Thursday, March 28, 2013

PyCon Australia 2013 Early Bird registration and Accommodation deals now available!

tl;dr: PyCon Australia early bird registrations are now open! Find out more at http://2013.pycon-au.org/register/prices, including details of our accommodation programme.

PyCon Australia is excited to announce that early bird conference registrations are now available for our 2013 conference, to be held on Saturday 6 and Sunday 6 July in Hobart, Tasmania. Early bird registration will be extended to the first 80 confirmed conference registrations, or until Friday 3 May, whichever comes first.

PyCon Australia is the national conference for students, enthusiasts and professionals working with the Python programming language; it represents a unique opportunity for Python developers to meet fellow developers, and gain knowledge from experts and core Python developers from around Australia and the world. Securing your registration during the early bird period ensures your place at all of the events that PyCon Australia has to offer.

Early bird registration comes with a substantial discount for tickets at our "Enthusiast" and "Professional" rates. Early bird tickets at both the "Enthusiast" and "Professional" level are guaranteed a seat at our conference dinner. All tickets include access to the CodeWars event on Friday 5 July, and the post-conference sprints on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 July.

Early bird registration starts at $44 for full-time students; $168 for enthusiasts and $420 for professionals.

This year's conference also features two single-day miniconfs, being held on Friday 5 July: DjangoCon AU, the first national gathering of Australian Django developers; and the Python on OpenStack Day. Entry to these miniconfs is free for professional delegates, and $44 for students and enthusiasts.

PyCon Australia has been working closely with our venue to provide a great conference experience; we're very pleased to be able to offer accommodation to delegates for the duration of the conference. We've secured an allocation of rooms within the Wrest Point complex. Rooms available to delegates start at $135 per night; rooms with wired internet access start at $157 per night.

Information on conference registration, including details on how to book delegate accommodation through our preferred provider can be found at the PyCon Australia website (http://2013.pycon-au.org).

Our conference Call for Proposals is still open, and will close on Friday 5 April.

We can't wait to see you in Hobart in July!

About PyCon Australia

PyCon Australia is the national conference for the Python Programming Community. The fourth PyCon Australia will be held on July 5--7, 2013 in Hobart, Tasmania, bringing together professional, student and enthusiast developers with a love for developing with Python. PyCon Australia informs the country’s Python developers with presentations, tutorials and panel sessions by experts and core developers of Python, as well as the libraries and frameworks that they rely on.

To find out more about PyCon Australia 2013, visit our website at http://pycon-au.org or e-mail us at contact@pycon-au.org.

PyCon Australia is presented by Linux Australia (www.linux.org.au) and acknowledges the support of our Platinum sponsor: Australian Computer Society (Tasmanian Branch) (www.acs.org.au); and our Gold Sponsor, Google Australia (www.google.com.au). For full details of our sponsors, see our website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bringing First Timers to PyCon Through Financial Aid

Spending a few days at a conference isn’t cheap. If you’re really lucky, it’s in your hometown or a short drive away. For a majority of the attendees, it’s a plane ride away and a few nights or even a week in a hotel. For many, it’s a plane ride across an ocean, from a different hemisphere. For André Augusto of Brazil, travel alone was almost a full month’s salary, but PyCon’s Financial Aid committee helped paved the way to bring him to his first PyCon in the US.

“I really am grateful for the PSF and PyCon team for helping me out on this,” said André of his grant. “I am already saving for attending PyCon next year,” he says of PyCon 2014 which takes place April 10-17 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


For 2013, the financial aid budget started with a slight increase from years past, around $50,000. As the organizers began to put all of the parts together, we quickly saw that this was going to be a huge conference. More talks, more events, more of everything. What we needed was more money to help bring this conference to people from around the world who needed a hand with the expensive trip, and the Python Software Foundation graciously increased the financial aid budget up to $100,000.


The way financial aid works is that applications are open to all, with a series of questions asked of each applicant such as their background, their experience, contributions to the community, if they’re a student, or if they’re presenting something at the conference. From there, the committee, lead by Peter Kropf, divides up the funds with a goal of helping as many people as possible. Most grants are partial in order to spread the funding, and assistance can cover expenses such as reimbursement for travel, lodging in the various conference hotels, or the conference admission.


For international travelers like André, the organizers help as much as possible to make sure attendees have what they need to get in. “Thanks to the invitation letter Rami gave me, it was easier to get an American visa,” André said of Rami Chowdhury’s role in writing formal invitations make travel plans easier or even possible from some countries.


As for the conference itself, André, “met real good people from US, Poland, France and Brazil as well,” and made “lots of new connections to grow new projects I have in mind and also open source projects to support.”


Marta Maria Casetti, a student from London, made it to her first PyCon thanks to a partial grant for her travel, and cover for her hotel stay. Financial aid recipients who receive lodging support are paired up with other recipients, which is part of the way PyCon is able to spread the help across more people than in the past.


“I am not sure I would have come without a grant,” she said of the expense, especially tough for a student. PyCon helps many students each year, and this year we cut the student rate in half to $100 at the early bird rate. The regular rate was also halved to $125.


“The tutorials were a huge part of my PyCon experience,” said Marta Maria of Jessica McKellar’s beginner tutorial, followed by Matt Harrison’s intermediate tutorial. On Sunday at the conference, she presented a poster titled “Beginners Welcome: From Zero to GUIs in Four Months, via Writing a Tutorial” about her experience working on a GTK+ tutorial through the GNOME Outreach Program for Women. As for how she felt presenting the tutorial, she said it was “empowering, and a great source of ideas for my work, and a chance to meet so many interesting people!”

PyCon is happy to have been able to help people like André and Marta Maria, as well as everyone else who received assistance in 2013. We look forward to seeing them again in 2014!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Raspberry Pi a Hit at PyCon 2013

With a conference theme of "Change the Future," as seen in the logo and marketing materials for the event, PyCon 2013 made good on its bet on the future by providing all 2,500 attendees with their own Raspberry Pi personal computer. The device, a fully functional computer about the size of a deck of cards, is a popular teaching tool used to get children interested in computers. At the center of it all is Python.
Raspberry Pi Foundation founder and trustee Eben Upton delivered a keynote speech to open the conference, explaining Python's place on the computer, including its use in developing the processor at Broadcom. "The wonderful thing for us about Python as a teaching language is it gives us a story that we can tell children. We can say, learn this language in which 'hello world' is 'print 'hello world,''" said Upton.


"This puts a space program in the budgetary reach of every primary school in the world," said Upton of the $35 computer, shown in an example of photography from a weather balloon.
The conference hosted two days of free tutorials for children in a lab full of monitors, keyboards, mice, and Raspberry Pis. Taught by Katie Cunningham and Barbara Shaurette, children were introduced to basic programming concepts in Python using the tiny computer in a course called "Young Coder: Let's Learn Python." At the end of the day, each child was given their own Raspberry Pi to take home.
The lab, which was stocked with hardware thanks to SparkFun, remained open throughout the weekend for the 2,500 conference attendees to get acquainted with their devices. Each day it was open, people took great advantage of the available hardware and personnel to tinker with their Raspberry Pi.
When it came time for the four days of development sprints that follow the conference talks, the lab rental equipment had to be packed up, but the organizers went out and obtained hardware to create a mini-lab for sprinters. Mathieu Virbel of the Kivy project, a user-interface library with support for multi-touch applications, participated in the development sprints and demoed tilt-sensor support for Kivy on the Raspberry Pi.
"There's so much more we can do to teach, to share -- but there's only so much we can do alone, without all of the community," said conference chairman Jesse Noller. "By doing this, we want your help to inspire the next generation of hackers," he said of the move to give out 2,500 of the devices. The Python Software Foundation purchased the computers for PyCon, and has arranged to donate Raspberry Pis which went unclaimed at the conference, or were explicitly left for donation.
During his opening address, Noller also announced the launch of http://raspberry.io/, a new website created by the Caktus Group to host user-submitted project plans for the device. One of the first projects to be uploaded was a step-by-step tutorial for creating a jukebox that runs off of a USB drive filled with music files. Other projects include integration with the Arduino, reading and writing data via the device's GPIO ports, and creating a lightweight home media server.

Monday, March 25, 2013

$10,000 Raised for PyLadies at PyCon 2013

In a first-ever event, the PyCon organizers hosted a charity auction with the proceeds benefitting PyLadies, a mentorship group to help bring more women into the Python and open source community. Held on Saturday March 16, the evening event brought in $9,284 in two hours by auctioning items donated by many of PyCon’s sponsors. After the event, the Python Software Foundation contributed the difference to make an even $10,000. The group also raised $900 through t-shirt sales at the conference.

“I was stunned at the amount we raised,” said PyLadies member and volunteer auctioneer Katie Cunningham. Just days before, with the help of Barbara Shaurette, Cunningham was running a free two-day tutorial series for children titled “Young Coder: Let’s Learn Python”, which has been covered on the PyCon blog.

“It was great to see people having to stand in the room, all seats were taken,” said organizer Lynn Root of the event’s attendance. While PyCon’s formal schedule only lasts until the early evening, events like this auction and a series of informally organized meetups, called open spaces, keep the conference running through the night.

As for how the funds will be used, Laura Cassell, founder of PyLadies Atlanta, said, “We're all so resourceful already that I suspect this money is going to go a long way towards helping women who want to get into the industry. I'm still a little misty-eyed at the whole thing, to be honest.” “I think if we can maintain that, we can then help send more women to other Python-centric conferences,” said Lynn Root on the group’s efforts last year in funding trips for women to attend DjangoCon.

Cassell went on to say, “the Python community has been so welcoming and friendly that I can't really keep myself from not trying to get more women into our community. I really hope this money helps me, and my fellow PyLadies, be able to achieve that.”

“PyLadies as an organization, and an extension of the Python Software Foundation, has done amazing work for our community, making inroads in assisting women in technology. Myself and the entire PyCon team were honored to be able to have this event and raise this money to help the PyLadies outreach programs all over the world,” said conference chairman Jesse Noller.


How the kids stole the show: Young Coders tutorial at PyCon


Throughout the planning phases of PyCon 2013, for everything we did, we did it bigger than last year. Attendance? We raised the cap to 2500 and sold it out. Talks? We added a sixth track, packing on 19 more presentations. Financial Aid? We doubled the budget to $100,000.

When it came to outreach, we went bigger than ever by reaching down to the little ones: children. For the first time, we offered two days of free tutorials for kids, titled “The Young Coder: Let’s Learn Python

Taught by Barbara Shaurette and Katie Cunningham, the duo partnered up to introduce Python to two groups: Wednesday’s group were under 12, and Thursday’s were 13-16. As a conference center full of professional developers were busy sharpening their knowledge of web frameworks, signal processing, and computer vision, a room full of kids were peeking over their monitors to learn about algorithms constructed of peanut butter and jelly.

The lab was stocked with monitors, keyboards, and mice, but no familiar desktop towers were to be seen. Each child got to work with, and take home, a Raspberry Pi thanks to a deal brokered by conference chairman Jesse Noller. The lab was made possible thanks in part to SparkFun, who donated $4,000 worth of equipment, and conference attendees were given discount codes to both SparkFun and Adafruit. The little computers and their fun parts were perfect for getting the kids interested, and their simplicity let them explore with ease.

“I don't think you'd ever see that kind of experimentation in a classroom full of adults, who would more likely do everything in their power not to break their computers,” Barbara wrote of the kids’ ability to learn, write, and run code that quickly bogged the machine down. Shortly into the course, they learned to write their name in a string and then multiply it by huge numbers. If they went too far, a simple unplug and re-plug brought them back to square one.

“In fact, the slides were adapted from materials that I developed for an adult Intro to Python class,” said Barbara of the course materials, which are freely available on GitHub at https://github.com/mechanicalgirl/young-coders-tutorial. Katie added that a group of programmers from Mexico approached them with an offer to translate the slides so they could teach the class back home.

On the idea of adapting the adult slides for the kids version of the class, “my theory is that a beginner is a beginner, and that once children have reached an age where their brains are developed enough to comprehend abstract concepts, they're capable of learning what an adult would,” wrote Barbara.

Their plan was for the first half of the day to be about the educational slides, and the second half would be a dive into Katie’s game code. The plan worked out perfectly, with the older group getting through a bit more, leading to a discussion of open source and more learning materials.

When it came to organizing the whole event, it was going to take more than just Katie and Barbara, so they enlisted the help of several volunteers, like Jacob Burch. “The memories of all the ‘a-ha’ programming moments of my life are some of the brightest, and I relish the opportunity to bring those to others,” said Jacob of his opportunity to assist the class. “Teaching runs in the family [...] and I've always had a strong inkling towards mentorship,” he said.

“We ended up having around a 1:3 ratio, and it was perfect,” Katie wrote. “Volunteers were able to jump in if a student was floundering, and many developed a relationship with a few select kids over the course of eight hours. The volunteers were also an invaluable asset to me, letting me know with nods and hand signals if I could move on, or if I needed to chill out for a bit.”

“Some parents were Python developers, and some had no idea what programming was. They just knew this was a chance to enrich their children's lives,” Katie said of the parents in the audience. Meredith Prince came from a technology background but wasn’t a programmer until she recently picked it up.

As a newcomer to Python, Meredith decided that her friendly local user group (Baypiggies) treated her so well that she wanted to branch out and meet more of the community at PyCon, just 15 minutes from her home. It just so happened that the Young Coder tutorial would be a great match for her son, who she brought along for the day. “I figured it would teach him a valuable skill and help him see why I love Python so much,” she said of the move to swap a day of school for the tutorial.

“On a personal level, being able to prove to my son that programming is not as difficult as he thought it was also a treat,” said Meredith. “My favorite part was seeing all the kids enjoying what they were learning.”

Richard Jones, who held a tutorial on Thursday about the popular pygame library, couldn’t resist when he found out about the tutorial. “When I was introduced to one of the younger girls, her dad said she wanted to be a game developer,” Richard said of an 8 year old attendee. “She was so excited by the whole thing I asked if it'd be OK if some of the kids came to my pygame tutorial the following day.” Richard went on to teach Thursday’s tutorial to a packed room, with a handful of the children joining in.

“Several times during the day the kids would quietly exclaim things like ‘this is awesome.’ That pretty much made my day,” said Richard.

“We built in time at the end to allow the kids to play around with the new coding skills they'd learned, so they all still seemed pretty energetic and inspired when the day ended,” Barbara mentions. Katie “only had to use Mom Voice once”, and was happy to see the kids staying away from Facebook and focusing on learning.

Eleven year old Sam Berger, who came to PyCon from South Africa with his father in tow, was excited to bring his new Raspberry Pi back home to show his friends, and even the head of IT at school. “I learnt quite a bit and was amazed with how much you could do with the GPIO ports. I'm looking forward to playing and learning more with the Raspberry Pi,” he exclaimed.

At the end of the day, the kids went home with not only the Raspberry Pi, but two books to continue their Python learning. Jason Briggs’ “Python For Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming” and Warren Sande’s “Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners” were given to everyone who came out to learn.

“I tried to impress on the kids that they were the stars of PyCon. I'm not quite sure they bought it, but it's true,“ said Katie. If you had a chance to peek in that lab like I did, it was the highlight of your week. The kids really stole the show.

"Seeing a room of 15-20 children each day glowing with excitement, triumphantly making hangman games and smiling makes me remember the wonder and love I felt learning to program, learning Python. It makes everything worth it," said conference chairman Jesse Noller.

As for what’s next, Barbara is doing a mini-session for a 5th grade class in Austin, Texas, and she’s heard interest from Austin-area girls’ STEM outreach programs that are interested in running workshops based on the Young Coder curriculum. She also submitted a proposal to bring the class to PyTexas this August, so be on the lookout for that. “What we started at PyCon has generated a lot of excitement among educators, and I think is going to grow into an exciting movement,” she says.

“I want this class to happen again,” states Katie. Whether it’s at PyCon in Montreal or the smaller regional conferences like PyCarolinas and PyOhio, or the many international events, it looks to be an important piece of the conference landscape moving forward. “I have ideas for adding to the class, and I'd love to see what other people might add to the material,” she says. “I will totally be doing this again and again.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

PyCon's Code of Conduct on GitHub!

As of yesterday, PyCon's Code of Conduct is now available on GitHub at https://github.com/python/pycon-code-of-conduct! Even though the 2013 conference has passed and the code has gone unchanged, we invite you to contribute to the future of the code.

As we start our efforts on PyCon 2014, taking place in Montreal, putting the code on GitHub has already resulted in many comments and several adjustments. These changes benefit not only PyCon 2014, but the many conferences who use our document for their events.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PyCon's response to an inappropriate incident on March 17th

On Sunday March 17th an incident occurred involving some inappropriate comments made during a crowded plenary session. Per the stated guidelines for attendees and staff the issue was reported to the PyCon 2013 staff and resolved privately.

Both parties were met with, in private. The comments that were made were in poor taste, and individuals involved agreed, apologized and no further actions were taken by the staff of PyCon 2013. No individuals were removed from the conference, no sanctions were levied.

PyCon values the privacy of all attendees above everything. Except in cases wherein law enforcement must or could be involved, all reports and actions taken are kept confidential by PyCon staff.

If anyone has additional questions or concerns about this event or these sanctions, please contact Jesse Noller at <jnoller@python.org>.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PyCon's response to an inapropriate incident on March 16th

On Saturday night we recieved several reports that an attendee was using an illicit substance during a scheduled event at PyCon. This is illegal, and runs directly counter the family-friendly environment we ask attendees to help us create.

We spoke to the attendee in question and informed them that their behavior showed poor judgement and was inappropriate and unacceptable at PyCon. They were expelled from PyCon 2013, and will not be allowed to attend PyCon US in 2014 or 2015.

If anyone has additional questions or concerns about this event or these sanctions, please contact Jacob Kaplan-Moss at <jacob@jacobian.org>.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LadyCoders "Magical Python" Contest

One of our great sponsors, LadyCoders, is running a contest throughout the conference!

There are two parts to the contest:

  1. Scavenger Hunt - pick up an item list from their booth and put together a team up to 10 people and win some prizes.
  2. Programming Challenges - they're running a series of challenges with points awarded for the number of questions completed and for time.
See their blog post about it, and stop by their booth for more information!


Shuttle Buses to-and-from PyCon Hotels

For those of you staying at hotels outside of the Hyatt (attached to the conference center), and the Hilton (across the street), there will be shuttle bus service through Sunday. The bus will wait for 10 minutes at each stop before proceeding to the next hotel.

Morning Schedule:
  • 7:00 am: Best Western
  • 7:30 am Biltmore
  • 7:45 am Avatar
  • 8:00 am Marriott
  • Arrive at the Santa Clara convention center around 8:15

The shuttle will do a second round, roughly 90 mins after the first round.

Evening Schedule:
  • 5:00 pm: Leave Santa Clara Convention Center
  • 5:15 pm: Mariott
  • 5:30 pm: Avatar
  • 5:45 pm: Biltmore
  • 6:00 pm: Best Western


The shuttle will to a second round, roughly 90 mins after the first round.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PyCon US 2013: Highlighting Metacloud, Netflix, AWeber, and Project Gado

PyCon kicks off in under 24 hours, and it’s kicking off at all thanks to our generous community of sponsors. We hope you’ll browse the expo hall and see what they’re all up to, chat with their developers, learn about their products, and maybe even pick up a job lead.

Here’s what a few of them have been up to lately.

Metacloud

At Metacloud, we live and breathe OpenStack which means we also live and breathe Python,” says Todd Cranston-Cuebas of Metacloud. Their Python and Django expertise go a long way when it comes to building up their private cloud product. The combination gives them the ability to build, deploy, and support their OpenStack-based solutions for enterprise-level clients. The service runs on the client’s hardware, with a lot of care put into security, redundancy, and high-availability.

“A big part of what drives open source projects is the fostering of an altruistic environment, a community that is driven by many different unique needs leading, ultimately to a refined product for all,” says Todd of their commitment to open source. Supporting PyCon 2013 is another commitment they’ve gotten behind. As their team continues to grow, they want to be a part of action and

Netflix

We’ve chosen to use Python to solve some of our complex challenges for its rich batteries-included standard library, succinct and clean yet expressive syntax, large developer community, and the wealth of third party libraries,” says Betty Tsan of Netflix. They’re using Python in a lot of places, especially in their infrastructure management and data processing teams, along with using it for building and communicating with RESTful APIs. They’ve also building Python tools into their Simian Army suite of cloud tools.

As with a lot of sponsors, Netflix is looking to recruit great Python programmers, and PyCon is surely the place to find them. PyCon is so much more than recruitment, though - it’s a great learning environment. “We have a lot of folks from Netflix attending the talks and learning from their peers, so it makes sense to continue to support the community in this way,” Betty said of Netflix’s choice to sponsor the conference and send their employees out to learn from our great selection of talks and tutorials.

They’ve created a Meetup for those interested in learning about and contributing to Netflix’s Open Source Platform components, with a meeting happening on Wednesday in Los Gatos, CA. Soon they’ll be introducing their Python work at one of the meetings, so check them out if you’re in the area!

AWeber

AWeber, makers of email marketing software and services, use a lot of Python. A lot. It’s at the heart of their technology stack in their core products and services, internal and external APIs, deployment tools, and more. “Python is important for us as an organization for both technical and non-technical reasons: on the technical side, we like the speed at which we can produce and innovate as a team, and we like that the language is easy to pick up for new engineers coming from non-Python backgrounds,” said AWeber CTO Brian Jones.

“On the non-technical side, we place a tremendous value on the community of developers that evolve, grow, and maintain the language. The level of transparency and accessibility of channels where core decisions are made, the ease with which we can become involved, and the overall maturity and friendliness of the community are what really, in my opinion, make Python a no-brainer.”

AWeber uses a lot of open source tools throughout their set of projects, with Python at the heart of it all. When we asked Brian why they chose to sponsor PyCon, he said “Python has been a key language in all of those pursuits, and PyCon is a conference that really does a great job of serving all of the diverse needs of our team.”

Project Gado

Project Gado is quite an interesting project. Getting its start in 2010 as part of the Johns Hopkins University Center For Africana Studies’ East Baltimore Oral History Project, “Project Gado aims to create a powerful, durable Open Source robotic scanner for sensitive archival materials which can be built using simple tools for less than $500,” with Python at the center of it all.

“Using the language allowed us to leverage existing modules to make tying in some tricky hardware (scanners, cameras, an Arduino board with custom firmware, etc.) way easier,” says Tom Smith of their use of Python.

One of Project Gado’s favorite parts about Python is the community. Tom went on to say, “we needed to use a language with an active and enthusiastic development community, and Python delivered!”

They recently released a ton of code, schematics, and parts lists on their site at http://www.projectgado.org, so go check it out. They also have kits for developers to build their own Gado robot!

Monday, March 11, 2013

MongoLab at PyCon

MongoDB and Python are buds. That is why we are excited to have MongoLab, the popular MongoDB cloud database service, at Pycon this year. MongoLab makes the deployment and management of MongoDB super easy. Backups, monitoring, alerting, and web-tools are all part of the package, and much of it is built on - you guessed it - Python!

MongoLab's cloud and database automation layers are built on top of Python and Fabric. Furthermore, MongoLab open sources many of the Python tools that comprise MongoLab so that developers can use them in their own deployments.

According to Will Shulman, CEO of MongoLab,  "At the end of the day, the MongoDB community is new and undergoing tremendous growth, especially among Python developers.  We released our open-source tools because we hope others can benefit from our knowledge of running tens of thousands of databases worldwide across every major cloud provider. Regardless of whether you are running your own stack or using a cloud database, these tools can help you be more productive with MongoDB."

The most popular of MongoLab's open-source goodies is Dex, a query analysis tool that looks at your slow MongoDB queries and tells you which indexes you are missing. Also open-sourced is mongoctl, both a command-line MongoDB power tool and a  configuration management system for managing MongoDB servers and clusters. Both of these tools are featured on http://mongolab.org and can be viewed (and forked) on Github.

MongoLab will be on the Expo floor both Friday and Saturday, so be sure to stop by and say hello to their team (and get a really cool sticker for your laptop!).

Announcing our Startup Row Selections

Once again, the Python community came out in full force with a lot of great applicants to our Startup Row event, taking place Friday and Saturday at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The Row includes seed-stage startup companies that are using Python to build their business. We were looking for interesting ideas and we came across a lot, so we think you’ll enjoy what these teams are up.

Take a look at what they’re up to from 10 AM through 5 PM in the expo hall.

Friday’s group:

Coherent, your own personal shopper, picking out the coolest clothes
LiteStack, makers of ZeroVM and enablers of interactive cloud analytics
Orvant, a free online network vulnerability scanner, keeping all of your devices safe
Plotly, making web-based plotting easier and much, much more beautiful
Repustate, providing social media tools like sentiment analysis and predictions
Wello, bringing fitness to your living room with live training sessions over two-way video

Saturday’s group:

Forge, a payment system that allows you to start accepting funds within minutes (they’re also showing their other new startup, WizzyWig)
Medlert, a one-touch system to alert 9-1-1, doctors, and family members of a medical emergency
Safe2Start, makers of a new parenting app to provide parents the tools to work with their kids on today’s digital world
synapp.io, a product to leverage big data sets and provide marketing workflow optimizations
Three Mice, a new triple-blind job search site for employers and employees
Yhat, predictive modeling and consulting to get the most out of your web and mobile products

Monday, March 04, 2013

Looking for 2016-2017 Host Cities


PyCon moves around

PyCon North America travels from one city to the other every two years.  After Santa Clara in 2013, we'll go to Montréal for two years.  Where we go from there is entirely up to you.   

Do you want PyCon to come to your city?  This may seem very far away but it's already the time to start looking for our next venue for 2016 and 2017.  Here is how you can make it happen.

The bidding process

The next host city will be nominated by the site selection committee in the months following PyCon 2013.  Even though the deadline for proposing a city has not been set yet, interested cities should start working on their bid documents as soon as possible.  After all the bid documents are received, a shortlist of potential host cities will be picked and site inspection surveys will follow.

What goes into the bid document

The bid document should present your city, describe why it would be a great location for PyCon and highlight the numbers and the qualitative aspects that will make your city shine compared to other locations.

We are looking for a city with a thriving Python community so tell us bit about your local user group and its activities.

A critical aspect of the bid is to document that your location can support a conference the size of PyCon. That means:
  • A venue that can accommodate between 2000 and 3500 delegates with plenty of extra rooms for open-space and expo-hall;
  • A network capacity of at least 100 Mbps, ideally with existing wifi equipment, and the possibility to add routers on the spot to cover weak areas;
  • Enough hotel rooms near the venue to accommodate all the attendees at a competitive rate;
  • The venue must be available for a conference between February and April without clashes with major holidays.

We want PyCon to remain an affordable conference and the overall cost of the venue will be taken into account.  You should therefore strive to secure a venue and hotels that would keep the cost of going to PyCon around the level where it is today.


How to get started

You first step should be to form a team that is going to be in charge of building the bid and to present it at the site selection meeting.  PyCon has attained a scale that makes it a very interesting conference for the host city.  You should not hesitate to contact your local tourism bureau – they will most likely be delighted to help you with the survey of the available venues and with hotel negotiations.


Example Bid

See the proposal that Montréal submitted for an example of a well detailed document but note that for brevity and due to the competitive nature of some of the content, some of the sections were removed.

Info Session

This may all seem very intimidating and you are probably left with several questions.  Join us at PyCon 2013 for a one-hour information session on the site selection bidding process.  The session will take place in room 209 at 2 pm on Sunday March 17th.  There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions.



Still in doubt?

If you have questions regarding what information to include in your bid document or regarding technical details of the conference, don't hesitate to ask them on the organizers’ mailing list.

See what projects are sprinting and add your own!

The sprints are one of the best parts of PyCon. It's a great environment to meet up with old friends, make new friends, and hack on open source projects. Each year, projects around the Python world sketch out their next releases, introduce new contributors, and write a lot of code.

Taking place on the second floor of the Hyatt, the hotel attached to the Santa Clara Convention Center where the tutorials and talks are happening, the sprints run from Monday March 18 through Thursday the 21st.

Following the closing address on Sunday, from 4:30-5:00 will be an introduction to how the sprints work, where they'll be, and introductions to the projects who are attending given by the leader of the sprint. It's a great chance to get a quick look at what's happening and who's participating.

Video by Tim Ansell

After that, the sprints are on! Many sprints start right there at 5:00 with the projects heading to their respective areas over in the Hyatt, getting started on their planning, hacking, and whatever else they're up to.

Check out the list of projects that are sprinting and add your own at https://us.pycon.org/2013/community/sprints/projects/. Feel free to sign up under any of the projects and show your interest. That'll help leaders plan for who's going to be there and who's interested. Signup isn't required -- you're more than welcome to browse the rooms and ask who's working on what and join whatever project interests you.