PyCon 2012: Please take the surveys!

One of the things we pride ourselves in as the PyCon organizers is constantly iterating, improving and listening to you, our community of attendees, speakers and sponsors. What this requires though, is constant feedback from all of you.

Our primary method of collecting feedback is via our conference survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pycon2012) and our tutorials survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pycon2012tutorials).

If a survey isn't your thing - drop an email to jnoller@gmail.com - any thoughts and feedback welcome!


PyCon 2012 Sprints: Want to sprint on the PyCon website?

The PyCon 2012 sprints are officially under way - and man do we have a lot of sprinters!

One of the things we've heard from multiple people is that they want to help out PyCon by sprinting on the PyCon website codebase - adding features, fixing things up, etc. This is great - and an excellent way to help PyCon proper and other Python conferences.

The PyCon codebase is fully open source and available - however, that codebase is PyCon 2012 specific, and patches to that code will not be accepted. Eldarion has done an amazing job putting the website together, and you can see the evolution of the site when looking at the eldarion/pycon repo.

When we contracted with Eldarion for the PyCon site - we had something much bigger in mind for the website - the PSF, PyCon and Eldarion wanted to create a common code base that could be used by any and all Python and tech-related conferences all over the world. We wanted to make a simple code base that anyone could use to bootstrap a conference.

I am pleased to announce on behalf of the PyCon and Eldarion teams that this is now becoming reality. The Eldarion team has diligently been working on extracting the "not PyCon" specific components of the code base and pushing them into a project called Symposion. The PyCon codebase has lots of conference-specific hacks; we're cleaning up and generalizing stuff as we move it over so quite a bit

This will be the basis for the future PyCon websites; we encourage people to get involved with the project - join the mailing list, hop on the irc channel - #symposion on freenode, and check out the github repository and branches - submit bugs, pull requests, etc.

While here at the sprints; find the Eldarion team - bounce ideas off of them, ask how to get involved. Thank you to the Eldarion team for all the work you've done for PyCon and the PSF!


PyCon 2012: Poker plus PyCon plus iPads = Winnin

Come play some hands against two-time WSOP champion and VP of Engineering at Eventbrite, Pat Poels.  Win your way to an iPad3 while enjoying sushi, drinks, and music - Friday, March 9th @ 8pm in the Magnolia Room at the Hyatt Santa Clara

Space is limited: http://ebpokernight.eventbrite.com


PyCon 2012: Where to pick up your MOO business cards.

Just a quick note: If you ordered business cards through our partnership with MOO - they can be picked up at the registration desk!

PyCon 2012: Introducing the Charging Valet!

We're pleased to announce that PyCon 2012 is offering a charging valet - need your phone, laptop, or tablet charged? Swing by registration and talk to Mary Rush or another volunteer - we have an array of adapters, etc. We will keep your items safe behind the registration desk, and give you tickets to get only your item back!

While this is a free service - the PSF, who hosts PyCon, is taking donations via Square or at the registration desk if you drop off your device.

PyCon 2012: Join the conversation!

Our friends at Disqus have put together an awesome mini site based on the Disqus API for PyCon 2012 to allow us to have real time conversations about PyCon 2012 and sessions, tutorials, etc!

Come, join in the conversation at https://pycon.disqus.com/


Networking at PyCon

PyCon is a great place to network with fellow developers, but there’s another network you’ll want to interact with: the wireless network. Unlike years past, we’re not running our own networks, instead having the conference center manage it. This year, the duties will be handled by Smart City Networks, a telecom services provider to trade shows around the US, including the Santa Clara Convention Center where PyCon will be hosted.

Here are some pieces of information that you should be aware of:
1. We have 50mbps dedicated to our own wireless network.
2. All connections are throttled to 512kbps up and down outside of the local LAN.
3. Networking for sprints is being handled separately, and we will follow up with those details either at the sprints or during the sprint kickoff.

Because of the increased attendance of PyCon, these connection restrictions had to be put in to ensure the conference could remain affordable to all. We, and all other conference goers, would appreciate your sensible use of the network throughout your time at PyCon. If you can hold off from downloading large files such as Linux distributions, please do so. We certainly encourage people to download and upload code they’ve written or are working on, but downloading and uploading music and movies will put unnecessary strain on the network.

For those who will be staying at the Hyatt Santa Clara, we have also arranged for a discounted rate for your in-room network connections at $3/24 hours. The Hyatt network is separate from the PyCon network, so we don’t know how much bandwidth they have, but we wanted to make sure that there was also another available option.

Thanks for your understanding. We look forward to seeing you all over the next few days!


Did someone say PyCon Party? Yes!

Pycon party logo

Did someone say PyCon Party? Yes!

PyCon 2012 Attendees! Join New Relic, YouTube, Loggly, Rackspace, and Skullcandy for a special PyCon party event on Friday, March 9, from 7 pm - 9 pm at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Don't miss this opportunity to network with your Python community peers over drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Dance to the music video performance of Mike Relm (www.mikerelm.com).

Even better, bring your biz card and enter to win some sweet schwag from Skullcandy, maker of premier headphones, earbuds, and headsets. YouTube will be giving away a tablet computer.

See you then. See you there. Sign up here!



EuroPython 2012, Dates and Call for Proposals

Pycon US registrations are closed and you didn't make it? Look no further: we are happy to officially announce EuroPython 2012, that will be held in Florence, Italy, on July 2nd-8th!

The call for proposals is open as well, and will end on March, 18th, 23:59 CET; don't wait until the very last moment in order to submit a proposal, you can always edit it later!

There are plenty of sponsorship packages as well, be sure to check them out to find something that suits your needs.

Head straight to: ep2012.europython.eu


PyCon 2012 SingPath Tournament

Chris Boesch (right) handing Dmitrii (left) his 1st prize MacBook Air at PyCon 2011

We are very proud to once again have Chris Boesch running a SingPath python coding tournament at PyCon. This is a rapid fire python problem solving competition. You don't need to be a python expert to solve the problems, just a sharp mind and a love of coding. The event will be held Saturday, March 10th in the main ballroom at 7:00 PM.

The tournament will have 2 rounds consisting of approximately 10 problems per round. The first round typically consist of easier problems in order to encourage less experienced software developers to play and to enable new SingPath players to become more comfortable with the interface. As players solve problems, a live ranking screen is displayed for spectators to watch and for commentators to provide commentary. Usually, the top 20-30 players from the first round are declared eligible to compete for prizes in the second round. During the second round, problems become more challenging and play continues until enough players have finished the round to award all available prizes. Once again this year the 1st place prize will be a new MacBook Air.

About SingPath

Singpath.com is a free, online game that lets players practice software languages. In SingPath, players solve software problems to earn badges and move-up local and worldwide rankings. SingPath is currently used in Singapore to help teach Python in schools such as Singapore Management University, Republic Polytechnic, and International Community School. These schools, as well as others, use SingPath in a variety of ways. Some assign SingPath Challenges for homework, others have class members tag themselves to create class-specific rankings, and others hold SingPath tournaments during class in place of weekly quizzes.

SingPath also provides a fun way for professionals to practice software languages and to demonstrate their proficiency to others. Players practice on their own time in their own environment and then gather together to compete head-to-head. Over the past year, SingPath tournaments have been held at events such as PyCon Asia, DjangoCon as well as other software-related meet-ups and university events. Players simply show-up at a networked venue with their personal notebook ready to compete. Players then log on to SingPath just as they would from home and click the Tournaments button on their home page. They are then provided with a password that enables them to register for the tournament in which they will compete.


Party with the PyLadies and SurveyMonkey on Saturday at PyCon!

Wrap up the second day of the conference, Saturday March 10, with an evening of food, drinks, and hanging out at David’s Restaurant with the PyLadies group. Conference sponsor SurveyMonkey is sponsoring the party, and it’s sure to be a good time. The restaurant is around a half-mile from the convention center and Hyatt Regency, so take a quick walk and join the fun!
Stop by booth #400 in the expo hall during the conference and say hi to the PyLadies team. Space at the party is limited so be sure you stop by the booth, introduce yourself and learn about the latest activities and initiatives the ladies are up to, and pick up your tickets.

If you’re interested and have an account on Meetup, join the event!