PyCon 2011 Financial Aid Deadline 1/2/2011

There's 1 week left to apply for financial aid for PyCon 2011. The deadline is 11:59 PM 1/2/2011 PST.

PyCon is an excellent place to meet people using Python and to find potential employers. If you're looking for work using Python but are concerned about the costs, apply for financial aid. We may be able to help!

Please see the Financial Aid Application for details & instructions. The deadline for applications is January 2, 2011.


PyCon 2011 Financial Aid Available

The PSF is happy to announce that Financial Aid is once again available for PyCon. If you're interested in attending but cannot afford it, we may be able to help. Financial aid can help cover:

• Your registration for PyCon
• Your hotel room at the conference hotel in a shared room
• Your flight or other transportation

Please see the Financial Aid Application for details & instructions. The deadline for applications is January 2, 2011.


Media Statement - Kiwi PyCon 2010

New Zealand Python User Group Incorporated

Media Statement
For immediate release

24 September 2010

Major IT players support Python Conference 2010

Over 150 computer programming enthusiasts are set to meet at the Kiwi PyCon 2010 conference on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands in Waitangi.

Python, a programming language used throughout the world, has a massive following and Python conferences are held around the globe. Kiwi PyCon is New Zealand's Python community coming together and will cover the use of Python in the scientific, web, mobile, gaming, and animation fields.

The event has garnered notable support, with Catalyst IT and Microsoft as major sponsors and many other well known companies and organisations including the Python Software Foundation, Plone Foundation, Atlassian, Enthought, Tait Radio Communications, Apress, Packt Publishing, O'Reilly, ThinkGeek, Amazon Web Services, Wingware, ANZTB, Mozilla and ActiveState all backing the conference.

Organised by the New Zealand Python User Group Inc.(NZPUG), it promises to bring together developers, designers and business people who will listen to industry speakers. US-based Jacob Kaplan-Moss, creator of "Django", a successful and widely used web application framework along
with Anthony Baxter, long-time release manager of Python from Melbourne are keynote speakers for the event.

Kiwi PyCon 2010 topics will include:
• “How Python is influencing neuroscience research"
• Microsoft (Australia) showing how they support Python on their "Azure" platform
• Amazon web service
• Gmail gadgets
• "Going Global : Using Best Effort Translation To Create Multilingual Web Apps"
• Python and Java
• Python in Astronomy

Another guest speaker for the conference is Matt Provost, Systems Manager at Weta Digital, five-time Academy award winning visual effects facility located in Wellington. Matt will speak about "Python in the Datacentre", as he manages all Weta Digital servers, storage and networking which occupies five positions on the Top 500 Supercomputer list.

Danny Adair, NZPUG's founding president said “Python is used everywhere, and for anyone interested in or using the language, our annual conference is the place to be.” Kiwi PyCon 2010 registrations are now open. To make your booking for the conference or for more information
visit http://nz.pycon.org


For media or conference enquiries please contact:
Danny Adair, NZPUG President
Phone: (09) 9555 101
Email: kiwipycon@nzpug.org
Website: http://nz.pycon.org


PyCon 2011 Call for Proposals

Proposal Due date: November 1st, 2010

Conference Site: http://us.pycon.org/2011/

PyCon is back! With a rocking new website, a great location and
more Python hackers and luminaries under one roof than you could
possibly shake a stick at. We've also added an "Extreme" talk
track this year -- no introduction, no fluff -- only the pure
technical meat!

PyCon 2011 will be held March 9th through the 17th, 2011 in Atlanta,
Georgia. (Home of some of the best southern food you can possibly
find on Earth!) The PyCon conference days will be March 11-13,
preceded by two tutorial days (March 9-10), and followed by four
days of development sprints (March 14-17).

PyCon 2011 is looking for proposals for the formal presentation
tracks (this includes "extreme talks"). A request for proposals for
poster sessions and tutorials will come separately.

Want to showcase your skills as a Python Hacker? Want to have
hundreds of people see your talk on the subject of your choice? Have
some hot button issue you think the community needs to address, or have
some package, code or project you simply love talking about? Want to
launch your master plan to take over the world with Python?

PyCon is your platform for getting the word out and teaching something
new to hundreds of people, face to face.

In the past, PyCon has had a broad range of presentations, from reports
on academic and commercial projects, tutorials on a broad range of
subjects, and case studies. All conference speakers are volunteers and
come from a myriad of backgrounds: some are new speakers, some have been
speaking for years. Everyone is welcome, so bring your passion and your
code! We've had some incredible past PyCons, and we're looking to you to
help us top them!


Online proposal submission is open now! Proposals will be accepted
through November 10th, with acceptance notifications coming out by
January 20th. To get started, please see the speaker details page.

Videos of talks from previous years are on the Miro community site.

See this explanation
for more information on "Extreme Talks."

We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

Conference Registration

Please also note - registration for PyCon 2011 will also be capped at a
maximum of 1,500 delegates, including speakers. When registration opens
(soon), you're going to want to make sure you register early! Speakers
with accepted talks will have a guaranteed slot.

Important Dates

  • November 1st, 2010: Talk proposals due.
  • December 15th, 2010: Acceptance emails sent.
  • January 19th, 2010: Early bird registration closes.
  • March 9-10th, 2011: Tutorial days at PyCon.
  • March 11-13th, 2011: PyCon main conference.
  • March 14-17th, 2011: PyCon sprints days.

Contact Emails

Van Lindberg (Conference Chair) - van@python.org
Jesse Noller (Co-Chair) - jnoller@python.org
PyCon Organizers list: pycon-organizers@python.org


PyTexas 2010 Breaks Out This Weekend

This coming weekend, on Sat Aug 28, the Texas region Python community holds the fourth annual PyTexas. This is a breakout year for PyTexas in organization, volunteers, and attendance as we strive to grow into a larger, more established yearly event.

PyTexas 2010 is a one day event held at the Baylor University Science Building in Waco, TX, featuring scheduled presentations, "open spaces", lightning talks...and a "Python Teach-In" to help beginners and intermediate level developers gain a learning boost through peer instruction and exercises (such as the Python Koans).

Sponsorship, Prizes, Partying, and Swag
Attendees receive a nifty PyTexas pocketed t-shirt, as well as a chance at many generous prizes from Wingware, ActiveState, No Starch Press, JetBrains, and O'Reilly Media. We'll be getting swag from all the PyTexas 2010 sponsors. In addition, Rackspace plans to host a "Meet & Geek" evening party for all attendees including food, drinks and airline tickets as a door prize.

We're currently expecting about 100 attendees, with 71 confirmed and 31 tentative, as well as a last minute rush of registrations as students from Baylor and several other local universities see flyers posted and hopefully receive email from their professors.

The higher attendance this year may be attributable to the choice of Waco as the host city, a more centrally located venue than previous years.

How to Register
The PyTexas website is a wiki, which means every page is editable. Because we don't yet have fancy registration software, attendees register by editing the PyTexas 2010 wiki registration page and typing their name at the bottom of the list of other attendees. If you are not sure if you can make it, please put your name under the "Tentative" list toward the middle of the page.

If you are interested in participating in the Teach-In, either as a learner or a tutor, please add your name to the Python Teach-In 2010 page. This helps us know how many volunteer tutors we need to recruit to help out.

How to Arrive
  1. Check the PyTexas 2010 venue wiki page for the latest instructions. (Edit: The parking pass is no longer required on weekends)
  2. After locating and arriving in the Baylor Science building parking garage, you'll need to walk a couple of blocks to get to the actual Science Building. If you check the map, it's not that difficult to find, but we're planning to make it easier by chalk-marking the sidewalk to point the way to PyTexas (university policy allows this!).
  3. Follow the signs in the building to the PyTexas area
  4. Sign in at the PyTexas registration desk
What to Bring
  • Your laptop with Python installed. If you don't have a laptop, and wish to attend the Teach-In, please indicate that on the Teach-In registration page so we can help arrange a computer for you to use.
  • We might be short on electical power strips, so if you have a spare, please loan one to PyTexas.  Label it with your name so you can take it back home afterward. 
  • A swag bag with which to haul your booty. We don't have swag bags this year and may have to give out grocery sacks! :-)
  • Any technical books which you don't want anymore; you can swap with others or just put them on a table for giveaways.
  • Bring along anyone you think might like to get started learning Python.
How to Stay in Touch
Announcements related to PyTexas (for things like parking passes) will be sent to the PyTexas list, as well as the Python user group lists for Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

However, I'd like to suggest that members of the Texas-area Python community should join the Texas Python mailing list. While this list has been primarily used to organize PyTexas, it can also serve as a "user group" mailing list for the local community. Many Texas towns don't have a user group, and even the established Texas user group mailing lists don't have many active participants. Let's use the Texas Python mailing list to stay in touch with each other year-round; the result will be a more active local Python community from which we'll all enjoy the benefits.

Ditto for IRC; most of the organizers this year hung out on #dfwpython at freenode, but we're planning to start a #pytexas IRC.

Please feel to contact me directly if you want to discuss any questions or issues about PyTexas.

Brad Allen
PyTexas 2010 Chairman


Pycon India - Talks to be announced on August 20

The list of selected talks for Pycon India 2010 will be announced by August 20 2010. The original announcement date was August 15 2010 (today), but we have decided to extend the date considering the sheer volume of talks submitted, to give more time for reviewers to evaluate talks.

Please see the blog announcement on the Pycon India website for more details.


Pycon India - CFP closes today

Today is the last date for the Call for Proposals for Pycon India 2010. We have received an awesome response from the Python community in India so far, with 61 talk proposals submitted so far.

We will be accepting proposals till midnight today. If you haven't submitted a talk yet, rush to the talk submission page and submit at the earliest.


Tim Costello

On July 6, 2010, PyCon lost a friend when Tim Costello died suddenly.

Tim was the uber-technician for CTE, the company that helps the PSF
put on PyCon. Tim's first PyCon was Dallas 2007, where he helped run
the A/V systems as a favor to Carl Karsten. He has worked at
subsequent PyCons, primarily in the background, making the conference
infrastructure run smoothly. If you helped set up the networking,
volunteered for the A/V crew, or were involved in expo hall setup at a
PyCon, you probably worked with him.

We offer our deepest condolences to Tim's family, friends, and
colleagues. He will be missed.

If you would like to show your appreciation for his contributions to
the Python Community, Tim's family has asked for donations to the
American Heart Association.

Tim's obituary appeared in the Chicago Tribune on July 11, 2010.


Kiwi PyCon 2010 Registrations now OPEN

The time has come - online registrations for Kiwi PyCon 2010 are now open!

Registration fees are as follows:

Regular NZD100

Earlybird: if registered before 01 Sep: NZD80

Student/Unwaged NZD60

Earlybird: If registered before 01 Sep: NZD40

This year we have a limit of 180 participants. Given the demand and huge success of 2009 you better be quick! Just head over to Registrations (http://nz.pycon.org/registrations/) to secure your seat.

Please note that the Paihia/Waitangi area is a very popular spot for both domestic and international visitors, so also make sure to secure accommodation (http://nz.pycon.org/2010/about/accommodation/) before it gets expensive.

"What am I getting for this?"

- A nice venue

- Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on both days

- A Kiwi PyCon 2010 t-shirt

- A lanyard with the conference schedule

- Wifi access to Internet (separate from the hotel)

- Free giveaways including Amazon Web Services credits, discounts on Wingware software, and opportunity to win a whole lot more (http://nz.pycon.org/2010/sponsorship/sponsors/)

See you there!

Kiwi PyCon 2010 Conference Committee

Pycon India - Call for Proposals closes July 31 2010

This is a reminder that the Call for Proposals of Pycon India 2010 closes in 10 days.

We have received talks on a variety of topics from the Python community so far and express our gratitude to the Python community in India for their amazing response.

If you want to take part and show case your knowledge and talent before the biggest audience of Python developers and community enthusiasts in India, go to the Talk submission page and submit your talk today!


Kiwi PyCon 2010 Call for Papers and Participation

We have another Kiwi PyCon lined up, and we're all expecting it to be
as good as last year's event. This year it will be staged in lovely
Paihia/Waitangi in the sunny Bay of Islands. It is on the weekend 20-21

Find a link below to the "Call for Participation". We are encouraging
everybody to come and to participate. Do not feel intimidated, this is a
community conference, and we are hosting talks and sessions for all
knowledge levels. Be it a tiny demo or show and tell (by doing a 5
minute Lightning Talk), or up to running an hour long tutorial. Or are
you interested in the dynamic evolution of a session? Then the
unconference like Open Spaces will give you just the platform for

Please help spread the word!



Pycon India 2010 - Registrations are Open!

Pycon India 2010, scheduled to be held at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore from Sep 25-26 2010, is open for delegate registrations from today.

This year, we are providing the facility of online payments. Early-bird registrations are open till August 31 2010, so register early to save money!

Go to http://in.pycon.org/2010/register and register for the biggest Python community conference in India, today.

Please spread the word among your local communities.


Become a Python contributor at PyOhio

Working in Python is awesome. Are you ready to work on Python?

The quality of Python and the Standard Library depend on volunteers who fix bugs and make improvements to the codebase. If you're interested in joining these volunteers, good for you! Information on core development is right on Python's homepage; see also "How to contribute to Python"

However, if you'd like an in-person boost to get you started, come to PyOhio this July 31 - August 3. Two talks will get you up to speed on Python contribution: "Intro to Core Involvement" and "Teach Me Python Bugfixing". Next come two evenings and two full days of Python core sprinting, so you can put your new skills to use with plenty of helpers around.

It's classroom learning and real-life practice at one free event! See you there!


PyTexas 2010 Call for Proposals

PyTexas 2010, the fourth annual Python programming conference for Texas and the surrounding region, will take place Saturday August 28, 2010 at the Baylor University in Waco, Texas. A variety of activities are under consideration, including tutorials, scheduled talks,  Lightning Talks, Open Spaces, and Sprints.

PyTexas invites all interested people to submit proposals for scheduled talks, tutorials, and panels. All topics of interest to Python programmers will be considered, including topics suitable for inclusion in a Beginner's Track.

For more detail please see the PyTexas wiki.



Pycon India 2010 - Call for Proposals

Pycon India 2010 is happening in Bangalore, India at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology from Sep 25-26 2010.

The conference is in its second run after a very successful first edition last year. We are again expecting a tremendous response from the Python community of India for this year's edition.

We are inviting proposals from interested speakers to fill our presentation tracks. We invite proposals on all aspects of the Python language at all levels.

First time speakers are invited. Pycon India being a complete community conference, we welcome contribution from everyone to make the conference a success.

For finding out more about the conference proposals, visit the following URL.


Please submit your proposals by 31st of July. Accepted proposals will be announced on 31st of August.


PyCon Australia Call For Proposals

Hi everyone,

I'm happy to announce that on the 26th and 27th of June we are running PyCon Australia in Sydney!


We are looking for proposals for Talks on all aspects of Python programming
from novice to advanced levels; applications and frameworks, or how you
have been involved in introducing Python into your organisation.

We welcome first-time speakers; we are a community conference and we are
eager to hear about your experience. If you have friends or colleagues
who have something valuable to contribute, twist their arms to tell us
about it! Please also forward this Call for Proposals to anyone that you
feel may be interested.

To find out more go to the official Call for Proposals page here:


The deadline for proposal submission is the 29th of April. Proposal
acceptance will be announced on the 12th of May.

See you in Sydney in June!

Richard Jones
PyCon AU Program Chair

PyCon APAC - Early Bird and Tutorial Registration Open

Early Bird Registration and Tutorial Registration is open for PyCon APAC 2010, happening at Singapore.

The Early Bird Registration will end by April 2010.

Don't miss this opportunity to meet some of the wonderful Pythonistas coming from all around the world.

Liew Beng Keat, Maurice Ling and  PyCon APAC Organizing Committee


PyOhio Call for Proposals

PyOhio's Call for Proposals has been released!

PyOhio, the third annual Python conference for Ohio and surrounding regions, takes place July 31 - August 1, 2010 in Columbus, OH. Proposal submissions are due May 10.

See you in Columbus!


PyCon 2010 Poster Session Wrap-up

PyCon 2010 had a poster session for the first time ever. Out of 19 original submissions, 17 actually presented posters, covering topics from testing and clouds to Unicode and robotics. The poster session was a plenary session, running from 10:05 to 11:55 am on Sunday morning in the expo hall. Snack service was also in the expo hall at the same time.

The cost of doing the poster session was relatively low. We used eleven poster boards at $70 each, so the total outlay was under $800.

Overall, it went well. The room was very full and active for most of the time, with things only tailing off the last 15-20 minutes. I chatted with all but one of the presenters, and they all felt it was very successful. Some liked the ability to reach more people than a regular talk might have, and others were happy to have a way to present at PyCon without the public speaking pressure of a regular talk. From my conversations with the attendees, many enjoyed the chance to circulate through a diverse set of topics and chat with the presenters of those they found interesting, in effect a massive hallway track.


Certainly gratitude is due for the backing from Steve, Van, Doug and the organizing committee. That support in the form of time, space, publicity, etc. was huge, as was the organizational help from Ewa. Also, many thanks are due to my friend Rob Ludwick for taking the session photos - he did an outstanding job for very little recognition (although I do still owe him dinner).


Poster presenters and viewers did point out a few issues:
  1. Space - some felt that things were too cramped and crowded, particularly with snack service, while others felt it was about right. My personal feeling was that it was OK - it was a bit tight in spots, but that closeness fed the feeling of excitement. Certainly we don't want things any tighter and for next year we should tinker with the layout, including placement of coffee/snack service.
  2. Timing - more than one presenter wished that the poster session could have been earlier in conference so that they could have used it to set up open space sessions. I certainly sympathize with that, but using the expo space after the commercial exhibitors moved out worked so well, I don't think I would change this.
  3. Communication and publicity - it was pointed out that we weren't consistent in conference and publicity materials as to when, where and what the poster session was. I think that was because our plans evolved as we moved towards the conference, giving us some version control problems. I don't see this as being much of an issue going forward.
  4. Ratings/feedback - we had no feedback or rating system for posters other than the law of two feet. One presenter wanted some way to get feedback, but my sense was that most didn't care.
  5. Financial support - someone suggested providing financial aid to students for the cost of printing the posters, which can run in the $100 range. It looked to me like the majority of the poster presenters had resources to cover the printing. There were a few (including a student) who chose what one called the "arts and crafts" approach, and printed out individual pages and pieces which they pinned on their boards. This sort of low tech solution is not uncommon in other poster sessions, and as far as I could tell it had no adverse impact on the presentation's popularity. In fact, using that approach meant that they could use the full poster board more effectively.
    As far as financial aid for attending goes, I don't know if any of the poster presenters received financial aid, but I do know that I advised some of them to apply, and I'm certain they did/would have received equitable consideration.
  6. Virtual posters - the idea of offering to play 5 minute videos on a monitor as "virtual" posters was a complete non-starter. While that idea may be of some use somewhere, somehow, it doesn't seem worth trying again as part of PyCon.
  7. Continuing online record - for some presenters it matters, not just for personal reasons, to have some record of their participation. Printing the poster descriptions in the conference program partly satisfies this need. At the moment, I also have fairly low resolution photos of each presenter and poster on my flickr stream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/35528352@N00/) and I've put links to presentations on the Accepted Posters page (http://us.pycon.org/2010/conference/posters/accepted/) as I've received them. We also have higher resolution versions of the photos, which can be used in the future either on the PyCon site or for publicity.
  8. Video recording - I didn't push for creating a video of the poster session this year, but some have suggested it for next year. Certainly if we had the staff and equipment available, a wandering videographer might catch some of the feel of session, if not the details of every poster.


My favorite review was Anna's tweet, "poster session is full of wins." I would agree.

If I had to boil things down, I would say that the poster session gave two big wins to PyCon 2010. One was the social aspect of the event. Having a room that big bubbling over with excited Python conversations for over 90 minutes made it one of PyCon's best social "mixers", even better because no one realized it was mixer. ;)

Second, it provided a means for less experienced and/or less skilled speakers to do a formal presentation. There has been periodic discussion over the years of the desirability of having PyCon speakers be experienced and "good", but other than invoking (all too rare) local user groups and conferences, PyCon has not offered an entry point where speakers can gain experience and confidence. I believe the poster session provides such an entry point. As the Python community continues to pursue diversity, the poster session could be a valuable way to foster more participation.

Poster Session 2011

Going forward, I'm proposing that we offer a poster session again next year, and I'm volunteering to repeat as co-ordinator. My suggestions would be:

  1. double the room size by removing the wall between Regency V and VI.
  2. cap the number of posters at 35 (40 MIGHT be possible, 50 would be tight).
  3. tweak the poster arrangement and snack placement so as to improve flow through the room. A tough problem, but worth a try.
  4. keep the poster session a plenary session on Sunday morning and keep the time roughly the same. I wouldn't bother to list a separate break time before the poster session starts - in practice the break is part of the poster session.
  5. Issue the CFP for posters around the same time as for regular talks, and determine acceptances about 2-4 weeks after regular talk acceptances, to allow rejected talks to resubmit as posters.
  6. Plan for more ways to capture the session in photos and video.
  7. Have a plan for the long term record (conference program, online, etc) of the posters and let people know what it is in the CFP.
  8. Provide badge ribbons to identify poster presenters.
That's about it. My thanks again to everyone who helped  make the poster session a success - let's do it again!


    All PyCon, all the time - Atlanta 2010

    We are about 16 hours away from the official beginning of PyCon 2010 in Atlanta, and there are already news to talk about.

    First, this from Alex Gaynor:

    I'm very pleased to announce The Ultimate PyCon Live stream: http://pycon.djangodose.com/. Eric Florenzano, Brian Rosner, Greg Newman, and I have been working on putting together the best possible feed of everything that happens at PyCon, throughout the conference we'll be aggregating and streaming all the news about PyCon on Twitter, photos on Flickr, upcoming talks and uploaded slides, commits on BitBucket and GitHub (on specified repositories), and announcements via IRC. We hope you enjoy it!

    ...I will be talking all about the building of this in my talk, and we're looking forward to open sourcing it.

    Next, we have (on request) a PyCon mailing list for "the non-twittering classes." The mailing list at pycon@python.org will be dedicated to attendees for exchanging tips, opinions, open space announcments, meeting times, and anything else appropriate for PyCon. You can sign up at http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/pycon


    Staggering Through PyCon

    If you have been looking over the PyCon schedule while packing your bags this weekend, you might have noticed that — besides flat-out offering more talks than any PyCon in world history — this year's schedule has a really interesting feature: the start of lunch time is “staggered”, with some talks ending just after noon at 12:15, and others ending fifteen minutes later at 12:30. The talks that start right after lunch are similarly staggered across fifteen minutes, starting either at 1:20 or 1:35. Just take a look at the schedule and search for the word “lunch”:


    If you have ever been at a conference where you had to stand in an enormous line as everyone at the conference tried to get lunch simultaneously, then you probably have an idea about why we are excited about this change! With this staggered arrangement, there should be a shorter line for lunch, since the conference-goers will arrive in two waves.

    But the real win is that, for the first time, attending a 45-minute talk will not mean missing two 30-minute talks! For contrast, compare this year's staggered schedule to the 45-minute talks in last year's schedule, which you can see here:

    Do you see the difference? Last year, many of the 45-minute talks forced you to miss at least parts of two other 30-minute talks! The staggered schedule eliminates this restriction entirely: because the 45-minute talks carve their extra 15 minutes from unstructured times like lunch and the afternoon break, you never wind up having to choose to see “one talk for the price of two.”

    And this additional convenience, we hope, will make it a bit more bearable that you have to choose between such great talks in the first place!

    Travel safely, and we look forward to seeing you later this week.


    PyCon 2010 - You should register now... and new tutorial slots!

    With approximately 18 hours to go before the end of pre-conference registration, PyCon officially has 1000 registrants. Pre-conference rates are still good while it is Feb. 10th somewhere in the world, so REGISTER NOW!

    Even if you have already registered, we have been able to get bigger rooms for three of our most popular tutorials:
    If you were not able to get into these tutorials, we have a few more slots open.

    Finally for those who are currently digging out from under yet another snowstorm, I also point out that PyCon 2010 will be in Atlanta, making it an ideal location for those looking for a way to escape the late winter blizzards in the northeastern United States.

    PyCon online registration ends TODAY

    The Long Count calendar developed by ancient Mayan astronomers predicts that the end of PyCon 2010 Online Registration falls on February 10, 2010 - this very day! Although experts differ on what will happen next, many warn of catastrophic results for those who fail to register for PyCon immediately, such as the expense and hassle of registering onsite.

    In other words, this is the day. If you are still waiting for employer approval to attend the world's biggest Python event, it may be time to invoke this important principle of dynamic language programming:
    Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. This common Python coding style assumes the existence of valid keys or attributes and catches exceptions if the assumption proves false. This clean and fast style is characterized by the presence of many try and except statements. The technique contrasts with the LBYL style common to many other languages such as C.


    Pre-Conference Registration Ends Soon

    Incredible though it seems, PyCon tutorials start a week tomorrow!

    If you are planning to attend and want to register at pre-conference prices you have just over 24 hours to do so!

    PyCon is the place to learn about new and existing Python features and meet Python personalities. Register now while you still have chance to save money!


    PyCon Atlanta is almost here!

    We are just a couple weeks away from PyCon 2010. We are making final preparations, and getting ready to travel and setup what will be an exciting conference. We have a few notices, and some exciting news.

    • For those who are looking for a job, we have a bunch of sponsors who will be recruiting at PyCon this year. We will be sending out a pre-conference email soon with more details. However, start polishing off your resume for PyCon.
    • As a reminder, the last day for pre-conference registration rates is this coming Wednesday, February 10th (actually, 6AM Thursday, US - EST. That is the last time when it is February 10th somewhere in the world).To lock in your conference rates before they go to the on-site rate level, make sure you visit the registrations page at https://us.pycon.org/2010/register/
      before then.
    • The on-line hotel registrations are closed, but you can still make hotel reservations at the conference rate by calling the housing bureau at +1-847-759-4277, or emailing pycon3-reg@cteusa.com.

    As for our news, will likely be opening up more spaces in the most popular tutorials. Stay tuned for an announcement early next week.


    PyCon 2010 Needs Volunteers! (Sign Up Now!)

    Every year it takes an army of volunteers to help out at the conference to make everything happen smoothly. Many hands make light work (and all that.)

    This year we have expanded the program to have 5 tracks. This means we are desperate for Session Staff. The Session Staff are a group of volunteers whom work with the presenters to make sure the talks run smoothly. The work is not hard, and it is a fantastic opportunity to meet with amazing people.

    We have Session Chairs and Session Runners. Chairs sit in the conference room and make sure nothing blows up, and the runners run around pretending that nothing has blown up; acting as the legs for the chairs. Everyone has two-way radios. (What geek can resist that!?!?!?! What IS the air speed of an unladen swallow presenter? A session runner knows the answer, and is more than willing to share...)

    Volunteering is easy and there are a ton of open spots on the schedule. Just look for talks which do not yet have both the little clip board ( chair) and star ( runner) icons on the left hand side. On the talk information page or pop-up, click the volunteer link.


    Startup Riot

    Startup Riot is a one-day conference taking place in Atlanta on Feb. 17. If you have an interest in business startups - and can pull yourself away from PyCon's first tutorial day - it might be a perfect opportunity to make a trip to Atlanta do double-duty.

    Startup Riot takes place at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, just down the street from PyCon.

    View Larger Map


    PyCon online schedule app

    Thanks to Doug Napoleone, PyCon's online schedule application is now online. Picking among all the amazing possibilities at PyCon is incredibly hard, but the online scheduler at least helps you keep track of what you've decided. If you get confused, scheduler help is here.

    You can (and should) also use the scheduler to volunteer as session staff! Session staffing is an easy but important job that helps the conference runs smoothly, lets you meet the speakers you're most interested in, and gives you that open-sourcey pride of ownership in your PyCon.


    Pick your "can't miss" posters now!

    As has been mentioned before, this year we're adding a poster session to PyCon. For 90 minutes on Sunday, Feb 21, 18 presenters will be answering questions and receiving input from PyCon attendees on posters covering a wide range of topics. Posters are suited to interactively presenting new ideas and more specialized projects, allowing people a chance to browse the whole range and to stop and spend more time on the ones they find interesting.

    If you want to start thinking about which posters you definitely don't want to miss, visit http://us.pycon.org/2010/conference/posters/accepted/ and start making your picks. As for me, my "don't miss" list is here , and covers Unicode, DVCS in the classroom, robots and more. Which ones will be on your "don't miss" list?


    Early bird deadline is TODAY, January 6!

    The END is NEAR!*

    (*the end of early bird registration for PyCon 2010.)

    Register now! Registration at the early bird rate is still good as long as it is January 6 somewhere in the world.


    Early-bird ends tomorrow

    Early-bird registration discounts end TOMORROW (Wednesday, Jan. 6). Register now.


    Early Bird Is Ending Soon!

    The early bird deadline for PyCon 2010 is January 6th. Have you registered yet? There are only a couple more days!


    Free CODE for .NET programmers

    PyCon has arranged a special incentive for .NET programmers registering for PyCon. (Of course, all attendees are eligible for the promotion - but it will have a special interest for those in the .NET world.) Please pass the notice on to .NET programmers you know. We'd like to see new legions of .NET users introduced to the joys of IronPython!

    * * * * *

    .NET's Dynamic Language Runtime has brought new prominence to the role of .NET dynamic languages like IronPython, and many .NET programmers are looking for ways to get up-to-date on this growing aspect of the .NET environment. PyCon, the world's largest conference of Python and IronPython programmers, is an unparalleled learning opportunity. For $450 or less, attendees can spend an entire week learning from and working with Python and IronPython programmers from raw beginners to the creators of Python and IronPython themselves.

    This year, PyCon offers a bonus to .NET programmers - a free one-year subscription to CODE magazine, the leading independent .NET resource.

    PyCon 2010 runs Feb. 17-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference includes five tracks of standard talks, plus Open Spaces, Lightning Talks, hands-on lab, exhibit hall, and poster sessions. Feb. 17-18 are set aside for twenty-four intensive, half-day tutorials. PyCon's development sprints run Feb. 22-25, in which ordinary attendees work together with project leaders to cooperate on extending and improving Python, IronPython, or their own favorite libraries and projects.

    IronPython, a full-powered .NET implementation of Python, lets .NET programmers easily use dynamic language capabilities in their .NET environments. A brief review of IronPython's benefits for .NET programmers is at http://ironpython-urls.blogspot.com/2009/12/why-ironpython.html

    Early-bird registration (through January 6) is just $450, and further discounts are available for students and attendees without employer support.

    For information and to register, see http://us.pycon.org. To claim your free subscription to CODE, use this coupon code during registration:


    (NOTE: Some attendees have reported that the registration site did not accept their coupon code. If that happens to you - or, for any other reason, you come to PyCon but haven't used the coupon code - don't worry! Signup for CODE will be available at PyCon itself.)

    See you in Atlanta!