecast exactly what areas will need what coverage this far in advance, but we can assure you help will be needed. In fact, the only thing we have scheduled for the day is "help needed, everywhere". If you're available on Tuesday, head to the conference area and find someone doing work and ask them what they're up to and if they need help. Us organizers are a friendly bunch and would be more than happy to help you find an area you can make an impact on. From setting up projectors …

"What to do at PyCon?" Post Series

It's almost here! In two weeks over 1500 of you will be descending upon Santa Clara, CA and taking the area by storm with what amounts to a 24-hour-a-day conference for over a week. We think you all know about the talks and tutorials, but there is so much more to the conference. There's stuff to do in the morning, there's stuff to do during the day, there's stuff to do during the night. There's volunteer opportunities, there's off-site events, there's a lot to consider. Believe us, you will be conflicted at times because there's just too much good stuff going on.


That's why we're putting together a series of posts this week to outline what's going on each day and how to tackle the opportunities. As you know, the conference talks begin on Friday March 9 and the tutorials begin two days earlier on Wednesday March 7, but a lot of people come in on Tuesday March 6. Tomorrow we will begin the series by introducing you to what's happening on Tu…

PyCon DE 2012 - October 29 - November 3, 2012 in Leipzig

The second PyCon DE will be in Leipzig again. We will have six days packed with Python topics from October 29 through November 3, 2012. One tutorial day, three days with talks and two days with a barcamp and sprints will provide a variety of types to communicate about Python. There will be social events to give everybody ample opportunity to network with like-minded Pythonistas.

PyCon DE 2011 in Leipzig was a great success. Virtually everybody of the 200 participants was enthusiastic about the conference. We strive to keep up the good work and to improve on a few points we got in the feedback.

Mark your calendars. More details will be available soon.

The event is intended to bring the German speaking Python users together. However, talks in English can be submitted by people who's native language is not German.

PyCon US 2012: Volunteer Session Staff Needed!

Once again, the volunteer staff of PyCon is in search of... more volunteer 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. Just 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 minut…

PyCon 2012: New Relic, Loggly and Skullcandy party!

One of the things we love about our sponsors is their willingness to not just sponsor PyCon - but to get involved, help volunteer, and well - help throw parties!The first party is courtesy of New Relic, Loggly and Skullcandy - from their event page:PyCon 2012 Attendees! Join New Relic, Loggly and Skullcandy for a special PyCon party event on March 9, from 7 pm - 9 pm at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara (Across from the Convention Center).Don't miss this opportunity to network with your Python Community peers over drinks and hors d'oeuvres.Even better, bring your biz card and enter to win some sweet shwag from Skullcandy, maker of premier headphones, earbuds, and headsets. Best of all, it's free! Space is limited to 250 so be sure to register and reserve your spot today!You can sign up for the party right over here on their events page - but you'd better hurry, spots are going fast.Be warned… It's the night before the PyCon 5k, which starts at 7am sharp the next day :)

PyCon 2012: Want some business cards for PyCon 2012?

The deals and partnerships for PyCon 2012 keep rolling in!The folks at custom print shop MOO are quite good at the printing business, and they’re also good at spotting trends. One they recently noticed was an uptick in business cards intended for PyCon, so they contacted us. With the conference being such a great place to network, from the hallways to the dinner tables, we were able to partner up with them and get you 50 free business cards of your own choosing.The London-based business card, postcard, and sticker printer will even package up the shipment and deliver straight to Santa Clara, where you can pick up your cards at the registration desk! Talk about easy. All they require is that you pay a small shipping and handling charge and the cards are all yours. If you prefer, they can be mailed to you instead.If you want to take advantage of this great offer, http://moo.com/link/h86f is the PyCon special page. From there you can fill out one of their templates or upload your own des…

Need dinner plans? Yelp can help!

Through all of the talks, tutorials, open spaces and more, some of the best parts of PyCon are the meals. Especially dinner! Each PyCon ticket gets you catered breakfast and lunch at the conference center, with lunch being a great way to refuel and sit down at a table and meet your next project contributor, business partner, or friend. Dinner, however, is a meal you’re on your own for. Not to worry, because with 1500+ people needing to head out for dinner, there’s never a shortage of groups on the way out for a burger, pasta, falafel, beer, wine, you name it. Some people even use PyCon sponsor Yelp.com to find their dinner destination.

This year Yelp has stepped up as a sponsor for food! Not only will they help you find a destination, they’ll be giving rides to a few of the area’s highly rated restaurants. On Friday and Saturday night, Yelp will be renting several buses and driving conference goers to these select eateries, giving you a chance to get out and have a good meal with good …

Interview with PyCon speaker Brian Jones

After a successful tutorial session in 2011, Brian Jones is back this year with a talk on a booming topic: mocking. Testing has always been fairly popular in the Python community, but it seems like more developers than ever are really on board with testing. The difference between unit testing and functional testing is getting more coverage. Test-driven development is becoming a more popular methodology. Continuous integration is getting easier to setup and use. It seems like every corner of the testing world is improving at a nice pace. Mocking in particular has been blowing up with more widespread use and more options than ever. Brian's talk, Fake It Til You Make It: Unit Testing Patterns With Mocks and Fakes, aims to help developers get to the next level of testing by sharing best practices in the test design.


While Brian has long been a fan of mocking, the last several years have seen enough mocking libraries produced to get him to switch from his home-grown tools to try what th…

Sign up for the PyCon 5K today!

If you sign up by Monday with at least a $20 ticket, you'll get an awesome shirt designed by Idan Gazit. On top of being one of PyCon's great designers, he's giving twotalks at the conference!





The inaugural race kicks off at 7 AM on Saturday March 10, right before the day's festivities begin. From marathon runners to casual runners to walkers - everyone is invited. Registration for the race is being handled by conference sponsor Eventbrite, but note that this is separate from your conference registration.


For payment we're using the "pay what you want" model. If you want to run, simply sign up - it can cost you as low as $0. If you choose the $20 registration (by Monday!) you’ll get a really nice shirt.


The best part of the race is that it's for charity. Feel free to use the "pay what you want" option to help us help a number of great charities.


Autism Speaks - Autism affects 1 in 110 children, 1 in 70 boys. Autism Speaks has grown into the nati…

PyCon US 2012: Getting the most out of PyCon (and a new Job Fair!)

PyCon 2012 will be the biggest PyCon yet. Amazing talks, tutorials, posters - robots - we are going to have it all for you. The volunteer team is working on welcoming committees, social events and many other things. Each year there are quite a few new people, and with record attendance, we expect this year to be no different. So we thought that it this point it might be good to lay out the virtual welcome mat for everyone coming to PyCon and point out a few of the ways to make your PyCon unforgettable. If we could point to just one thing that makes PyCon different, it is that at PyCon you come to contribute. If you want to have an extraordinary time and make PyCon your favorite conference all year, pick three of the items below, get involved, and contribute! Want to volunteer? Please sign up to pycon-organizers.Stuff a Bag: For those who haven’t been to PyCon before, one of the most fun events takes place Wednesday evening.  Stand shoulder to shoulder with fifty or one hundred of your…

PyCon US 2012: Registration is closed. Tutorials open, Hotel info.

It's official - for the first time in the 10 year history of PyCon, we have had to close main conference registrations. This is amazing.RegistrationAs a reminder: You can still register on the site for your hotel needs (more on this in a moment) or tutorial only registrations. Sponsors registrations are accounted for and slots are held, as are all financial aid recipients and those with valid promotional codes. If you have issues with registering, please contact pycon5-reg@cteusa.com / 847-759-4277 or email pycon-reg@python.org.HotelWe still have hotel space! Currently, the Hyatt and the Hilton are sold out, but we still have rooms at the Avatar and Marriott - as the latter two are not within walking distance to the venue, we will be providing free shuttle service to and from the conference.In order for us to get credit for your hotel bookings, you must book through our registration and housing system at: https://us.pycon.org/2012/registration/register/ - or by contacting our hous…

PyCon US 2012: Announcing Close of Registration (tomorrow)

Well, this is bittersweet.Only 9 days ago - January 25th - we closed PyCon Early Bird registration. By the time we closed early bird, we had a good indications that we would hit our cap of 1500 attendees. In fact, accounting for financial aid recipients, Startup Row attendees and sponsor registrations - well...It looks like we destroyed that cap.I'm amazed and humbled to be announcing this now - tomorrow, at 9:00am Central Time, we will officially close PyCon general registration. This means that tutorial only registration will stay open, but for the main conference days, we will no longer be accepting new registrations.Until then, you will still be able to register on the site.Please note that financial aid recipients and sponsors have been accounted for. If you fall into any of those groups, including the PyLadies grant group - you are all set. If you have a pending or in process registration, you are all set.We also promised that Startup Row applications would stay open until F…

PyCon 2012: Official PyCon 2012 Artwork - Awesome!

I've got the great pleasure to finally show off something that's been in the works for awhile - we got to partner with well renown designer and djangonaut Idan Gazit for the PyCon 2012 artwork.The result is pretty awesome and epic and will take form in the t-shirts, program guide and other areas of the conference. Take a look for yourself:I was pretty ecstatic when Idan sent it over - he also added a pretty mind-blowing time lapse video of how it was created, saying:… If you’ve ever wondered how the design sausage is made, look no further! Note the vast amount of time spent iterating, trying things out, seeing what works and often discarding things that don’t. It sucks to discard work you’ve spent time on, but that’s really just the nature of the beast, and better to fail early and try something different than keep beating a dead, er, snake.You can see his thoughts, and the time-lapse video over on his blog. We're psyched to have Idan involved in the art for the conference…

PyCon US 2012: You want hotel? We have hotels!

As noted in the previous post - we had a minor blip regarding the PyCon 2012 hotel - by minor blip, I mean we completely booked the Hyatt (our main hotel).This issue has been resolved without needing me to resort to going to Home Depot and buying "The Dummies Guide to Hotel Building".We now have plenty of rooms at:Update 2/3/12:Hilton Santa Clara - NOW FULL within walking distance of the venue. These rooms are marked as 159$/night - however, as we want to do whats right for attendees, we have asked the Hilton to credit each room night booked under out block 10$, while the PyCon master account will absorb the 10$ additional cost. This means that the base room rate for attendees will be 149$/night, matching the cost for the Hyatt.The Avatar Hotel, Santa Clara - STILL AVAILABLE this one is not within walking distance, however the cost per night is 149$/night - matching our other rates, and we have negotiated a free shuttle for attendees to and from the Santa Clara Convention Ce…