PyCon is known around the world as the Python community’s premier event, attracting people from 39 countries. Outside of the main track of talks, PyCon is home to a growing number of events such as Young Coders, the Education Summit, Language Summit, Poster Session, and most recently the PyCon Charlas. The conference strives to be globally representative by promoting diversity and inclusion through these additional events and outreach programs.
Our community works to approach these goals year on year. While we regularly receive requests to add events to PyCon, we have not had an established process for accepting and evaluating the community’s suggestions. By introducing the PyCon Hatchery Program in 2018, we took an initial step to introduce a long term process for evolving PyCon.
What is our goal?
We want to support our community and enable them to add events to PyCon that are important to our community. The long-term goals of this program are to support and grow sustainable programs that will become a recurring part of PyCon or find their place as a stand-alone event in the future. Programs that may be of specific temporal interest are also welcome, but will generally be given lower priority.
Our goal is to continue improving our community through inclusivity and diversity efforts. We believe that PyCon is a well suited venue to lead these efforts. The organizers of PyCon are responsible for the largest public event in the community, have the highest notoriety for a Python conference, and can bring in the most funding to support these efforts directly. We also hope that other international conferences, regional conferences, and local user groups can find inspiration in these efforts as they have in the past adapting components of PyCon into their own organizing.
What steps have we taken?
At the 2018 conference, we assigned one room equipped similarly to other PyCon events for the hatchery program.
October 24, 2017 through January 3, 2018 we accepted proposals for the hatchery program. An ad-hoc group of the Conference Chair, PSF Directors, and community volunteers reviewed the proposals, discussed, and requested any necessary clarification from the proposers.
Initially we wanted to gauge interest for this type of program, by launching in 2018 using a lightweight process we gained experience, were able to see how many proposals we might be able to expect, and learned a bit more about what kind of programs the community might propose.
At the end of the process, we accepted the PyCon Charlas as our first Hatchery program and introduced it on January 26th, 2018. You can read the announcement blog post here.
PyCon Charlas was welcomed by attendees and had a successful day of talks in Spanish, with speakers originating from Spain and Latin America covering a wide spectrum from astronomy to functional programming. By scheduling the track’s slots in line with the concurrently running PyCon talks track attendees were able to drop in to Charlas for a single talk, attend the whole day, or anything in between.
We’re looking forward to PyCon Charlas returning for 2019 and are excited to include their CFP launch as part of PyCon 2019’s CFP.
What will change for 2019
The proposals we received and process we used for 2018 were excellent experience as we continue to develop the program. This year we will generally be maintaining the same process with a few updates.
- We’re excited to welcome Naomi Ceder as the Chair of the PyCon Hatchery program. Naomi has an impeccable track record as a leader in developing new programs at PyCon and that experience will be well applied in helping to carry the Hatchery program forward and developing it further.
- Updates to the Hatchery CFP. We clarify that any and all concepts for PyCon events are welcome, not just talk tracks! We also reaffirm the community nature of the Hatchery program to better state our intent.
- Internal improvements for the review process including better specified commitments for reviewers and a more explicit timeline for the review phase.
Looking toward the future
The PyCon Hatchery Program is positioned to become a fundamental part of how PyCon as a conference adapts to best serve the Python community as it grows and changes with time. With Naomi taking on the leadership role, I’m confident that the Hatchery Program will bring new and important programs for attendees of PyCon.