Announcing the PyCon 2012 talks

On behalf of the PyCon Program Committee, I'm thrilled to announce the list of talks for PyCon 2012! It's an amazing program that's a true testament to Python's reach: we'll have talks covering embedded programming, REST APIs, GIS, cloud computing, web development, relational and non-relational databases, design, 3d printers, testing, debugging, high performance, scientific computing, and more. The unifying theme? Python makes it all possible.

As you may already know, this was a very hard decision process: we had roughly 380 submissions for only 95 slots on the program. Further, the quality of submissions was very high; the committee debated each and every talk very closely. I want to sincerely thank everyone who submitted a talk: the quality of PyCon comes from our speakers, and this year you all blew it out of the water.

Over the next few weeks we'll finish up and publish the conference schedule, so stay tuned.

Remember: Early-bird registration closes January 10th, so if you want to get in on this amazing conference, register now!

See you in Santa Clara!

Financial Aid Extended to January 7

Last Friday I posted a guide for the PyCon 2012 financial aid program. Yesterday I got some good news: the deadline for applications has been extended from January 2, 2012 to January 7, 2012. The date for award notices remains the same at January 10, 2012.

For more information on PyCon's Financial Aid committee and their offerings, see https://us.pycon.org/2012/assistance.


HOWTO: PyCon US Financial Aid Application

Each year the PyCon Financial Aid committee sets out to make getting to and attending the conference more affordable for those who need assistance. Whether you've got a flight halfway across the world or live down the street and have to pay out of your own pocket, PyCon thrives on the diversity of the attendees and the organizers hope make the conference possible for those who want to come. Applications for financial aid are due by January 2, 2012 January 7, 2012.
New for this year's financial aid application process is an online form rather than the persuasive letter format of past years. As with any application, it starts with your name and contact info. What follows are a series of questions to figure out which conference-related expenses you'll need aid with.


Here's where you sell your case for who you are and why you would benefit from assistance. Tell us where you're coming from and what you're up to. If you're unemployed, say so. If you'd spend a month's salary on plane tickets, say so. We're here to help, so let us know your situation so we can serve you best. Be sure to let us know if you were selected to present at the conference.

Conference Registration

Ticket sales recently opened up with early bird rates available until January 10, 2012, so check out the going rates. If tickets are a place you'll need help with, go ahead and ask for it!

Hotel Room

You'll need a place to stay while at the conference, and we can help you out at the conference hotel. All we ask is that you let us know how many days you plan to stay for. Keep in mind there's two days of tutorials, three days of conference talks, and four days of sprints, so plan your hotel stay for whichever parts you're coming for.

Travel Costs

The form starts with the minimum amount of aid you would require in order to make your trip happen. Following that, we ask that you let us know what your travel plans are. Do you need to take a train to get to a plane? Renting a car? Time travel?
You get to choose your method of reimbursement -- keyword being reimbursement. We can send you a check or do a bank transfer, but we require that you make the purchase before we give you the money. Cash is an option, but our ability to handle cash is limited, so please write a note about why cash is your preferred method.


If you're coming in on March 7 and 8 for the awesome tutorials, let us know specifically which ones you plan to attend. Tutorial assistance is limited, but let us know your plans and we'll see what we can do.

Review and Notification

Upon receiving your application for financial aid, the committee will review your submission and evaluate what you've requested. Be sure to keep an eye on your email in case the committee has any questions about your application. After a review of yours and all of the other applicants, you should receive notice on your application's status by January 10, 2012.
Again, be sure to get your applications in by January 2, 2012 January 7, 2012! We want to help as many people as we can, and we hope to see you at the conference!


PyCon US 2012: I've got something special for you.

I'm going to take a moment to admit something - chairing PyCon 2012 is close to a full-time job. You're working constantly - negotiating, planning, thinking about ways to make the conference better than it has been in the past. There are some less-fun parts, too: legal negotiations, making hard decisions - all the things you might think come along with trying to manage a volunteer run, community-driven conference. My family and coworkers are most probably tired of hearing me talk about everything going on that's going on to make this PyCon the biggest and best yet.

That said, being chair has its special moments. Even before PyCon opens in March, I get the privilege to work with an amazing community of volunteers and to act as a representative for the Python community as a whole. I get the privilege to hear about all sorts of wonderful, new places where Python is popping up. I get to have conversations with people and sponsors all over the world and to hear how Python is helping them, and listening to them talk about how great it is to be part of this community.

I get the privilege and honor to work with our amazing array of over 77 sponsors - companies like DropBox, Heroku and Google who have stepped up to be Diamond sponsors, I get to work with and listen to the stories of Gondor.io (by Eldarion), Nebula, New Relic, EventBrite, Microsoft, Nasuni (my employer), and SurveyMonkey. These - and all of our sponsors come from an array of industries and walks of life. From startups to corporate giants, all of these companies have come forward to show their support for the Python Community.

These companies support helps make PyCon affordable - it allows them to show the community their love and attention, it gives me the privilege of having a robust financial aid budget and to make outreach partnerships with organizations like PyLadies.

Today, I have the privilege of announcing a new Gold sponsor - but this sponsor is extra special to me, because they make something - programmable in Python, which is simply put: Awesome. It is this guy, fully programmable in Python:


Today I am very pleased to announce Aldebaran Robotics is joining us as a Gold sponsor. I was lucky enough to get a call from them about a week ago, expressing interest in reaching out and getting involved with PyCon, and the Python community. You might have seen some news about them - they were just featured on TechCrunch on Monday. They make robots - robots programmable with the power of Python (and you can join their developer program). Consider my mind blown.

This is one of those moments in a person's life when you just say "Yes". But as others can attest, I said "Yes… But…"

That "but" is why I'm so excited today - in addition to joining us as a sponsor, Aldebaran has agreed to allow me give one of these wonderful robots away to a single lucky attendee at PyCon (don't worry - I don't qualify). Yup - attend PyCon and stay until the closing ceremonies on Sunday (you have to be present) and you could walk away with 23 inches of next-generation, Python programmable, robot awesome.

PyCon 2012 registration is open - we already have an amazing array of tutorials and the main conference talk list will be soon to follow. Come join all of us working on this conference, our amazing supporting sponsors and the amazing community for something awesome.

Thank you - to the community, the sponsors and the volunteers for allowing me to experience this.

- Jesse Noller - PyCon 2012


Registration for PyCon 2012 Opened, Tutorials Announced

The PyCon organizers have announced the opening of early bird registration and financial aid application for PyCon 2012. As with 2011, the conference rates are being kept the same across the board, with individual and corporate tickets selling at the early-bird rate of $300 and $450 USD respectively. Students are welcomed to purchase tickets at the reduced rate of $200. With a cap of 1500 attendees and many records already broken, taking advantage of early-bird rates will ensure you get in and at a great price. These early bird rates are valid until January 10, 2012.

Also staying in line with 2011 is the tutorial rate of $150 per session, an unparalleled value which includes one three-hour class as well as lunch and break refreshments. With a total of four sessions over the two days, March 7 and 8, 2012, we’ve already heard around the web that there are “too many awesome tutorials being offered,” so you’ll need to choose wisely.

The schedule includes a sampling of veterans and newcomers covering a range of topics that will interest all types of Python users. Raymond Hettinger, a perennial PyCon favorite and core CPython developer, brings his two-part Advanced Python course back for 2012. Twisted developer Jean-Paul Calderone introduces event driven programming with Twisted, while PyPy developers Maciej Fijalkowski, Armin Rigo, and Alex Gaynor teach the audience how to squeeze every ounce out of PyPy. From documentation to databases, performance to statistics, we think we’ve picked a great set of tutorials that will help attendees learn about a range of useful topics. For a full listing of tutorials, see our tutorial selections.

Also joining the schedule is Stormy Peters, Head of Developer Engagement at Mozilla, an engaging keynote speaker who we’re glad to have on board. Along with being an advisor to HFOSS, IntraHealth Open, and Open Source for America, she’s also the founder and president of Kids on Computers, a nonprofit organization setting up computer labs in developing countries.

Financial aid applications are now open through January 2, 2012. Each year the PyCon financial aid committee sets out to help as many people in need of assistance as they can, and this year the funding pool has been increased to ensure more attendees can receive more assistance. From conference and tutorial tickets to travel and lodging expenses, the group tries to make the conference possible for people across the world. The committee encourages anyone who may need assistance to apply, as each attendee makes this conference what it is.

PyCon also thanks the ever increasing group of sponsors, lead by diamond sponsors Google, Dropbox, and Heroku. Nebula and Eventbrite were announced as new platinum sponsors, and joining the gold level are Mozilla, Lab305, OpDemand, Leapfrog Online, and White Oak Technologies. New sponsors at the silver level include Python Academy, Eucalyptus Systems, Emma, ShiningPanda, Vocollect, ESRI, Truveris, Kontagent, Stratasan, Cisco, and Addison-Wesley/Prentice Hall. As always, we thank all of our sponsors and invite you to check all of them out, or inquire about sponsorship here.


Announcing the PyCon 2012 Tutorials

The tutorials team is pleased to announce that the PyCon 2012 tutorials have officially been selected and announced. The tutorials will be presented on the two days prior to the main conference - March 7th and 8th.

Each year we struggle to find the best selection of tutorials that will benefit the wider Python community. We only have a few slots, so we want to find tutorials that hit the sweet spot - excellent instructors, timely material, and broad interest. Making the selection was especially difficult this year due to the amazing array of tutorials proposed - and we are grateful for each person who submitted a proposal, even those we regrettably couldn't accept.

Each tutorial was reviewed by a panel of independent reviewers, followed by ten to fifteen hours of meetings where we discussed every proposal and made the hard choices of which tutorials we thought would best serve PyCon and the attendees. It was worth it, though; this year's tutorials present an astounding array of expertise for attendees to enjoy.

We have a new feature this year - Tutorial Tracks. Each year we notice that there are themes in the topics proposed, and we try to schedule accordlingly. This year, though, we have actually arranged a number of multi-session Tutorial Tracks where we are asking the instructors to coordinate their material to present an intensive one or two-day course focused on a particular subject. Tutorial tracks will be presented as a set of two tutorials taught sequentially on one day, or a set of four on both days (Wednesday and Thursday).

Our first two tracks deal with the fast-growing area of data science. If you want to hone your data-modeling chops across a number of domains, these tracks are for you:

Data Analytics I

  • Bayesian statistics made (as) simple (as possible) - Allen Downey
    • Statistics is the first tool of the data scientist. Allen brings his considerable expertise as the author of "Think Stats: Probability and Statistics for Programmers" to help programmers understand and express statistical models, in particular the Bayesian statistics at the heart of many applications.
  • Tutorial: Data analysis in Python with pandas - Wes McKinney
    • Wes is the lead developer of Pandas - a Python package known for its fast, flexible, and expressive data structures designed to make working with “relational” or “labeled” data both easy and intuitive. Pandas is helps programmers do practical, real world data analysis in Python.
  • Social Network Analysis with Python - Maksim Tsvetovat
    • Social network data permeates our world - yet many people don't know what to do with it. Maksim uses the approaches developed in his book "Social Networks for Startups" to introduce both theory and practice of social network analysis - gathering, analyzing and visualizing data using Python and other open-source tools.
  • Introduction to Interactive Predictive Analytics in Python with scikit-learn - Olivier Grisel
    • Once you have your data, it is time to start teaching the computer how to understand it - and scikit-learn makes machine learning accessible to non-specialists while still providing the power of NumPy and SciPy. As lead developer of scikit-learn, Olivier bridges the gap between specialists and programmers to bring a wide range of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to your fingertips.

Data Analytics II

  • IPython in-depth: high-productivity interactive and parallel python - Fernando Pérez with Min Ragan-Kelley, Brian E. Granger
    • IPython provides a rich and powerful set of tools aimed at maximizing developer productivity with Python while using the language interactively. The lead developers of IPython will show how to use IPython in different ways, as: an interactive shell, an embedded shell, a graphical console, a network-aware VM in GUIs, a web-based notebook with code, graphics and rich HTML, and a high-level framework for parallel computing
  • Graph Analysis from the Ground Up - Van Lindberg
    • Van Lindberg is in love with graphs - and by the end of this tutorial, attendees will be too. Graphs can be used to express and solve a number of very common problems easily and elegantly. This is a from-the-ground up working session; by the end, attendees will have the tools and experience to model and analyze problems on their own.
  • Plotting with matplotlib - Mike Müller
    • When it comes to plotting with Python many people think about matplotlib. It is widely used and provides a simple interface for creating a wide variety of plots from very simple diagrams to sophisticated animations. Mike is one of our favorite instructors, year after year, and he brings his touch to data visualization and plotting.
  • Introduction to NLTK - Jacob Perkins
    • So much of today's data is text based - web pages, tweets, even "structured" data in databases frequently contains further meaning than can be unlocked using natural language processing. Jacob, author of "Python Text Processing with NLTK 2.0 Cookbook," shows how to apply NLTK to your data to discover new meaning.

High Performance Computing

Our second track is focused on a subject near to many programmers hearts - performance. Especially when dealing with the large and fast-moving environment on the Internet today, speed matters.

  • Faster Python Programs through Optimization - Mike Müller
    • This is one of the most consistent favorites at PyCon. Mike walks through profiling and optimization - finding the spots where algorithmic or implementation tweaks will do the most good. He then shows how different data types or different implementations can dramatically speed up your code.
  • How to get the most out of your PyPy - Maciej Fijalkowski with Alex Gaynor, Armin Rigo
    • One of the most promising new developments in the Python world is the evolution of the PyPy interpreter into a fully JITted speed demon. In this tutorial, three core developers from PyPy will show you how to take advantage of PyPy's capabilities.
  • High Performance Python I - Ian Ozsvald
  • High Performance Python II - Travis Oliphant
    • These tutorials are for when you absolutely need to go as fast as possible. Picking up where the other tutorials left off, Ian and Travis' tutorials show how NumPy, Psyco, Weave, f2py, GPU-based computing, and similar tools can eke out every bit of performance out of your machine.

Django (Wednesday)

Our next track focuses on Django - on of, if not the most popular web development framework in the Python world.

  • Introduction to Django - Chander Ganesan
    • Chander's tutorial covers the fundamentals of development with Django, including generating a data model, dealing with settings and deployment, and putting together a simple web site using the framework. It is just the thing for those just getting started with Django.
  • Django in Depth - James Bennett
    • James is part of Django's core team and the release manager - there is nobody better to take attendees on a walking tour of Django's deepest components. If you have ever wondered why or how Django does something, this is your chance to learn.

Core Python (1 & 2 on Wednesday)

Continuing with a long tradition, we have excellent beginning, intermediate, and advanced instruction in core Python available at PyCon. Based on attendee feedback, this year we have deeper coverage of early intermediate Python - moving beyond the basics into familiarity.

  • Hands-on Beginning Python - Matt Harrison
  • Hands-on Intermediate Python - Matt Harrison
    • Matt was praised last year for his clear and concise explanations of core Python. These tutorials, from the ground up and on to intermediate Python, will be intensive and hands-on.
  • Python Epiphanies - Stuart Williams
    • Stuart returns this year with Python Epiphanies - an intermediate course focused on helping programmers move past the initial plateau and become incredibly productive. This tutorial will deconstruct frequent incorrect assumptions about Python and give programmers the global view of Python needed to really excel.
  • Advanced Python I and II - Raymond Hettinger (a track all it's own!)
    • A runaway success last year, Raymond's advanced Python courses show how the tools built into the Python interpreter or included in the standard library can be combined to solve difficult problems clearly and Pythonically. Raymond's deep insight into Python will leave you astounded - and a better programmer.

    In addition to these explicit Tutorial Tracks, we have an amazing array of tutorials addressing a number of subjects:

    • Introduction to Game Development - Richard Jones with Katie Cunningham
      • This tutorial will walk the attendees from some introductory game development theory (what makes a good game) and through development of a simple game (how to make a good game) with time left over for some experimentation and exploration of different types of games.
    • Making and understanding music with Python and a little bit of Math - Pedro Kroger
      • Are you interested in learning more about music but have found most material to be kind of patronizing or to present things magically instead of logically? The good news is that much of music can be understood with programming and math, two things you're already good at! In this hands-on workshop you'll learn some elements of music from a (Python) programmer's perspective.
    • Developing custom PyQt widgets and graphical interfaces efficiently. - Luis Artola
      • PyQT is the leading cross-platform GUI toolkit, and it has two excellent bindings to Python. Luis' advanced PyQT tutorial will show you how to leverage the power of QT to build beautiful and functional interfaces.
    • Writing a Pyramid application - Carlos de La Guardia
      • A number of complementary web development toolkits have coalesced into Pyramid, a new(er) framework that has a lot of history behind it. Interested in moving beyond Django, or concerned that Django might not be a good fit for your application? This tutorial will help.
    • The real-time web with co-routines - John Anderson
      • Web applications need to be fast and interactive - calling for a different kind of backend. Learn how to build fast and interactive web applications using Redis/ZeroMQ, Socket.IO, and GEvent while maintaining good test coverage.
    • Introduction to Event Driven Programming Using Twisted - Jean-Paul Calderone
      • Twisted is one of the most performant and flexible frameworks around - but event and callback-driven programming requires programmers to reason about events in a way that is a bit... twisted. JP detangles event-driven programming into a understandable and useful series of abstractions.
    • Web scraping: Reliably and efficiently pull data from pages that don't expect it - Asheesh Laroia
      • A highly anticipated return from last year, Asheesh shows you how to scrape the web efficiently and nicely. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to parse those pages and when to apply advanced techniques that make scraping faster and more stable.
    • Optimize Performance and Scalability with Parallelism and Concurrency - Bob Hancock
      • Sometimes, you need to multitask - and Bob will show you how to do it. From how the operating system handles your requests through design principles on how to use concurrency and parallelism to optimize your program's performance and scalability.
    • Making interactive maps for the web - Zain Memon
      • When asked to display geodata, most developers decide to put some big red markers on an embeddable Google Map and call it a day. If you're interested in creating maps that are more beautiful, more interactive, and more usable, this tutorial is for you.
    • SQL for Python Developers - Brandon Rhodes
      • Relational databases are often the bread-and-butter of large-scale data storage, yet they are often poorly understood by Python programmers. (Quick - tell me the different between a LEFT join and a RIGHT join). Brandon's tutorial takes what you already know about Python programming, and advances into a new realm: SQL programming and database design.
    • MongoDB and Python - Rick Copeland with Bernie Hackett
      • This intermediate-level class will teach you techniques using the popular NoSQL database MongoDB, its driver PyMongo, and the object-document mapper Ming to write maintainable, high-performance, and scalable applications.
    • Documenting Your Project With Sphinx - Brandon Rhodes
      • Python projects can succeed or fail because of their documentation. Thanks to Sphinx, Python now has a “documentation framework” with indexing, syntax highlighting, and integration with your code.
    • DevOps for Python: Doing More With Less - Noah Kantrowitz
      • The world of infrastructure as code is becoming far more pervasive and many Python developers are trying to find a way to get started. This class will get you up and running with Chef and Fabric to manage your systems be they in the cloud or under your desk.

    All tutorial slots are 3 hours of teaching time, plus a break of 20 minutes for a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes from start to finish. Taught by some of the best trainers in the community - on subjects that are sure to be important, the tutorials at PyCon represent an excellent opportunity and value for anyone thinking about coming to PyCon 2012!

    You will be able to register for tutorials along with conference registration shortly. Tutorial pricing has not changed and can be seen on the registration page.

    Stuart Williams, Tutorial Committee Chair & the entire PyCon tutorial team


    PyCon US: Information for International Attendees

    Just a quick message today for all attendees - but especially for international attendees.

    It has been brought to my attention as conference chair that there are time issues when dealing with the acquisition of visas for attendees outside of the US - as has been previously noted, the Program Committee is running behind schedule due to the sheer volume of talks submitted. We plan on announcing accepted talks as soon as possible.

    Registration, and therefore Financial Aide applications will be opening soon, tutorial selection is rapidly coming to a close. While I can not disclose details on talks or tutorial selection or rejection, I can go out of my way to assist international attendees.

    Given the timelines involved, I am offering to immediately start assisting international attendees with the required visa recommendation letters as chair. I will draft and sign letters certifying your attendance and value to the conference regardless of speaker status - the assumption being that even without open registration, it is important it get these letters/visas approved in a timely manner.

    If you are planning on attending - even not as a speaker or teacher - please send an email to Rami Chowdhury, International Travel Coordinator rami.chowdhury@gmail.com, with the required details and any caveats such as financial aid approval you might have.

    As tutorial and talk approvals come in, we can either amend letters as needed, or you can choose to hold off until the decisions are announced.

    Thank you - I apologize in the delay and gaps in this area.

    Jesse Noller, Chair - PyCon 2012


    What's up with the program committee?

    "What's up with my PyCon proposal?"

    That's the question I've gotten pretty much since the day the call for proposals closed for PyCon 2012. Since the program committee does most of its work in private, it can try anyone's patience waiting to find out how their proposal fared. Well, starting with this post I'll do my best to keep you informed of where we are.

    As Jesse announced last month, we had record-breaking levels of talk submissions this year -- about 380 talk proposals. And it's not just quantity: the quality has been breathtaking. Sadly, we have just over 100 spots on the schedule. Selecting the best proposals is quite a challenge.

    Let me tell you a bit about how our review process works:

    First, the committee reads through proposals and scores them (using a system based on the Identify the Champion system). The goal here is to identify "champions" -- a committee member who feels strongly that the proposals should be placed on the schedule.

    Next, we meet in real time (on IRC) to discuss each proposals. Champions advocate, we debate, and ultimately vote. At this point, we're considering each proposals in isolation, judging it strictly on its merits. Typically we vote to accept about 75% of proposals at this point.

    Of course, this leaves us with far too many talks for the schedule. So the final step is to make the hard decisions and cull this list of (excellent) proposals down to the final schedule. We do this by grouping overlapping or similar proposals and looking at the balance of talks at the conference as a whole. We gather for a final round of meetings, debating and voting on which talks are the strongest in each area.

    So where are we now?

    Well, we've completed the first part -- each talk's been reviewed by a number of reviewers (at least three, at usually five or more) -- and we've started holding our first round of IRC meetings. We've discussed about a third of the talks so far. Extrapolating from our current rate tells me we should have the first round finished shortly after Thanksgiving. Based on our timeline last year, this means we should likely have the final selection of talks done by Christmas.

    Ultimately, this means that if you've proposed a talk you should hear back from us right around the new year. I know it's a long time to wait, but I know it means we'll have an incredible program this year.


    Announcing our second PyCon 2012 keynote speaker: Stormy Peters

    I am very pleased to announce the second (and final) PyCon 2012 Keynote speaker - Stormy Peters.

    Stormy is the Head of Developer Engagement at Mozilla. She is also an advisor for HFOSS, IntraHealth Open and Open Source for America, as well as founder and president of Kids on Computers, a nonprofit organization setting up computer labs in developing countries. Stormy joined Mozilla from the GNOME Foundation where she served as executive director. Previously, she worked at OpenLogic where she set up their OpenLogic Expert Community as well as founding the Hewlett-Packard Open Source Program Office. Stormy graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Computer Science.

    She is passionate about open source software and educates companies and communities on how open source software is changing the software industry. She is a compelling speaker who engages her audiences during and after her presentations - and has spoken at OSCON, GUADEC and other conferences. Her talk "Would you do it again for Free" for example; is an excellent talk on Open Source and motivation.

    PyCon 2012 is going to be amazing - we have three excellent keynote and plenary speakers, and more plenary talks coming. We've just closed a record-breaking call for proposals and also have a record breaking number of sponsors. The PyCon team is pulling out all the stops for 2012 - we're working hard to make 2012 a year to talk about for a long time.

    Jesse Noller, PyCon 2012 Chair


    PyCon 2012: Announcing New Diamond Sponsor: Heroku, Call for Proposal Ends

    The PyCon team is honored and proud to announce a new Diamond Sponsor for the conference and also that the record-breaking call for proposals has closed.

    We are very proud to announce that Heroku — a premiere Platform as a Service provider — has joined PyCon as our final Diamond level sponsor. Heroku joins Google and Dropbox as the premier sponsors of PyCon 2012. Heroku recently announced first-class Python support on their platform; their blog post announcing this support shows that they care about Python and have a long term dedication to the language and its community.

    We thank and welcome Heroku, and we look forward to their involvement in PyCon and the Python community.

    Just as amazing as a new Diamond sponsor is the fact the PyCon 2012 Call For Proposals is now closed. Speaking as a team, we can say:

    “This. Is. Amazing.”

    We broke all records on the number of talks (374 as of this writing) and tutorials (89) submitted. Further, the quality, breadth, and depth of those talks and tutorials is stunning. The community has truly outdone itself this year (and the Program Committee has its work cut out for it). We have destroyed every previous measure and record — thanks to you.

    As the call for proposals has ended, the efforts to review proposals ramps up. Today is the first official day of review season. We’re seeing incredible submissions with well thought out plans, mind blowing topics, and the high quality the community has come to expect.

    Last year was a challenge — we had to pick out about 100 talks, 32 tutorials, and 35 posters from over 250 submissions — but this year the bar has been raised. We’ve got over 450 submissions — a massive increase over last year! Sadly, the session limits will remain about the same, so the program committee has its work cut out for it. It’s always a tough time having to turn submitters away, and it will only get harder for the 2012 conference. We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead to put together the best schedule we can.

    As review season begins, we’re looking for help on the review team. If you’re interested in volunteering your time to help examine, question, comment, and vote on submissions, send an introductory email to the PyCon Program Committee. We need all types of people for this: all levels of experience, all industries, all users of Python. If you have the time, we would love to put it to good use!

    Once again, thanks for all of your submissions, and thanks to Heroku for joining us. We’re looking forward to working with all of you, and we can’t wait to see how this years schedule shapes up.

    Finally, thanks once again to all of our sponsors for supporting this great conference and adding to the excitement (note that we are still accepting sponsors):

    See you March 7-15, 2012 in Santa Clara, CA!


    PyCon DE 2011 - The First

    What a conference. 200 Pythonistas met for the better part of the last week in Leipzig.

    We started out with a tutorial day. More than 80 people took advantage of the opportunity to attend 13 tutorials covering diverse topics including algorithms, database programming, web frameworks, scientific data analysis and Python introduction.

    In parallel to the tutorials we had a barcamp with about 30 people that discussed different topics and had lightning talks. Topics included web frameworks and SQL/NoSQL compassions.

    The core conference had three parallel tracks with 30-minute and 60-minute slots. Our rather rigorous time management worked out: all presenters stayed within their allocated slots. It is a German conference after all. ;) Over three days we had 55 talks. The topics covered a wide range. Web development and scientific applications were the two largest themes but many other topics such as teaching Python, migration to Python 3 or Python compiler were covered.

    All talks are on video and will be posted as soon as the upload bandwidth allows. We had a multinational team of video filmers form the US, UK, Norway and Germany. Thanks for your effort and the great job you did.

    We had three keynotes with very different focuses, one at each conference day. Jan Lehnhardt of CouchDB fame provided a perspective on the Python community from the outside. Paul Everitt, early-day Zope activist, draw from his large experience of doing things well ahead of its time. He gave some insight into the past that provided lots food for thought how do things right and how to be successful. Andreas Schreiber, scientists at the German Aerospace Center, showed the impressive use of Python in high-tech. The only conclusion can be: "The future
    is all Python!".

    The weekend was reserved for sprints. About 30 people gathered at the first sprint day and worked on Python, Cython, Zope and other software packages as well as on the Germany Python website. The second day saw a few less people continuing their work.

    All technical and organizational things worked out smoothly. The Wi-Fi was stable over the whole conference, not a single complain. People liked the food (part of it was vegan), projectors and microphones worked. Minor problems were solved in record time by the house technicians. The city tour and the social event were well received judging by the feedback from the

    But the most important thing, you could feel the community. Quite a few people knew each other before. But many saw others the first time in real live. It was the biggest gathering of German speaking Python folks after all. The hall way track was always well attended. People were hanging out late to talk, discuss and deepen connections. The atmosphere was positive all over the place. Everybody could feel it. No email, twitter, irc or skype comes even close to live human interaction. After all, this is what made us human over the last few hundred thousand years.

    PyCon DE 2011 is also the birthplace of the Python Software Verband e.V. an organization comparable in scope to the PSF but for the German speaking Python community. It's a good start because we can build on many years of organizational experience of DZUG e.V., the German Zope User Group organization that widened its scope to become the Python Software Verband e.V.  This should give the organized German speaking Python community a head start.

    Everybody left high spirited looking forward to PyCon DE 2012 that will happen. Details coming soon. 

    Proposals are due tomorrow. Start one today!

    We're pretty lenient around here and don't mind if you start your work the night before, unlike some of our teachers in college. In fact, we don't even mind if you turn in incomplete work by the deadline, as long as you work with us to fill in your details. If it's October 12 somewhere in this world, we'll take whatever proposals you have for PyCon 2012 and we'll start working through them to plan the 2012 conference, taking place March 7-15. PyCon's new home is Santa Clara, CA for the next two years, and we hope you can join!

    If you want to be a part of the show but haven't nailed down an idea, don't worry, we already did some research. After emailing over 100 Python user groups and other Python related communities, we sifted through the results and came up with lists of talk and tutorial ideas.

    PyCon is a great platform to share your projects, ideas, thoughts, or whatever else you have. The Wednesday October 12 deadline is for all tutorial and talk proposals, so start writing one up if you haven't done so already! Poster proposals are open through January 15, 2012, so focus on your last minute talks and get to posters next week :)

    Submit and edit your proposals at http://us.pycon.org/2012/speaker/. Good luck!


    Time is running out: PyCon 2012 submissions end in 4 days!

    Makes eat time

    Yup! Time is running out for PyCon 2012 talk and tutorial submissions. The call for proposals ends in 4 days!

    The good news is that if it is Oct 12th anywhere in the world, you will still be able to submit proposals to the system - but you shouldn't wait until the last minute to get your proposal in.

    Proposals can be in rough draft form - the program committee can, and will help you refine and improve your submission as needed. This includes talks and tutorials. Remember - accepted talk and tutorial speakers/instructors do get guaranteed registration - we've set a hard cap on registrations of 1500 attendees again this year, and by all estimations we're going to hit that cap very quickly!

    If you need help thinking of ideas - check out our posts on Posters, Talks, and Tutorial ideas - there's also a post about reaching out to people you'd love to have speak at the conference. There's also the #pycontalksiwant search on twitter.

    We're looking forward to seeing all of you in Santa Clara. It's going to be a great year!


    You Should Propose A Poster

    You really should.

    The poster session is perhaps the most interactive portion of the conference, putting the presenters and the audience on the same stage (well, the floor). As the audience comes and goes amongst the rest of the posters, your presentation could go in any direction. The creator of one of your dependencies might show up. One of your competitors might show up. People who don't know anything about your project might show up. People who maximize your project to its fullest extent might show up. Guido van Rossum might show up. You never know.

    The layout of the event is very open, with rows of 4'x4' poster boards, leaving plenty of room for gatherings at each board and allowing attendees to flow from poster to poster. Find one you like? Stop by, listen in on the conversation, and chime in with your questions and comments. Not interested in one? Grab a snack and check out another poster. (The delicious daily snack stations usually run near the poster room.)

    Whether handwritten or printed, you'll have a chance to share your work with a great community. You can even bring a costume if you want.

    What we're looking for in a poster

    Posters are a relatively new concept for PyCon, making their third appearance on the schedule in 2012 after two successful runs in Atlanta. Chaired by Vern Ceder, the event has gotten better each time around, and we're expecting another hit in Santa Clara.

    A good poster proposal follows all of the usual suggestions. Showing the ability to take a topic in a number of directions is likely of importance, as that's exactly what your audience will do. A solid outline of your topic is probably helpful to show that you're well versed in the topic.

    Posters are really an event anyone can be a part of, especially given Python and PyCon's dynamic community. It's a place where beginners can mix it up with experts, and everyone can learn a thing or two. No matter your level of experience, if you've got something to share, there's an audience for you.

    A great platform for demos

    Tutorials and conference talks are generally the wrong place for demos. Those platforms are usually reserved for established topics and projects. Posters, on the other hand, are an excellent place for demos, especially hands-on ones. In fact, last year there were several demos, including one that caught many people's attention, myself included.

    Robbie Clemons brought his Xbox Kinect and demoed an assistive technology project he created to track exercises for those with disabilities. Using several open source libraries, he was able to produce a really cool interactive application that he packed up and brought with him from South Carolina.

    His poster does a great job of listing everything you'd want to know about the surface of the topic. He covers the use of Kinect, Python, PyOSCeleton, how those things work, what's wrong with the current tools, what their potential is, and where the work is going. From there, he was open to explain more as attendees asked questions, and he provided a bunch of demos.

    I had a chance to ask Robbie a few questions about his experience, and here's what he had to say.

    B: Why did you choose a poster for your presentation?

    R: I felt like a poster was ideal for a first time presenter (and attendee) at PyCon, because instead of giving a talk for 30 or 45 minutes I could talk more one-on-one with people that were interested in the project. Plus, since the project involved a Kinect I wanted people to be able to come and try it for themselves, and a poster presentation seemed like the best way to get that much interaction.

    B: How was the audience reception for your poster?

    R: A lot of people really seemed interested and were asking all kinds of questions. People were constantly coming and going, and some would wait until the crowd had thinned out to come back and talk some more or try the demo.

    B: How was your overall feeling of the poster session?

    R: I thought it was great. I got to talk to a lot of people about a topic I am interested in, show that Python can be used for Kinect hacking, and let some of them try out my project on the spot.

    B: Any other thoughts on your poster or the poster session in general, or the conference in general?

    R: I think that a poster presentation is a great choice for anyone that doesn't have enough to talk about for a 30 minute presentation, isn't sure how many people would be interested in the topic, would like to let people try a demo, or is looking for a good way to make the transition from attendee to presenter.

    Thanks a lot to Robbie -- hopefully we'll see you in Santa Clara.


    We hope to receive your proposals soon, especially for the poster session. October 12, 2011 is the deadline for talk and tutorial proposals, which is right around the corner. January 15, 2012 is the deadline for posters, so you still have some time. Even if your proposal isn't 100% complete, you can still submit it. The program committee will start the review process after browsing all of the proposals, and they'll be giving you feedback and asking questions, all in the name of a better conference.


    Suggest Speakers for PyCon 2012

    As we step within one week of the PyCon proposal deadline, we're hoping the community can help make sure we put together the best conference possible. We've been reaching out to plenty of groups and people we know around the world, and Doug Hellmann recently posted about another approach: having you, the community, reaching out to the speakers you want to see.

    His post, titled Choose Your Own (PyCon) Adventure, explains his experience as editor of Python Magazine and how he went about getting writers. One of his most successful ways was to win over potential writers was contacting them directly as individuals.

    With that said, suggest away. Got a speaker you want to see? Contact them and see if they'll submit a proposal. Don't know how to get a hold of them? We'll try and track them down and see if they'll propose a talk.

    Feel free to leave a comment here on the blog, use the #pycontalksiwant tag on Twitter, or email the program committee. We'll see what we can do.

    Even if you can't join us March 7-15 in Santa Clara, CA, you'll probably catch the talks on the web, so everyone is the audience, and everyone is welcomed to suggest the topics and people they want to see at PyCon.

    If you already have ideas for a tutorial, talk, or a proposal, October 12, 2011 is your deadline. As long as it's October 12 somewhere in the world, we'll take your submissions. A perfect proposal is always ideal, but don't fret if you're not there yet. We always work with submitters to tweak and finalize their proposals before the review process starts.


    PyCon DE 2011 - Three Keynotes: From the Outside, From the Inside, and Scientific

    There will be three keynotes with different perspectives on software development
    and Python.

    Jan Lehnardt, a CouchDB developer, looks at Python from the outside and analyzes why some people tend to be religious about programming languages and what could be done about it for the benefit of the whole programming community.

    Paul Everitt of Zope and Plone fame provides a deep inside into the development of Zope and other long-running, successful Python projects in general.

    Andreas Schreiber from the German Aerospace Center sees the future of software engineering in the field of science and engineering in Python-based solutions. Examples from high performance computing demonstrate the power of Python in this field.

    The first PyCon DE will be held October 4-9, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany.

    A tutorial and barcamp day is followed by three days with talks in three parallel tracks and
    two days of sprints.

    More details can be found on the PyCon DE website.

    Please pass this post on to those you feel may be interested.


    PyCon DE 2011 - Only 25 Tickets Left

    There are only 25 Tickets left. Online ticket sales will close September 30.
    So hurry to get yours now.
    The first PyCon DE will be held October 4-9, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany.

    A tutorial and barcamp day is followed by three days with talks in three parallel tracks and
    two days of sprints.

    More details can be found on the PyCon DE website.

    Please pass this post on to those you feel may be interested.

    PyCon DE 2011 - Program as App

    The conference program is now available as an App.

    There are 54 talks plus three keynotes and three lightning
    talk sessions spread over three days. The topics cover a wide
    range. There should be something interesting for everybody
    interested in Python.

    The first PyCon DE will be held October 4-9, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany.

    A tutorial and barcamp day is followed by three days with talks in three parallel tracks and
    two days of sprints.

    More details can be found on the PyCon DE website.

    Please pass this post on to those you feel may be interested.


    Need Tutorial Ideas?

    To follow-up with last week's post on talk ideas, we've done some digging into what topics would make for good tutorials. The resulting lists contain a lot of the same topics as talk ideas, with a few interesting requests, including "anything from [plenary speaker] David Beazley".

    We're now 15 days away from the October 12 deadline for proposals, and we don't want to start the review process without your proposal. PyCon's success depends on you, the community, to keep cranking out the great presentations you're known for. Tutorials are an especially great time at PyCon, as they're an excellent chance to expand your skill set thanks to the great educators of the community presenting their three-hour sessions at a bargain price.

    If you're interested in flexing your teaching skills but need help narrowing down a topic, we recently polled the Python community to find out what they want. When asked, "Are there any particular subjects that you would like to see more tutorials about?", we found the following.

    Desktop Software

    • Dabo framework
    • OS integration
    • Packaging and deployment
    • Python on Windows
    • PyQt, PyGTK, wxPython and other GUI frameworks

    Language Integration

    • Advanced ctypes usage
    • Wrapping C, C++, and Fortran libraries
    • Python's C-API
    • Cython and Shedskin
    • Writing C/C++ for Python programmers


    • Profiling and analysis
    • Designing for speed
    • Writing optimal Python code


    • Frameworks: Django, web2py, Pylons, Pyramid
    • Templating
    • WSGI - past, present, and future
    • Servers: Tornado, Hookbox

    Concurrency and Parallelism

    • Celery, RabbitMQ, AMQP
    • multiprocessing and multithreading
    • gevent, eventlet, Twisted
    • microthreads, coroutines, generators
    • greenlet, Stackless


    • pygame, nodebox
    • 2D and 3D graphics programming

    Software Engineering

    • All forms of testing
    • Library design
    • Building applications from the ground up

    Python Implementations

    • PyPy, IronPython, Jython
    • Writing a Python compiler


    • Natural Language Processing
    • Machine Learning
    • Devops tools
    • Robotics
    • Processing large amounts of data
    • SimPy

    As with our previous post, note that this information isn't the canonical list of everything everyone wants to see, and any lack of a given topic just means our small sampling didn't request it. As with last time, we noticed some glaring omissions, including no requests for "cloud computing", a generally hot topic at PyCon. For comparison, last year's tutorial schedule included two cloud tutorials. Hopefully the list helps as a brainstorm session if you're looking for that last push to fill out a proposal.

    You have 15 days to get your proposals in at http://us.pycon.org/2012/speaker/, and remember, you can still clean up and edit your proposals after the October 12, 2011 due date. In fact, we expect that most proposals will see changes as the review process begins. PyCon's program committee is tasked with putting together the best tutorial, talk, and poster lineups available, so they'll act as another set of eyes to help you out. From assisting in organization to helping flesh out an idea, the program committee is there to provide constructive criticism and make sure you get the most out of your proposal. Together, we can make PyCon 2012 a success for all.


    Need Talk Ideas?

    As you may know, the deadline for PyCon proposals is approaching. We're within 20 days of the October 12 deadline, so start finalizing your drafts, or for some of you procrastinators in the group, start thinking about what you want to submit! If you're just getting started, have a look at our call for proposals.

    We're accepting proposals for tutorials, talks, and posters, so think about where your ideas fit in and submit away. For 2012, we've imposed a limit of two accepted proposals per person, but there's no limit to how many you can submit. We want to hear all of your ideas, but realize that we all need to share the stage.

    If you're looking for ideas, we recently ran a survey of the Python community and found some interesting results which we've curated below. We've done some massaging of the data to pick out the core ideas and come up with what we feel is an accurate list of topics that people were asking for.

    When asked, "Are there any particular subjects that you would like to see more talks about?", the respondents listed the following.


    • Frameworks: Django, web2py, Pyramid, Flask, Plone, AppEngine
    • General web development, API development
    • Servers: Tornado
    • Technologies: web sockets


    • Game and graphics programming, 2D and 3D


    • Libraries: twisted, ZeroMQ, Celery, gevent, pipelines
    • General network programming, using plain sockets


    • Performance and Scalability techniques, tools
    • Cloud technologies
    • Sysadmin/devops tools
    • Memory profiling: controlling memory use of python VM


    • NoSQL databases
    • Object Relational Mapers: SQLAlchemy, SQLObject
    • SQLite
    • DB API

    Software Engineering

    • Best practices: design patterns, idioms, avoiding code smells, and NIH
    • Distributed systems
    • Concurrent and Parallel programming
    • Testing: unit testing, continuous integration
    • Data mining and visualization
    • Documentation
    • Internationalization and Localization
    • Parsers and code generators
    • Metaclasses

    Science and Engineering

    • SciPy and NumPy
    • Scientific computing and data analytics
    • Bioinformatics, Genetics
    • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
    • Computer Vision

    Python Implementations

    • PyPy, IronPython, Jython
    • How to contribute
    • Python 3 progress
    • Embedded Python
    • The language: internals, improvements, design strategies
    • The status of the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL)
    • Targeting other languages through the CPython VM
    • Python on Windows

    Working with other languages

    • C for Python programmers
    • PyObjC
    • IronPython, Jython

    Project Distribution

    • Packaging and distribution
    • Deployment
    • PyPI mirroring
    • Windows - compiling to single executable


    • Interactive application building
    • PyGTK, PyQT, PySide, Dabo
    • Large-scale desktop applications


    • Community Management
    • GIS
    • Natural Language Processing
    • Python in education, law, business, design, every-day problems
    • Python for non-programmers
    • ERP
    • Health and Medical technologies
    • Comparing to Ruby, Java, C++, and others

    When looking at the list, keep in mind that the appearance or disappearance of a topic doesn't mean a whole lot. The fact that people tend to answer to their strengths, e.g., web programmers want web stuff and desktop programmers want desktop stuff, coupled with a limited number of responses, means we may not have heard from a perfect sample of the community. You might notice that you don't see "security" in there, yet it's an important topic that we know for sure a lot of people are interested in. Take the suggestions above as a brainstorm, not the be-all end-all list of what we want at PyCon 2012.

    If you think you have an idea for a talk, and we hope you do, sign up and submit it at http://us.pycon.org/2012/speaker/. You have until October 12, 2011 to submit your proposals, and keep in mind that your proposal is not set in stone when you hit submit. You're able to edit your proposals after submission, and the PyCon program committee will be providing feedback to help submitters fine-tune the details of each proposal before talk selection begins.

    We're going to do a follow-up post with the same information on tutorials, so stay tuned.

    Thanks to Mathieu Agopian and Ken Whitesell for contributing to this.


    Announcing the first PyCon 2012 Plenary Talk - David Beazley, Mad Genius

    I am very pleased to announce our first Plenary talk for PyCon 2012 - David Beazley. David should be very familiar to everyone in the Python community - he's a prolific trainer, developer, author and, well - mad genius. He is the brain behind the mind blowing Python GIL talk at Chicago Chipy meeting and the followup PyCon 2010 talk on understanding the Python GIL as well as his diabolical PyCon 2011 "Using Python 3 to Build a Cloud Computing Service for my Superboard II".

    David is an independent software developer and book author living in the city of Chicago. Primarily working on programming tools, provide custom software development, and teach practical programming courses for software developers, scientists, and engineers. He is best known for his work with the Python programming language where he have created several open-source packages (e.g., Swig and PLY) and authored the acclaimed Python Essential Reference.

    I've written David a blank check on subject matter - I think what I proposed to him was "technical - and diabolical". Given David's skill and track record, I am sure we're going to be far from disappointed.

    You can see more about David at his website, or on twitter.


    Announcing the first PyCon 2012 Keynote speaker: Paul Graham

    I am pleased  to announce the first keynote speaker for PyCon 2012 - Paul Graham of Y Combinator and Lisp/Arc fame. PyCon 2012 represents the 10th annual PyCon US - and on this special occasion, I am proud to have Paul back as a keynote speaker (he did the keynote at PyCon 2003).

    Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and investor, and recently well-known as one of the founders of Y Combinator. With PyCon held right in the heart of Silicon Valley, it seemed fitting to welcome Paul back for not just that it is the 10th anniversary, but also to celebrate the many startups and entrepreneurs that have come out of PyCon.

    One of Paul’s signature essays is “The Python Paradox” - describing his experience that people doing interesting and innovative things are frequently attracted to Python. Paul’s insight has proven true, as Y Combinator has funded and advised numerous Python-using companies, from Dropbox to Disqus, to Reddit, Justin.tv and Convore. The list is sure to expand as Y Combinator is currently accepting applications for their winter cycle.

    In addition to this, I am also pleased to announce that we will be "bringing back" the "Startup Row" we had at PyCon 2011 - we heard the feedback from the companies we showcased, and the attendees and based on that - Startup Row 2011 was a smashing success which we want to once again bring to PyCon.

    Applications for Startup Row 2011 will open in mid October.

    Currently, our Call for Proposals is in full swing - and we encourage everyone to submit talks, tutorials and posters for PyCon 2012; right now we're on target for a no-holds-barred-break-all-the-records conference, and we want everyone to be part of it.

    Finally, if you missed it - we've also announced the new PyCon 2012 Jobs Fair page featuring job listing from PyCon sponsors - keep an eye on it, sponsors are adding jobs every day - this is a free add-on benefit for all silver level and above sponsors. Interested in being a sponsor? See the PyCon sponsors page and prospectus.

    Feel free to also discuss at Reddit, and Hacker News!

    - Jesse Noller, PyCon 2012 Chair


    PyCon DE 2011 - Talks Timetable Published

    The timetable of talks is online.

    There are 54 talks plus three keynotes and three lightning
    talk sessions spread over three days. The topics cover a wide
    range. There should be something interesting for everybody
    interested in Python.

    The first PyCon DE will be held October 4-9, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany.

    A tutorial and barcamp day is followed by three days with talks in three parallel tracks and
    two days of sprints.

    More details can be found on the PyCon DE website.

    Please pass this post on to those you feel may be interested.


    Announcing the PyCon 2012 "Jobs Fair" page, sponsor benefit.

    One of the things that the PyCon team struggles with each year is how to maximize the visibility of our sponsors - not only do they financially support PyCon, but many of them contribute back to our open source community, hire you - members of the community - and overall help lift all of us up. Maximizing visibility though, can be difficult. There are lines we should not cross due to the community and people focus of PyCon - it is a fine line to walk between maximizing sponsors' return on investment, and the needs and interests of attendees, and the community.

    This is why I am happy to announce today, we, the PyCon team feel that we have found another great way to both showcase our sponsors, without whom the conference would not be possible, and also provide something of need and interest to the Python/PyCon community. Today, we're unveiling the "PyCon Jobs Fair" page. This is a new page on the PyCon website dedicated to job listings from our sponsors and will list open, active job openings from PyCon sponsors, in as much detail as the sponsors desire.

    Starting today, all Silver (and above) sponsor packages include this benefit free of charge. (So if you aren't a sponsor yet - come join us!) All existing sponsors have already begun uploading jobs that they have open. We continue to encourage companies looking to hire Python talent to leverage the Python Jobs Board - but PyCon in and of itself represents a unique ability for those people looking for jobs to not just apply over the internet, but to also meet face to face with potential employers at the conference.

    Time and time again, we hear stories of friends hiring, or being hired at PyCon, or due to work at PyCon (such as a giving a talk, or tutorial) - we hear from you, the community that you wish you had more visibility - in advance - to those companies who will be at PyCon, and actively hiring.

    In the same breath, we have spoken to many sponsors and once again, we hear a common statement "We come to PyCon to pick up the best talent." - PyCon, with its potential 1500+ attendees represents a unique and special recruitment location for sponsors.  A good recruiter could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to help you find, meet and woo potential candidates, while a PyCon sponsorship not only gets you that recruitment venue, but also provides to you community good will, name recognition and much more.

    We feel that this makes an excellent addition to the set of community and sponsor features we offer - not to mention an amazing conference. Our sponsors are hiring - and we want you to know!

    I'm very happy to be releasing this for both the sponsors and the community. Our goal as a team is to make sure that this is the best PyCon for both groups than ever before. We will continually strive to achieve this through increased involvement with our sponsors and increased, continual dialog with the community on what they want to see at the conference.

    I encourage all of you to keep a close eye on the main sponsors page - new ones are popping up quickly, and now also on the new jobs page, I expect more positions to be added over the upcoming weeks and the entries to be changing with some frequency. Existing sponsors can log into their accounts on the site and upload descriptions immediately (we've put up help and guidelines here).

    I'm also looking forward to carry this idea forward - and begin work on planning a "jobs fair" focused portion/session for the conference in addition to our existing Expo Hall.

    Thank You.

    Jesse Noller - Chair, Python 2012


    Writing a Good Proposal

    As you may know, the call for proposals for PyCon 2012 is open, and we're waiting for you to submit your best talk, tutorial, and poster ideas at http://us.pycon.org/2012/speaker/. If you haven't submitted yet, don't worry, you have 42 days and we'll give you some tips along the way. If you already submitted, take a chance to fine tune your proposal with some tips on each section of the proposal form.


    The first and sometimes last thing your prospective audience will see is the title. With PyCon being a multi-track conference, no matter what kind of proposal you're writing, you're going to be up against others when it comes time for the big show. Tutorials usually run two at a time, talks run five at a time, and posters run all at once. If you want to attract attendees, you'll need to hook them with a solid title.


    With this year's call for proposals being a unified format, we're using a unified proposal page for all types. Each type occurs in a different setting and has different attributes, so be sure to submit the right kind of proposal.

    • Tutorial

      Tutorials open up the conference on Wednesday March 7, 2012 with a two day series of classroom-style education. Presenters have three hours to teach 20-60 students on their topic, and receive compensation for their work. Most tutorials include interactive examples, relevant source code, and printed course materials.

    • Talk

      Talks are the main feature of PyCon and start on Friday March 9, 2012 and run through Sunday. In 2011, we had 95 talks spread over the three days, with five talks running at the same time. Durations run either 30 or 45 minutes, and we've brought back the "extreme" track.

    • Panel

      Panels are multi-speaker talks on a certain topic. In the past we've had panels on IDEs, Python implementations, educational use, and many more. If you're planning a panel, make sure you have other speakers on board, as you'll want to add their speaker profile at the end.

    • Poster

      Posters are a great way to show your latest project, organization, or anything you want to display to the community. You get a 4'x4' space to show your work, and many past presentations have also included interactive demos. It's a great event to be a part of, and allows for a more intimate experience with attendees over a traditional talk.


    The category drop down helps the organizers group submissions by topic both for evaluation and scheduling, so be sure to identify your proposal as accurately as possible. We think the selections represent the typical range of submissions we've seen in the past, but we know we haven't caught everything. If you must, use the "other" selection.

    As you can see, you only get one choice, so choose wisely. If your talk is about A web framework with B database using C distributed framework to talk to D cloud provider, you've got some thinking to do. Pick the slot which you feel your proposal fits in the best -- it'll help your chances as a submitter, and it'll help your audience should you be selected.


    Like the past PyCon schedules we've put together, 2012 is likely to provide quite the exercise in scheduling on the attendee side. Five options at any given time on five topics by five speakers. It's a lot to choose from, and our usual range of first timers to 20 year vets want a peek into what level you'll be speaking at.

    You don't want a beginner expecting a beginner talk and leaving your experienced talk without understanding a thing, do you? For every-one's sake, try to be as accurate as possible in your assessment of the target audience. The organizers will likely use it to ensure the proposed talk matches the level. The attendees will use it to figure out if they want to attend or not.


    Want to skip the appetizer and dig right into the main course? Extreme talks skip the introductory parts of a presentation and get right to the topic at hand. If you're looking to pack a punch with your talk, going the extreme route might be for you. For more details, see http://us.pycon.org/2012/speaker/extreme/.


    At PyCon 2011 we had room for 95 talks, 20 of which were of the 45 minute variety, leaving the remaining 75 talks to be 30 minutes in length. We try to be accommodating to duration requests, but keep in mind that we only have a limited amount of extended time slots. If you can fill a 45 minute slot, by all means, request it and we'll see what we can do.


    The description is your chance to reel in a prospective attendee that your talk is for them. Keep it short and sweet -- you only get 400 words and they'll be printed in the conference program, featured on the website, and likely used for video uploads.

    A good description leads the reader right into their seat without asking for it. Introduce your topic, share a few important pieces of information, and sell your conclusion. A good title paired with a good description leaves no doubt in an attendee's mind that your talk is the one they want to see.


    The abstract is your way to show us what exactly you're working with. There's no limit on the content here, and you're able to use Markdown to jazz it up. Add as much or as little detail as you feel you need in order for the program committee to judge your talk on. Pro tip: we're judging your talk exactly as you have submitted it. We can't assume you will cover anything you haven't submitted. In fact, we try to make as few assumptions as possible, so try to be thorough.

    We've seen several abstract formats, with one of the more popular being an outline-style. Previous submitters have broken down into two or three level deep outlines, sometimes including time estimates on how long each section will take. The more conversational paragraph-style has also been popular, summarizing the submitter's story similar to a blog post.

    No matter how you write your abstract, know that it's your canvas to show us that you have a topic that PyCon attendees and the worldwide online audience want to see. We want to put together the best conference available, so please join in helping us to do that.


    For more details, check out the call for proposals and the speaker pages on our site. Proposals are due in 42 days, so get to work. We're looking forward to receiving your submissions and working with you to tweak them and create the best conference ever.


    PyCon DE 2011 - Only two Days for Early Birds

    There are only two days left to take advantage of the early bird rate for
    PyCon DE 2011. Don't forget to register for the conference and for tutorials
    by August 31, 2011.

    There is a very interesting  program with a variety of talks.
    The talk schedule will be announced in a few days.

    The first PyCon DE will be held October 4-9, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany.

    A tutorial day is followed by three days with talks in three parallel tracks and
    two days of sprints. The program will be announced in a few days.
    More details can be found on the PyCon DE website.

    Please pass this post on to those you feel may be interested.