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Come contribute to open source, come sprint!

PyCon 2017 is in full swing. The last four days of the conference will be development sprints. If you've never heard about sprints before, this is the time when developers, maintainers, regular users/contributors, AND complete newcomers get together and develop features or fix bugs in their favorite projects. Many projects will be sprinting throughout various rooms. Last year there were roughly 500 people sprinting on many different projects.


If you ever thought of contributing to Open Source projects, but did not know where to start, PyCon sprints are a great place to learn new skills. Having the maintainers of the projects sit at the same table with new contributors always helps to solve issues fast.

I am a complete newcomer, don’t know where to start. Is joining development sprints a good idea for me?

Quick answer: yes, of course. Not only do the experienced mentors help new developers at the sprints, we also have some extra help for beginners:


* We try to identify the projects which are good candidates for newcomers.
* Within projects we point newcomers to "easy to fix" bugs or "simple to create" features
* We also have an “Intro to Sprinting” workshop on the last day of the main conference (Sunday, May 21 - Room C123+C124) >> details below.
* We will have sprint ambassadors to answer questions and provide encouragement


In case you did not register for sprints during the registration process, no worries. There are no registration fees for the sprints. You can still come to the sprints and stay for one day OR all four. Also remember that anyone can participate in the sprints (no registration required), even if they are not registered for the main PyCon conference.


Introduction to Sprints Workshop


We will host the “Introduction to Sprints” workshop for first-time sprinters in room C123+C124 @ 5:00. This is a good place to start as there will be experienced sprinters to mentor and coach newcomers. We will teach you, via hands-on exercises, many of the most important technical skills and we will address a number of the soft-skills aspects of participating in sprints to help set you at ease.


Mentors/Teachers: If you want to join us in mentoring newcomers, please sign up here to mentor/teach.

How to prepare for PyCon development sprints?


Maintainer Preparation: If you are a project maintainer, and you want to sprint on your project, this is a good time to add your project details to the event page. Adding your project details to the events page will help people get ready for your project. Remember to create a list of “easy issues” which can be solved by the newcomers during the sprints. Also having clear steps on how to build your project from the source code is always helpful.

Participant Preparation:
If you are planning to participate  in any of the projects during the development sprints:


* As a first step you should update your operating system. Even though there will be the Internet during sprints, having your system ready for development will save time.

* Next step will be installing a version control system, to start you can install both git and Mercurial on your computer. Just in case you are planning to contribute to a project which is written in C/C++, then please install the corresponding compiler on your operating system. i.e: Xcode on your Mac, or make/gcc toolchains on your Linux system (Don't know yet, what your project will need? The project maintainer will help you figure that out, so come anyway).

* Stop by the workshop on Sunday in Rooms C123 and C124 @ 5:00 pm

* The sprints will be spread across a number of rooms. If you are not sure which project you want to work on, please make sure to visit all the rooms and meet the sprinters. We will also have the regular sprints “Help Table” with a list of projects and rooms on a board.

* Just in case you are interested in hardware related projects, we will also have that at the development sprints. Last year, the tables related to MicroPython and Microbit were full during the sprint days.

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