2014-01-28

Seattle Tech Meetup Goes Python for PyCon Startup Row

Seattle Tech Meetup Goes Python for PyCon Startup Row

As you probably recall from the original announcement, Startup Row row is our invitation to give fresh young companies the same exposure that is enjoyed by established players out there. Except startups using Python get an opportunity for booth space at PyCon's Expo Hall for free.

We understand that sometimes it's hard to explain why your company is awesome when you are limited to answering questions in a web form. This is why we decided to offer some of you the opportunity to earn your way onto PyCon Startup Row with a live event! Now you'll be able to tell an audience of hundreds which problems you're solving with Python and how you're serving customers. What a great opportunity to spread the word about your startup!

On February 11th, we'll be running our first startup event in Seattle thanks to the generous invitation from organizers of the Seattle Tech Meetup Brett Greene and Red Russak. Brett and Red has allowed us to turn the February 11, 2014, Seattle Tech Meetup into a venue for PyCon Startup Row to feature Seattle startups using Python.

Seattle Tech Meetup organized by Brett and Red is Seattle's biggest meetup featuring startups and tech companies. They regularly draw over 300 attendees. The upcoming event will take place on February 11, 2014, at the Cornish Theater in Seattle Center, home of the landmark Space Needle.

For this event we've collected an impressive array of companies at various stages of growth that have scaled and delivered services and products to customers using Python as a crucial part of their technology stacks. Companies range from consumer serving Rover.com and it's use of Python to connect a community of pet parents with passionate dog-loving petsitters; Offerup that allows users to post classified ads in 30 seconds; Logos Bible Software that helps everybody study the Bible easier across desktop to tablets and mobile phones; and EnergySavvy that helps homes and businesses become more energy efficient.

If you are interested in presenting, please drop us a note.

Don't worry if you can't make it to Seattle (and startups located in Seattle that don't present) – you can always apply online. We'll announce other cities with PyCon Startup Row events shortly.

2014-01-26

PyCon US 2014/2015 and Passover

At PyCon US 2013, it was brought to our attention by an attendee that we scheduled PyCon US in conflict with Passover in both 2014 and 2015.

Obviously, this kind of scheduling error is a major failure on our part, but our response to the incident was mishandled, and we'd like to fix that now, in full view of our community.

Here's what happened:

Planning an event as large as PyCon requires a lot of lead time. In 2012, Python Montréal (in conjunction with Tourisme-Montréal) proposed a series of dates that were available for the conference in 2014 and 15. Nobody involved in the planning phase was mindful of the major Jewish holidays. We failed to note the conflict, and proceeded to sign multiple binding contracts for those dates, each specifying stiff financial penalties for moving or breaking the engagement.

When the date conflict was brought to our attention, we frantically reached out to our contacts to see if there was any way to move the conference dates. There were no free dates at the contracted locations for the conference, and changing locations would have triggered a breach of contract. We worked as best we could to find a solution, brainstormed to come up with creative workarounds, and came up empty.

There's simply no magic wand for us to wave and fix this.

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but we are stuck with these dates for 2014 and 2015, both legally and practically. The only alternative is to break our contracts, which would expose the Python Software Foundation and our organizer volunteers to massive legal and financial liability. As a foundation, we have flirted with financial ruin of this type before—in the wake of PyCon missing contractual obligations to our host hotel in 2008. We're unwilling to roll the dice again when the stakes are the foundation and PyCon itself.

We're moving ahead with the only practical choice left to us—holding the conference despite the dates, incredibly saddened that we are excluding our friends and community members, sadder still that we won’t get to see them there. Sometimes the worst mistakes come not intentionally, but through simple ignorance.

We've already taken steps to ensure that this kind of failure doesn't occur again. Getting thousands of people together in a single location always involves some amount of scheduling conflict, but we'll be more mindful of major religious and ethnic holidays when selecting sites and dates. Moreover, in our role as mentor to smaller regional conference, we’re letting them know about our experience, making them aware that they must give scheduling its due diligence or risk excluding entire groups from their events.

Our second apology is for failing to keep you, our community, apprised of our efforts. We should not have remained silent on a matter of exclusion — not for one minute, not for one month — and yet we are only making this announcement now, almost a year after it was brought to our attention. Given our track record on matters of diversity and inclusiveness, this scheduling failure is compounded by our inability to live up to our community standards. That we made efforts behind the scenes is good, but not enough — by being opaque, we've let a lot of you wonder if our ideals were conveniently forgotten in this case.

They weren't, and we're sorry.

The Codes of Conduct (PyCon, PSF) we strive to adhere to and the goals they outline provide no guarantees of perfection, only guidelines. They represent what we want to be, and sometimes we fall down on those promises. The road to where we are now was paved with good intentions and hard work on the part of everyone involved. We very much want to get back on the right track with our community.

We're seeking suggestions when it comes to making amends to those excluded from the conference due to our oversight. Nothing we can do can reattach those we've severed from our community due to this incident, but if you've got an idea for something we can do, we'd like to hear it. You can email Jesse Noller directly (or via twitter) with thoughts which will be communicated to the rest of the Foundation and PyCon organizers.

Signed,

Jesse Noller
Chair PyCon 2012/2013
Vice President, Python Software Foundation
On behalf of the PSF Board of Directors and PyCon staff

2014-01-23

PyCon Attendees from the US: You Need a Passport!

If you’re coming to PyCon, which takes place in Montréal, Quebec, Canada from April 9 through 17, you need a passport if you are a US citizen. If you’re coming to PyCon from any other country, you already needed a passport, but you probably already knew that :)

This wasn’t always the case, as Americans and Canadians used to cross the border with ease. I once had delicious ice cream at Twist o’ the Mist in Niagara Falls, NY after a day on the Canadian side, and it was delicious, and I didn’t have a passport. However, on June 1, 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was enacted, making it a requirement that a passport must be shown to enter the United States, which in turn made it a requirement to have a passport to enter Canada.

  • If you are traveling by air between the US and Canada: you need a passport book.
  • If you are traveling by land between the US and Canada: you can have a passport book or a passport card.
  • If you are traveling by sea between the US and Canada: you can have a passport book or a passport card.
  • If you are traveling between the US and Canada by some other means (teleporting, etc), please ask the US Department of State.

Passport books cost $110, and passport cards cost $30. The cost is the same whether this is your first passport or if you are renewing an old one.

In order to get a passport, you need passport photos. You can typically get these at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, or usually anywhere that has a photo department. The rules are strict, so be sure to follow them. Your twitter avatar probably doesn’t count.

These things take time. With standard processing, they estimate 4-6 weeks for completion. Expedited processing costs an additional $60, which will have your passport delivered in 2-3 weeks. For reference: PyCon is 75 days away, or about 10 weeks away.


Planning flights?

Another thing to consider, from Brett Cannon, our very tall friend to the north: “Customs is done on the Canadian side in both directions. This is how Canadian flights are able to use the domestic terminal in the US and why in Canada there is a special set of US departure gates at the airport.”

When you’re planning your return flight, keep in mind that you’ll need to be there early enough to get through customs. We’ve already heard from several people asking about the schedule so they can fly out Sunday night without missing anything. According to the schedule, the closing address should be done around 4:00, and the last lightning talks should be done around 5:00.

Need tickets?

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, head to https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ and get signed up. We're approaching 1,300 tickets sold, and with the last two years having sold out, we expect the same for 2014. Don't wait, get yours today!

2014-01-21

PyCon 2014 Schedule Now Available!

PyCon 2014 has released the schedule of talks, tutorials, and posters for the April conference in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. The conference begins with two days of tutorials on Wednesday April 9 and 10, followed by three days of talks from Friday April 11 through 13, and ending with four days of sprints through April 17. The event will mark the first time the Python community's main conference travels outside of the US, following two sold-out events in 2012 and 2013 in Santa Clara, California.
The tutorial schedule this year came from yet another large pool of submissions, with proposals covering a broad range of subjects. The selections represent an effort to offer both a mix of subjects covering a wide scope of expertise. Once again there are offerings for beginners through experts, including a tutorial for those with no Python knowledge whatsoever. With a group of presenters including several full-time educators, experienced trainers, and community leaders, the $150 cost per four-hour tutorial is a steal.
With a talk schedule culled from 564 proposals, an increase of over 100 from 2013, the program committee spent a great deal of time making the 95 selections. The task of organizing them on the schedule was even harder than past years, once again making the choice of which talk to attend a tough one. Thankfully, videos of all talks will be made available. As with the tutorials, the talks feature an even more broad range of subjects, covering more than ever across the three days of presentations.
Keynote speakers for the April conference include co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Perry Barlow; open source developer and outreach leader, Jessica McKellar; and creator of the IPython project, Fernando Pérez. Returning to the keynote stage for another year is Python's creator, Guido van Rossum. Van Lindberg, chairman of the Python Software Foundation, will also deliver a keynote speech.
Registration has just passed 1200 tickets sold, and as the previous two years have sold out, the same is expected for 2014. Student tickets are again 50% off of their previous price, at $125 each. Individual and corporate tickets are priced at $350 and $600, respectively. See https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ to register today!
The conference is made possible by diamond level sponsors Google, Rackspace, and Heroku, as well as platinum sponsors Caktus, Facebook, New Relic, SurveyMonkey, Microsoft, Cars.com, Eventbrite, Hewlett Packard, and over 70 other organizations. Those interested in sponsoring PyCon should view the prospectus, and contact sponsorship chairman Jesse Noller at jnoller@python.org with any questions.

2014-01-19

PyCon 2014 Childcare - Register Soon!

New this year: Childcare!

PyCon is proud to announce that we will be offering childcare during the main conference days for the very first time ever! Space is limited, so be sure to sign-up for childcare soon.


The actual cost per child, per day is about $200, but the Python Software Foundation has kindly agreed to subsidize this new outreach initiative, bringing the cost down to $50 per child, per day.
A huge thanks to Nilovna Bascunan-Vasquez and Ewa Jodlowska for organizing childcare for PyCon 2014!

Childcare Staff

Childcare will be provided by Kimberlee Care. All caregivers and staff are:
  • Certified and experienced in child education / childcare
  • Police background verified
  • Insured
  • Best of all, caring!
  • Most staff are bilingual (English and French), many trilingual (Spanish)

Activities

The qualified and fun Kimberlee Care providers will be ready and waiting to take good care of your little ones in this safe and stimulating tots & kids play room. High staff ratios have been arranged so that all children will get exceptional a personalized care to guarantee a relaxed and fun atmosphere for all our little adventurers. Blankets and pillows will be provided. Age-appropriate & educational games, toys and crafts will be available, ball tent and active play areas will be set as well as age appropriate movies, video games & story time.
  • A selection of themed arts and crafts materials (rotated daily)
  • A selection of puzzles and games
  • A selection of gross motor toys and activities
  • Inflatable bouncer ball pit (0-4 years)
  • Recently released movies/Wii Station & games
  • Rest area equipped with pillows and blankets for the younger ones
  • Play carpets/children size furniture
  • Photo identity check-in and check out
  • A secure child / caregiver ratio:
    • 0-18 months: 1:1
    • months-2 years: 1:2
    • 3-4 years: 1:4
    • 5-9 years: 1:6
    • 9-12 years: 1:8

2014-01-14

Tutorial Registration Is Open, Sign Up Today!

Registration for our tutorials is open and ready for signups! If you're ready to sign up, head to https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ and get started.

The tutorials take place April 9 and 10, the two days preceding the conference, with four opportunities to learn from some of the Python community's best teachers. Each day has two sessions; a morning and an afternoon offering, split by lunch, with each of the sessions having a short snack break. The cost is $150 per session, which is a steal when you look at who is teaching these classes.


This year we have a good mix of full time trainers, experienced presenters, and a couple of first time tutorial givers. The amount of experience we have on stage teaching these classes all in one space is hard to top. All together, it makes for a wide selection of topics that we hope the community finds beneficial.

If you're interested in learning about popular web frameworks, we have tutorials on Django, Pyramid, web2py, and Flask. If data analysis is your thing, there are courses on scikit-learn, pandas, NumPy, IPython, and more. There are a lot of other topics and choices -- take a look and see for yourself! https://us.pycon.org/2014/schedule/tutorials/

If you've already registered for conference tickets, you can go back into your registration and append tutorials!

2014-01-13

EuroPython 2014 Call for Proposals Open


EuroPython 2014

https://ep2014.europython.eu

By Andreas Jung:


The next EuroPython conference will be held from July 21 - 27, 2014 at the Berlin Congress Center (BCC) in the heart of Berlin.

The EuroPython conference is the second largest global conference for the popular programming language Python, after the PyCon US conference in North America.

The BCC is located at the central Alexander Square. It offers ideal facilities for a developer conference on 3,000 m2. The organizers are expecting up to 1,200 participants, continuing the growth of the EuroPython conference series. The very successful EuroPython last year attracted almost 900 Python enthusiasts. It was hosted in Florence, Italy for the third time running.

The call for proposals (talks, posters or trainings) is now open and runs until Feb 9th 2014.

Find the full call for proposals here:
https://ep2014.europython.eu/en/proposals/cfp/

2014-01-06

Sign Up for the 5K Charity Fun Run!

We're bringing the 5K Charity Fun Run back! Last year we had 200 people join us to raise nearly $5,200, split between the American Cancer Society and NumFOCUS, on behalf of the late John Hunter. This year's first beneficiary is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF. John Perry Barlow, one of the EFF's co-founders, will be delivering a keynote during the conference!

The run happens Saturday April 12 at 7 AM, beginning near the Montreal Science Center. The event is open to people of all abilities. We've had people come out for a morning stroll, people who train for ultra marathons, and several people have used the event as a way to get back in shape via the Couch to 5K program.


The run is being sponsored by Lapio, who run the signups and time tracking for the event. Check out https://app.lap.io/event/2014-pycon-5k-charity-fun-run and get signed up today!