2012-12-31

Financial Aid Applications Due Today!

Today is the last day we're accepting Financial Aid applications for PyCon 2013!


Whether it's assistance with tickets or travel, hotel or tutorials, the PyCon organizers have a budget that has now been increased twice in order to provide greater assistance for members of our community. We think a trip to PyCon is worth it for everyone, so if assistance would make your trip possible, we hope you'll apply.

For more information about our financial aid program, see https://us.pycon.org/2013/assistance/.

2012-12-20

Registration Count Approaches 1200, Financial Aid Closing Soon

As of this morning, the registration count is a just short of 1200, putting us very close to halfway sold out. However, if you want to go to PyCon, don’t plan on waiting too long. We typically see two surges in ticket sales: right after the holidays, and right after the schedule is announced. Guess what’s happening soon? The holidays and the schedule announcement.


The list of selected talks was announced a few weeks ago, so check it out. We’ve got talks by the perennial favorites Alex Martelli and Raymond Hettinger and many newcomers. The list features a diverse list of topics and presenters, with many familiar faces and many breaking onto the scene. The selections came from over 450 proposals, and given the excellent quality of proposals we received, we could have made two or three entire conferences out of the submissions. It’s really going to be a great three days of talks.

The tutorials are already scheduled and can be added to any existing registrations by logging into your account on the site and choosing to add a tutorial. This year we’re happy to have a group of returning presenters joining several first-timers for another great year of tutorials. David Beazley is back again with two courses that are sure to bring out his favorite word (diabolical), and Jessica McKellar is sharing her outreach and contribution experience in two great offerings. As with years past, the selections are taught by a range of instructors, from full-time educators to domain experts, all chosen with topics that will benefit the community.

If you’re paying your own way to PyCon, don’t forget that December 31, 2012 is the last day to submit applications for financial aid. This year’s budget was expanded early on, then it was recently doubled, in an effort to make sure this PyCon can help bring as many people to the conference as possible. We offer assistance for tickets, travel, and hotel, and are working in conjunction with the PyLadies group on a special grant for women. Don’t wait, apply today!


Be on the lookout for more PyCon news!

2012-12-14

CFP for the Python room at FOSDEM 2013


Guest post from FOSDEM Python room organizers Stephane Wirtel.

The FOSDEM conference is the biggest open source conference in Europe. Like every year, FOSDEM will take place the first weekend of February in Brussels, Belgium.

This year, Python will have a dedicated developers room in the K building which seats 80 participants. This
developer room will be open all day Sunday, February 3rd.

If you want to present a talk in the Python devroom, please go to the Python FOSDEM website to fill the survey.

Submissions are being accepted until December 21st, so don't delay!

This year, the submissions will be reviewed by the following committee members:



Thank you for submitting your session proposals and we hope to see you soon in Brussels to talk Python and/or have some nice Belgian Beers :)

Everyone is welcome and we encourage everyone to submit talks!

2012-12-13

Reminder: Financial Aid requests due December 31

As registration continues and we approach 1100 attendees, don’t forget that financial aid applications are due by December 31!


This year’s financial aid budget has increased significantly to help you, the attendees, make the trip to another great year of PyCon. The organizers provide the slate and fill in a few blanks on the schedule, but PyCon is what you make of it. It’s the hallway chatter, lunch conversations, dinner plans, and the entire other conference that goes on at night - the open spaces.

The financial aid program can assist ticket, travel, and hotel expenses, and there are questions for all of the above for you to estimate your plane or train tickets and to choose how long you’ll be staying. We want to make PyCon a possibility for as many people as we can help, so please be accurate with your requests!

PyCon 2013 also includes a grant program run by PyLadies to help more women join the fun at PyCon. This grant started last year and was a great success, so we’re happy to continue the tradition and grow a more diverse conference year after year!

2012-12-12

Why become a PyCon sponsor? A Sponsor's Perspective

The following is a guest post by Paul Hildebrandt of Walt Disney Animation Studios.


Hi! I'm Paul Hildebrandt, Senior Software Engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios.  The Studio has been a PyCon sponsor for several years.  We highly value the relationship and love being part of the community.  

Recruiting
You want talent; go to the community passionate about the technology.  There will be 2500 attendees that are interested in Python.  In 2012 they held a jobs fair and are hosting one again in 2013.  I worked the jobs fair table with 2 other engineers (attendees) last year and we talked to hundreds of attendees.  We've found good candidates because of our involvement in PyCon and the Python community.

Influence
It's nice to get credit for doing the right thing.  Our sponsorship of PyCon has helped us open the conversation with people in the open source world.  You move from just being a user to a contributor.  It's nice to get a “Oh, I know you guys, you're a sponsor, that's cool.” response when talking to people about their projects.  We've had several people within the community come to our home in Burbank, visit, and speak to us because of our involvement.

Presence
The expo hall is a great place to showcase your product.  I really enjoy going there and getting information from the booths.  It's a great place to connect with people from the companies you heard about and discover new ones.

Value
The Gold and Silver sponsorship includes free conference passes, 5 for Gold and 2 for Silver.  If you are a small business they offer a substantial discount on sponsorship .   On top of the listed packages they've been flexible in working with us on special requests.

Ease
I want to add that I really like working with the conference coordinator and leadership.  They are a reflection of the Python community, a community of which we are proud to be a part.  

More information here: https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/whysponsor/
and here: https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/prospectus/
or contact Jesse Noller, the PyCon chair at jnoller@python.org

Please feel free to contact me,
Paul Hildebrandt  -
paul.hildebrandt@disney.com
Walt Disney Animation Studios -
http://www.disneyanimation.com/

2012-12-11

Announcing PyPgDay at PyCon US 2013!

In coordination with the Postgres community and PyCon US 2013, PyPgDay is occurring in Santa Clara on March 13 from 9am-6pm.

PyPgDay will be a full-day event with seven talks about PostgreSQL and Python, including talks by contributors to PostgreSQL, Django, PostGIS, and Python. Half the talks will help PostgreSQL DBAs, and the other half will focus on developing Python applications using Postgres features.

Why

Postgres and Python are more vibrant communities that have much in common. Both at their core are open communities that believe in making the world better through the software they release. Beyond just similarities in the communities many Python users are Postgres users and vice-versa. Because of the overlap in users among many of these communities allowing the opportunity for both to benefit from closely timed and coordinated events it makes it easier on attendees of both.

Topics

While there are a couple of Postgres talks at PyCon PostgreSQL for Pythonistas and Going beyond the Django ORM limitations with Postgres if you're interested in going deeper then PyPgDay is the place for you.
PyPgDay is likely to cover topics about:
  • Highlights of recent releases (JSON, replication, others)
  • Guidance for running Postgres
  • Setting up replication
  • More advanced usage

Further details

  • Where: Santa Clara Convention Center
  • When: March 13, 2013 9am-6pm (likely social event to follow)
The event is being run by the San Francisco PostgreSQL Users Group. You can follow details around the event on the Postgres wiki.

Come to PyPgDay, Stay for PyCon! Come to PyCon, come early for PyPgDay, and stay late for the sprints and PyData Silicon Valley!
And there's more to come.

Remember - PyCon 2013 registration is open, and limited to 2500 attendees - so register today!

2012-12-10

Announcing Women Who Code sponsorship (and Ada Lovelace’s birthday!)

As we happily join the celebration of Ada Lovelace’s 197th birthday, we’re also happy to announce that Women Who Code is joining our community sponsorship list!

Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer in the early 1800’s, became known as the first computer programmer through her work on Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Engine”. Without her foresight into what the engine could do, namely operations on things other than numbers, who knows what might be different today? She unfortunately passed away at the young age of 36, long before her ideas on advancing the use of calculating machines came to fruition, but her impact lives on and is celebrated each year in a mid-October “Ada Lovelace Day”. She’s also celebrated in today’s Google Doodle and around the tech news world!

Women Who Code is a San Francisco-based meetup to provide a low-key environment for women to get together and hack on whatever projects they choose. Their schedule includes upcoming events to hack on Scala, Javascript, and Ruby, and they recently met to discuss the in’s and out’s on giving tech talks. The group joins three other female outreach groups in our sponsorship cadre: CodeChix, PyLadies, and LadyCoders.

Along with those four groups, we’re working to include The Ada Initiative, a non-profit group with the goal of “A world in which women are equal and welcome participants in open source software, open data, and open culture.” They hope to fulfill that goal through speaking, teaching, advising, researching, and any other approaches that work to achieve equality.

Thanks to all of our sponsors for supporting PyCon, and a special thanks to our outreach sponsors for helping build a more diverse atmosphere not just at PyCon but throughout the technology world.

2012-12-07

Tutorial Schedule Released, Registration Now Open!

The long awaited tutorial schedule has been released! This year’s accepted tutorials include several returning veterans and a great group of newcomers, so take a look - there’s a lot to learn.

Now that the tutorials are available, those of you who have previously registered can log back into the site and begin to add tutorials to your existing registration. If you’re about to register, tutorials are easy to add to your package as you go along.

Each tutorial costs $150, which is an absolute steal, especially when you consider that many of these instructors are full-time educators whose regular courses cost significantly more. Plus, they’re brought to you right at PyCon! We also have several instructors who are domain experts or even the creators of the software being taught.

New for this year is a tutorial intended for attendees with not only zero Python knowledge, but no programming knowledge at all. Jessica McKellar will be teaching "A hands-on introduction to Python for beginning programmers", intended to bring newcomers to the community from any background.

The tutorials run on the two days preceding the main conference: Wednesday March 13 and Thursday March 14, with morning and afternoon sessions running on both days. Each session is a three hour course which includes a snack break as well as catered lunch.

With up to four opportunities to learn from the community’s best, the tutorials are a great event for Python users of all skill levels. Take a look and register your spots today! Class sizes are limited.

2012-12-06

Early Bird Tickets Almost Sold Out: 15 left!

Right now is your last chance to get a discount on PyCon 2013 tickets! We've sold 985 tickets so far and have only 15 remaining at the discounted early bird prices. We had 100 left just over a day ago so tickets are moving quickly.


If you hurry up, you could save up to 25% on the three day conference passes. Corporate tickets are reduced by $150 to $450, so why not register today and put that $150 towards a tutorial (you can add tutorials later on - they are not yet available)? If you're buying your own ticket, buying early saves you $50 and gets you in for $300. Try to find a better deal than that - you can't.

Students can save $25 on top of the $100 they already save, as we've cut student rates in half for 2013.

If you don't get your tickets today, don't worry, there's still 1500 more tickets available at the regular conference rates which are already a pretty great deal when you take a look at what other large conferences are charging!

Announcing Startup row: PyCon 2013 Edition!

For the past two years, one of our most successful and impressive experiments has been the creation of "Startup Row", where we let Python powered startups apply for free booth space, registrations and coverage. Like all things, this has only gotten better and more impressive with time.
We knew that a lot of startups used Python, but we were astounded and excited to see the number and quality of new companies that were eager to participate at PyCon and show off what they were doing.
At PyCon itself, we've continually got a lot of comments from attendees that Startup Row was their favorite part of the Expo Hall. From meeting and talking with the founders of so many great companies, it was obvious that they would go far. Last year alone, we heard from several Startup Row participants that they were even approached by potential investors - that's right, we had Angel Investors and "big boy" VCs at the conference, and the conversations that they had with the participants led to something!
Like last year, we have our eye on the startup world even more. With PyCon being held right in the heart of Silicon Valley, it seemed right to bring back Startup Row for PyCon 2013! We're even working on better booth placement, signage and flow to help guide attendees to you!

We will be highlighting some of the most promising new companies that are using Python to build their businesses - including possibly yours. If your startup uses Python, we want to hear about it - and you could be one of the startups that gets featured on Startup Row at PyCon 2013.
Here are the rules:
  • Seed stage only. For purposes of startup row, that means less than $350K in outside funding or, if self-funded, less than 18 months old.
  • You must use Python somewhere in your startup. Backend, frontend, testing, wherever.
  • No repeats. If you were on startup row last year, your startup is not eligible. We want to give a chance to as many startups as possible.
  • If you are accepted, you must guarantee your attendance for at least the Expo Hall hours on your appointed day. We will work with you as to which day is better for you.

Here are the selection criteria:
  • Interesting technology. Are you doing something hard or unique? Tell us about it.
  • Traction and reach. Are you affecting a lot of people? How?
  • Concept. Are you changing the world? Disrupting an industry? Solving a problem? Sometimes you see what a company is doing and your jaw drops. If that is your startup, we want to hear from you.
Do you want your startup to be on Startup Row? You can apply at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/StartupRow2013

DEADLINE: All submissions must be received by February 10, 2013.
If you were a past startup row, and want to share your personal tale of what it was like - drop an email to Jesse Noller, PyCon Chair - we would love to share your story here.

2012-12-05

pyArkansas 2012 recap - bigger and better than ever

pyArkansas photos on Flickr

This fall marked the fifth year for pyArkansas. It's hard to believe that it was only a little over five years ago that Greg Lindstrom and I crossed paths on a email thread about getting a Python user group together in Arkansas. Greg also had the idea for putting on a small Python conference. I think we would both admit that we've struggled at starting a user group, but we have been very successful with pyArkansas.

We never kept any attendance records (we probably never really saw a need to), so we don't know for sure how many people we've had over the years, but I think our first year in 2008, we had about 30 or so folks show up. That first year was very informal, our website was a wiki that Jeff Rush set up for us, and our budget was $1800 (which we thought was huge), funded completely by Novasys Health, and went almost completely to bringing in speakers. The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) Department of Computer Science graciously donated their space and staff for us to use, and have continued to ever since. Wingware gave us swag and Wing IDE licenses for prizes, O'Reilly Publishing sent us several boxes of books to giveaway.

Fast forward five years. Each year we have continued to grow. This year we had over 110 attendees, Jeff Rush was our keynote speaker, t-shirts were sponsored by New Relic, and we had an amazing lineup of sponsors including Novasys Health, the Python Software Foundation, Google, Heroku, Work for Pie, Mozilla, Enthought, the Django Software Foundation, and 10gen|MongoDB.

We also had a conference website running on Symposion from Eldarion and hosted for free on WebFaction, five tutorials, seventeen 30-minute talks, six lightning talks, and an amazing collection of swag and prizes including four Raspberry Pis and almost 30 books from O'Reilly, No Starch, and Manning. pyArkansas had grown up. Just thinking about it all still amazes me. I also am still a little surprised that we pulled it off again this year, not because we don't know what we are doing, but because it is just so much work - and not just for those of us planning the conference, but for those great folks that are willing to come (some from pretty far away) and present their work and projects.

Let's face it; we can set up a great conference, but without speakers, we got nothin'. Know what else amazes me? Sponsors. Getting sponsors is hard work. For every one you get, at least another one turns you down. Our sponsors ranged from small startups all the way up to the some of the largest tech and internet giants on the planet, and we are so grateful to each of them. These gracious sponsors allowed us to keep pyArkansas admission-free once again this year.

Growing up

Like I said earlier, pyArkansas grew up this year. After pyArkansas 2011, we targeted several areas that needed improvement, but three really stood out:
  1. We needed a larger venue. The Computer Science Department facilities at the University of Central Arkansas were great, but there wasn't a room where we could get everyone together for opening, closing, and keynote sessions.
  2. We needed to get non-profit status if we wanted to raise more funds; otherwise someone has to take on the financial burden and pay taxes on any funds we raise from sponsorships.
  3. We needed a real website that could help us get the word out and showcase our event, talks, and sponsors.

For our venue, we chose the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center on the campus of UCA. This turned out to be a great decision, as it is a wonderful facility with a great staff that was there to help us every step of the way. At Brewer-Hegeman, we had a main hall that can seat 200, which allowed us to have the one and only Jeff Rush come and give a keynote talk on "What is Python, and why is it cool?" This was a great talk that covered some of the history of Python, how it works, and what you can do with it - great material for users of all experience levels.

Regarding non-profit status, in the summer of 2012, the Python Software Foundation approved a resolution allowing our conference organization to be a project of the PSF. Thanks again Kurt Kaiser, Van Lindberg, Jessica McKellar, Jesse Noller, and everyone else at the PSF for making this happen - it's working out great.

Our final need was for a conference website. The PyTexas group had a great site modeled after the PyCon conference site. Turns out, Eldarion designed the PyCon site and open-sourced it as Symposion, which is what PyTexas uses and what we quickly went with as well for pyArkansas. Symposion is a fantastic product and the guys at Eldarion were helpful in answering a few questions I had. Without the help of Wade Austin and Wayne Werner, two of our pyArkansas alums, I probably never would have gotten the pyArkansas site up, as that was my first experience with a Python web framework.

What we did right this year

This was the biggest and best pyArkansas yet: the most talks, the most attendees, the most sponsors, and the most prizes. Here are a few things that went especially well.
  • We used the Symposion framework for capturing talk submissions. Wow, was this awesome. Taking talk abstract submissions by email is no fun at all. Symposion has the ability to allow speakers to register on the site, create a speaker bio, and submit one or more talks. Speakers can also go back in and edit their submisssions as well. If you've submitted a talk proposal to PyCon, it's the same as that, and it totally rocks.
  • We used the Symposion framework for managing and showcasing sponsors. Logos, contacts, and company descriptions are all stored in the database and easily presentable on the site with a little bit of Django hacking. Symposion really lets you give your sponsors the recognition they deserve, which is super important, people!
  • We used EventBrite for registration. Our event was free, so using EventBrite was free. In the past, we have used a Google Spreadsheet - never again will we do that. I for one am hooked on EventBrite; it easily integrates into your site, has a great administrative interface, nice reporting tools, and great attendee management like automated, scheduled emails that go out to all of your registered attendees. One thing we didn't do was using the EventBrite event page to check people in (we used a printed sheet), that would have helped with our record keeping.
  • We sought sponsors early. I'll say it again, getting sponsors is a lot of hard work. Many companies plan their sponsorships 10-12 months in advance, so if you wait too long, they are not going to be able to sponsor your event. Also crucial to seeking sponsorships is having a sponsor prospectus, a document telling potential sponsors what your event is and what they would get out of sponsoring it. Like much of the pyArkansas website content, our sponsor prospectus was heavily borrowed from the official PyCon sponsor prospectus.
  • We finally had t-shirts. Since year one, we have wanted to have t-shirts for attendees, but since we have kept pyArkansas admission-free, our budget never allowed it. This year, we decided to seek a dedicated t-shirt sponsor, and New Relic quickly answered the call. Our shirts were nothing fancy, but we think they turned out nicely; they were purple, one of the colors of UCA, and included the logos of our t-shirt, gold, silver, and bronze sponsors.
  • We used Twitter. This is the first year we had a Twitter account for the conference (@pyarkansas), and it allowed us post updates, respond to questions, and also to reach out to a previously untapped group of users not too far down Interstate 40 in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • We had a conference hotel with a reduced rate. The Conway Chamber of Commerce worked hard to get us a rate at a local hotel that saved $20 per night off the regular rate.
  • We had real nametags and lanyards. Katie and Larry Hale spearheaded the namebadge effort and secured neck lanyards and badge holders and stayed up late the night before printing and assembling nametags and lanyards. We also used badge ribbons from PC Nametag to recognize speakers, sponsors and organizers, among others. These people all worked hard to make the conference happen, and they deserve the recognition.

Things we need to improve on for 2013


  • Allow for more time for registration first thing in the morning. We had 30 minutes this year, it probably needs to be an hour.
  • Seek sponsors earlier. Yeah, I know I said we did this right earlier, but honestly, you can't start this process early enough.
  • Coordinate volunteers, session moderators in particular, earlier. In the registration process, attendees could denote if they wanted to help out, but I didn't do a good job of assigning rooms and communicating with the moderators. I thought I could do it the day of the show, but I was soooo wrong.
  • Record the tutorials and talks. For the first time, we had video recording lined up, but it fell through literally days before the conference. For 2013, we will get multiple quotes on recording and seek out a dedicated sponsor for recording. Again, this is something to do very early.
  • Get the Call for Proposals (CFP) out earlier. This year the CFP went out mid-August, and for an end of October conference, it should go out a few months earlier, like late spring.

How we got it all done

So how is it that all of this is possible? I'll tell you how: community. Events like pyArkansas are a true testament to the power and commitment of the Python community; conference organizers, sponsors, and attendees all giving their time and resources so 100 or so people can get together under one roof, share ideas and knowledge, and get to know one another. Several people deserve to be thanked directly.

Organizers

  • Greg Lindstrom - without Greg, pyArkansas wouldn't exist. Period. Greg had the idea and has been and continues to be a driving force behind pyArkansas.
  • Katie and Larry Hale - our registration experts and purveyors of fine swag materials for many years now. Katie and Larry stayed up practically all night before the conference printing out and assembling nametags and registration materials.
  • Dr. Chenyi Hu, UCA - Dr. Hu has been a huge supporter of pyArkansas since our humble beginnings five years ago, always offering his teaching facilities and staff in any way he can. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do, Chenyi.
  • Wade Austin and Wayne Werner - Wade and Wayne helped to get our new Django site up and running, which allowed us to put out our CFP and showcase our sponsors.

Sponsors

We had an amazing group of sponsors this year. Thank you very much to you all.

Speakers

We can plan a conference all we want, but without speakers, we really have nuthin'. Speakers and their talks really are the heart of any conference. For 2012 we had seventeen talks by thirteen speakers and five tutorials by four instructors. Morning tutorials covered topics such as Intro to Python, GeoDjango, Python in Blender and notable features of Python. Afternoon talks covered topics such as Flask, MongoDB, Heroku, wxPython, Salt, test driven development, GIS, Django, scientific Python, and dunders.

This was definitely one of our most diverse talk and tutorial lineups yet. Thanks go out to all of our great speakers; thanks for preparing your talks, traveling to Arkansas (many of you), and for taking the time to make pyArkansas a reality.

  • Adam Fast
  • Wayne Werner
  • Gordon Fisher
  • V. James Powell
  • Kenneth Reitz
  • Greg Lindstrom
  • Chenyi Hu
  • Luke Crouch
  • Jason Tullis
  • Jeff Bauer
  • Jason Myers
  • Jeff Rush
  • Gabriel Grant
  • Luke Lee

Attendees

Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you goes out to our attendees. Like speakers, conferences cannot happen without attendees. Over the course of the day, I met many of our attendees, I would have liked to had a chance to talk to many more. 2012 was the first year we broke 100 attendees; quite a milestone for us. From what I can gather, our attendees are quite a diverse bunch, so hopefully pyArkansas 2012 had something for all of the them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we feel that pyArkansas 2012 was a huge success. We set new highs in attendees, speakers, and sponsors. We graduated to larger facilities, which allowed us to have a morning keynote session and an afternoon closing/giveaways session. Planning for 2013 has already begun, and it too, will be bigger and better. Hope to see you there.

pyArkansas photos on Flickr

2012-12-04

Early Bird Rates Ending Soon, Save up to 25% Today!

On the heels of the long awaited list of accepted talks for PyCon 2013 comes news that early bird registration is nearly sold out. For 2013 a new approach was taken, shifting from a time-based early bird window to a ticket-based one, where the first 1000 tickets sold receive discounted rates. Registration information can be found at https://us.pycon.org/2013/registration/.

There are about 100 early bird tickets left

That’s right, we just hit our 900th registered attendee for PyCon 2013, so after the next 100 tickets are sold, the regular rates will apply. Sales then continue up to our cap of 2500 attendees.

If your employer is paying for your tickets, they can receive a 25% discount if they make the purchase soon. After the early bird rate ends, the $450 discounted ticket price goes up to $600, which is the same rate PyCon has kept going back several years.

If you’re paying for yourself, save $50 by buying one of the remaining early bird tickets. The regular rate takes a slight increase from $300 to $350.

If you’re an active student, not only do you save $25 by registering early at a price of $100, you save even bigger because this year we cut student prices in half. We want to make PyCon affordable for everyone from the 20 year veterans down to the growing students that will be shaping our future.


Financial Aid

We know PyCon can be an expensive trip, especially for students, those paying their own way, and those coming from other countries. Because of this, the conference offers a generous financial aid program that all are invited to apply for.


Recently the Python Software Foundation approved an expanded budget for the program to assist even more people than years past. If financial assistance would make your trip possible, we invite you to fill out the application.

Sponsors

Our sponsorship list is ever growing, but we could always use more help from the community. If you or your employer are interested in sponsoring PyCon 2013, take a look at our prospectus and “Why Sponsor” page and pass on any inquiries to conference chairman, Jesse Noller at jnoller@gmail.com

2012-12-03

Announcing the PyCon 2013 talks!


On behalf of the PyCon Program Committee, I'm thrilled to announce the list of talks for PyCon 2013! It's an amazing program that's a true testament to Python's reach: we'll have talks covering everything from robotics to REST; from Chef to cloud computing; from PostgreSQL to PyPy; and everything in between. There are some incredibly deep technical talks as well as talks for people completely new to Python and programming in general. Whether you're into web development, relational or non-relational databases, design, testing, debugging, high performance, or scientific computing – PyCon 2013 has you covered.

As you may already know, this was an incredibly hard decision for the Program Commitee: we had over 450 submissions for only 114 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: there are only 2,500 tickets available for PyCon 2013, and we will sell out. So if you want to check out this amazing program, you should register now!

See you in Santa Clara!

2012-11-29

You should present a poster at PyCon 2013!

PyCon 2013 is shaping up to be the largest PyCon ever; not only in terms of attendees but also in terms of opportunities to hear new ideas and meet new people. The conference will have six talk tracks (up from five in 2012), a PyData conference during the sprints, and a large number of the ever popular open spaces. As we move closer to the conference, travel plans get finalized and excitement builds. You may find yourself wishing that you’d presented a talk or got involved in some other way.  Luckily the opportunity is still out there: The 4th annual PyCon poster session!

Why present a poster?

The
poster session offers a unique experience both for presenters and attendees. As a presenter, you get to interact directly with your audience, share your passion and your idea, and immediately address questions in a more conversational manner. On top of that, the environment is generally less stressful and more easygoing than giving a formal talk.

The layout of the event is very open with rows of 4'x4' poster boards, with plenty of room to gather at each board as attendees move from poster to poster, stopping along the way to join the conversation at the posters that interest them. The poster session also offers presenters the opportunity to record a short presentation of their poster that is released along with the PyCon talk videos.
What We Look For In a Poster

Posters should follow all of the
usual guidelines that we look for in talk and tutorial proposals. The true beauty of a poster session is the accessibility; just about any Python related topic is fair game. That said, the more accessible and relevant your topic is to a larger crowd, the more interest your poster will draw. You never know who might show up to your poster.

Users of all levels go to the poster session, so you might teach something to a beginner or learn something yourself from an expert. Want to really please the folks that stop by your poster? Print out letter-sized versions of your poster to handout (just make sure the print is all legible). You’ll be amazed at the number of people you see walking around taking photos of posters that interest them.
Deadlines and Details

The poster submission deadline is January 16th, 2013, but poster proposals are reviewed and accepted as they come in. Submit your proposal early, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare as well as receive and respond to reviewer feedback. Check out the
poster session details and check out the poster lineup from PyCon 2012 to see what we've had in the past!

How to Submit

Start by heading to the PyCon 2013 dashboard and create an account (accounts from 2012 and prior are not retained). From there, fill out your speaker profile with some details about who you are, what you do, etc. After that’s up to date, the poster proposal is next. Pick a title, category, and intended audience, then dive into your details. The brief outline text will go in the conference program, so do keep it brief but descriptive enough to attract an audience.

The bulk of your proposal lies in the detailed abstract, which is where you really sell the reviewers. The format you choose is up to you -- whatever shows your topic the best. Some choose an outline format, some choose paragraphs. Use the additional notes area to share anything else related to your proposal, such as your qualifications on the topic or a list of previous presentations.

2012-11-28

Survey: Subsidized Childcare at PyCon 2013

We’re tossing around a lot of ideas as we dive deeper into preparing PyCon 2013, and one that came up was the offering of childcare services. We’re planning some big things for the upcoming conference and we want everyone to be involved. Whether you’re a local who would like to spend a few extra days at the sprints or an out of towner who wants to tack PyCon on the end of a family vacation, we’d like to find out who would consider taking advantage of such services.

Keep a few dates in mind as you think about this: The tutorials run Wednesday and Thursday March 13 and 14. The main conference dates are Friday through Sunday, March 15-17. The sprints will run Monday through Thursday, March 18-21.

If you have children and are considering attending PyCon, we hope you can spare one or two minutes for this quick survey at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dE9NTEt0Z1hTU2h5TEo1UVZTY1pEYVE6MQ

As the title of this post and the survey say, we’re floating the idea of subsidizing the childcare option. However, we’re still working out the possibilities of what this actually means. There are many approaches to doing this, and we’re evaluating all of them.

Stay tuned for more announcements on this idea.

2012-11-13

PyCon US 2013: Big data? How about PyData!

Big data

You know what's better than one huge conference? One huge conference, and another on huge data!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Today, I am proud to publicly announce a new development for PyCon / PyCon 2013 - we're partnering and working with the awesome team behind the PyData Conference to bring PyData Silicon Valley to the Santa Clara Convention Center during the sprints - that's right, come for PyCon, stay for the sprints and PyData!

PyData Silicon Valley will happen in the same building as the PyCon 2013 Sprints:

  • PyData Tutorials: Monday, March 18, 2013
  • PyData Conference: Tuesday-Wednesday March 19-20, 2013
A bit more about PyData:

The PyData conference and workshop is a semi-annual event for scientists, engineers, and data analysts in the Python community. The conference focuses on techniques and tools for management, analytics, and visualization of data of different types and sizes with particular emphasis on big data.

Python is already the de-facto language for many areas of science and technology. Come join the conversation about its future in data science and analytics, and learn about all the great tools Python offers!

This is great news for both conferences - we are even looking at having our talk selection committee recommend talks submitted to PyCon 2013 for the PyData event if we run out of room, or see a better audience fit.

The PyData event is excellent - this years New York City event completely sold out - videos from that event to give you a taste are at http://vimeo.com/channels/pydata.

The PyData team really wants to hear from startups and teams within startups and other companies that are solving cool data problems with Python, so submit a talk proposal to pydataconf@continuum.io. They also to work with the community to get more talks & tutorials from women in the field - definitely reach out to them!

PyData is put on by the excellent team at Continuum Analytics (a PyCon 2013 sponsor) and the non profit NumFocus foundation. You can follow @PyDataConf on twitter for more info as it comes available.

Tickets to PyData Silicon Valley are on sale now through Eventbrite. Note that PyCon registration(s) and PyData registrations are separate! However, you can book your room for the extended stay if you're coming to PyCon through the PyCon registration system.

And of course, as always - we're still looking for PyCon 2013 sponsors!

- Jesse Noller, Chair - PyCon 2013

2012-11-08

PyCon US 2013: How many talk tracks are there?

You're probably wondering where the program is for PyCon 2013 coming in March. The short version is that, well - the program committee is having meetings almost every day trying to go through 459 individual talk proposals. 

Yes. Four Hundred and Fifty-Nine.

That's astounding. Literally unprecedented in the history of the conference. You can ask the team - I was fretting and hand wringing and pacing all over worrying about not having enough proposals and then the tidal wave hit. 459. Amazing. To top that? 129 tutorial proposals.

This is amazing.

It also presents the staff, volunteers and program committee a conundrum. With the 5 tracks PyCon's main conference has room for maybe 90 talks. That's if we squeeze and push. With 459 proposals, the majority of which are exceedingly high quality, incredibly interesting and completely community driven, the program committee is under immense stress and an astounding workload.

So, to relieve some of it - and to be able to share even more with the community at the conference, I am pleased to announce we are adding a 6th track to PyCon 2013. 

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That's right. Instead of 5 tracks, we're adding a 6th. I know - this puts pressure on you, as attendees when we announce the schedule to have to pick between 6 simultaneously potentially interesting talks. That's why we're also recording all talks - the hallway track and down time is still important to us. But just as important to us is the ability to expose the community to amazing speakers, awesome topics and to spread knowledge as far and as wide as we can.

Yes - this means more hard choices when attending talks, but it also means more choice, and more variety. Luckily, with the success of PyCon 2012 and the ongoing strength of PyCon 2013 projections, and the amazing, continued support of our sponsors (and trust me, we still need more!) this means we can expand 2013 to sustain this.

Keep in mind though, this will probably be the only year we do this - we have the convention center space, we have you - our amazing and supportive community and sponsors. 2013 is the year we pull out all the stops - we have even more announcements coming.

Thank you - feedback (and sponsorship), as always, is welcome.

Jesse Noller - Chair, PyCon 2013.

2012-11-05

PyCon US 2013 Sponsorship - Why it matters, and why we need more.

PyCon is a lot of things. It’s the largest Python conference around in many aspects, with more talks, more tutorials, more days, and more people than any others. It’s one of the cheapest big conferences around, with ticket prices that haven’t changed in years. It’s the largest gathering of the best minds in the community. With the conference back in Silicon Valley for a second year and an expanded capacity of 2500 attendees, you will not find a bigger gathering of the best Python users around.

We’ve had people consider PyCon their vacation. We’ve had people in attendance from all around the world. We’ve had people bring their kids. We’ve had people try to buy next year’s tickets before the current conference was over. This community loves PyCon, and we love working on it.

What we need is more sponsorship.

What does the community get out of sponsorship?

Financial Aid

PyCon prides itself on being an affordable event for attendees starting with the low ticket prices, and extending this further by offering early bird discounts. However, the conference ticket is just one of the expenses an attendee will face. Many attendees pay out of pocket for their trip, and many of those attendees have expensive intercontinental trips. In order to ease the costs and bring PyCon to those who could use a hand, the organizers set aside an assistance budget to be managed by the Financial Aid committee.

The conference follows an “everyone pays” model, from the chairman to the speakers to the attendees. Your sponsorship of the conference ensures that some of our best speakers and smartest community members are able to make the trip.

A/V

PyCon typically has 95 talks spread across five tracks, so even if you’re at the conference, you’re going to miss out on a bunch of cool stuff. Except not. Along with a quality sound system and excellent live video projection; recording, editing, and hosting is an important part of the A/V package.

Sponsorship helps us spread the knowledge our speakers came to share and helps to educate the tens of thousands who watch the videos from home every year. Take a look at all of the video footage from PyCon 2012 at http://pyvideo.org/category/17/pycon-us-2012.

Networking

It takes a lot to run a 2500 person conference, especially a 2500 person technical conference where everyone’s on their laptop pushing and pulling code, emailing, tweeting, blogging, etc. It costs a lot to keep everyone connected, but it opens the doors for a lot of creation and collaboration, especially during the sprints.

The Python Software Foundation

PyCon is the PSF’s largest single source of funding, and through PyCon we’re able to reinvest surplus funds in the community. After we pay the bills, anything leftover goes to our grants, to sprint funding, to outreach and education efforts, and to the many other local and regional conferences. So far in 2012 the PSF has sponsored 14 other Python conferences to the tune of over $30,000 USD, thanks in part to the generous sponsors of PyCon 2011 and 2012.

What do sponsors get out of sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a two-way street, backing the Python community while providing great values for the organizations that make this conference possible.

Exposure

Sponsoring PyCon puts your organization in front of the entire Python community. Whether it’s the 2500 in attendance or the countless reading along and watching at home, the reach that PyCon sponsors get through sponsorship is huge. We list sponsors in official press releases as well as many of our blog posts, in the program guide for all attendees, and prominently on the PyCon site.

Job Fair

Are you hiring? Whether you have specific job openings or general position information to share, we run a job board on the PyCon that all sponsors are free to utilize.

Sponsors are also invited to the on-site job fair at the conference, where you’ll have a chance to interact with the attendees. In 2012 we heard great feedback from both sponsors and attendees, with several positions being filled!

Expo Hall

The expo hall gets heavy traffic during the conference, giving you a great face-to-face environment to interact with the Python community. Whether it’s engaging users or promoting your services, booths in the expo hall are a sought after commodity. Some sponsors expand on the job fair aspect and do mini-interviews with interested candidates.

Print Media

All sponsors are given the opportunity to insert flyers or pamphlets in all 2500 of the attendee tote bags, as well as listings and ad space in the program guide (length varies by sponsor level). Gold sponsors and above are invited to submit banners to be hung in the main conference room, where all of the conference-wide talks will be given, such as the keynotes and plenary sessions.

À la Carte Options

We’ve added a few options that you can tack on to your sponsorship package, starting with sponsorship of the coffee breaks. Sponsoring either a conference day or a sprint day (or both!) puts your company at the focus of break time, on the tops of the heavily traveled coffee stations throughout the hallways.

Summit and sprint sponsorships are also available, where your support goes towards the operating expenses of the days before and after the conference. The summits are invitational meetings for various topics in the community, and the sprints are an open format to allow anyone to contribute to any project that wants to hack together.

We’ve also added a new option of hosting a workshop, where sponsor organizations have a chance to do in-depth product demos or library walk-throughs. It’s a new option for 2013 that we’re excited to offer! We only have 2 more slots for sponsor workshops!

Small Business Discount

PyCon loves our small business friends. We want you to be included just as much as the megacorps, so we offer a 50% discount on gold and silver sponsorships, as well as our vendor and exhibitor passes.

Free Booth Space for Open Source Projects

If your open source project wants to join in the fun over in the expo hall, we have limited space available to make that happen. If you have the materials to run a booth and the staff to operate it, come on out and engage your users and pick up a few more! It’s on the house.

Conference Passes

All paid sponsorships include reserved conference passes! This means that many sponsorships pay for themselves due to the inclusion of corporate rate conference passes. It's a steal!

Interested?

If you’re interested in sponsoring PyCon 2013, contact chairman Jesse Noller at jnoller@python.org. The Sponsor Prospectus is always available, and we're always willing and able to work with sponsors to tweak packages as needed. We have only two more Platinum sponsorships left, and two more sponsor workshops available!

Current Sponsors!

The organizers would like to thank our current sponsors. We started this whole conference effort much earlier than last year, and the support has been incredible. Without our sponsors, PyCon wouldn’t be 1/100th of what it is, so we greatly appreciate your support!

Diamond Sponsor: Google

Platinum Sponsors

Gold sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Keep up with our sponsors at https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/ and be sure to let them know we all appreciate their support!

2012-10-22

PyCon US 2013: Announcing the Harassment incident handling guidelines.

With PyCon 2012 we happily adopted a Code of Conduct/Non Harassment Policy. We derived our version from personal experiences within the community and the ten year lifetime of the conference, and the community as a whole. We discussed it with staff, volunteers and debated it publicly.

In 2012 we had an internal policy and set of guidelines for enforcement - inspired by the Ada Initiative's excellent work we are publicly publishing our guidelines for Attendee and Staff responses to harassment or Code of Conduct violation incidents.

We hope that providing these documents and procedures publicly, we reenforce our dedication to providing a safe and welcoming environment to everyone. We also hope to inspire other conferences - big and small - to adopt similar procedures and public documentation.

We would like to once again thank the Ada Initiative for their work (donate here) - as well as all of the people and groups who have helped create this these documents and help bring awareness to these issues.

The Python Software Foundation adopted a diversity statement  some time ago, we hope that by enacting these policies and guides we show continued dedication to the community as a whole.

Feedback may be sent to Jesse Noller, PyCon Chair

2012-10-08

Early bird tickets halfway sold out. Get yours today!

We’re about halfway sold out of early bird tickets for PyCon 2013 with 463 signed up, so hurry up and register before the rates increase! With discounts up to 25%, purchasing early makes this already affordable conference an even better value. Only the first 1000 of 2500 total tickets will receive the early bird discount, so act fast.

The corporate rate for PyCon 2013 remains the same as it has been for years, coming in at $450 USD if you buy early. The regular rate goes up to $600, which is still a steal when it comes to conference tickets. Companies have long been sending their employees to PyCon, and 2013 will be no different. With the conference back in Silicon Valley for another year and all 2500 tickets sure to sell out, the networking potential for attendees is incredible. The maintainers of most major open source projects will be there, and the conference environment is a great place to find out what everyone else is doing.

Even outside of the talks and tutorials, PyCon is an excellent venue for learning. Whether it’s a chat in the hallways, lunch conversation at a random table, or a quick question while waiting for the elevator, the learning potential is incredible. If you want to find out where Python is going, you’ll want to be at PyCon.

If you’re paying your own way to PyCon, the $350 regular ticket price is dropped down to $300 if you purchase early. Those paying their own way and in need of assistance with the trip will be pleased to know we’ve made financial assistance easier for PyCon 2013. Now there’s a unified application process, and we’ve increased the budget. Just fill out this application and we’ll try to help as many people as we can!

Student rates have been cut in half to make it easier for the next wave of Python experts to join in the fun, with a new early bird rate of $100, and a slight increase to $125 for the regular rate. PyCon is an incredible value for all attendees, but especially students. The open slate that is PyCon provides a great opportunity for students to join in the excellent discussions that the conference spurs, and exposes them to a 24/7 environment of learning and hacking. At $100, you’d be hard pressed to find a better value in a three day conference. We encourage students to apply for financial aid if needed!


We’d like to thank all of our sponsors for not only making the conference possible in the first place, but for generously supporting us in keeping this conference affordable. It’s because of the outpouring of sponsorship we’ve received that the conference has gotten bigger and better, while costs to attendees have remained the same. The support from sponsors allows us to create a highly valuable conference experience that benefits not only the attendees but the greater community as well.

If you are interested in sponsoring PyCon 2013, check out our prospectus and essay on the benefits of sponsorship. Feel free to contact conference chairman Jesse Noller at jnoller@python.org with any questions!