2014-12-30

Financial Aid Applications Due January 1!

While PyCon has some of the more affordable ticket prices around, at rates that haven't changed in a million years, a lot of other expenses go into conferences. For a lot of our attendees, travel and hotel costs add up. For that reason, we offer financial aid!

When we include all types of attendees - tutorial, conference, and expo - there were 2660 people registered for something at PyCon 2014. Around 715 of them registered at the hobbyist rate and 185 at student rate, together comprising a third of our delegation as people paying their own way. Even some at our corporate rate end up footing the bill beyond their entry ticket.

While some of them may be local, a significant majority of our attendees have to travel and stay in a hotel. When you look at where everyone's coming from, 10% of our attendees are from one of 50 countries outside of the US and Canada. Last year, 14 people came from literally the other side of the world: Australia. That's not a cheap flight.

If financial assistance would make a trip to PyCon possible, we encourage you to apply. The full details of how our program works are available at https://us.pycon.org/2015/assistance/, and the application form is available in your dashboard.

The form asks a few questions about what you do, how you use Python, what you aim to get out of PyCon, and some details of your travel plans and costs. From there, our committee evaluates all of the applications and distributes grant awards around January 15.

You only have until Thursday to apply, so check it out!

2014-12-23

Looking for volunteers @ the PyCon 2015 Education Summit

The Third Annual Python Education Summit, held during PyCon on Thursday April 9th 2015, is coming together. We are gathering some excellent talk ideas (click here to see some of the proposed talks). Thanks to those who have summited talks so far. As with any event, the Education Summit can't be pulled off alone, so we are asking for volunteers. Some of the roles that you can help with include:
  • Keynote Speaker Team: help us identify and invite Keynote speakers(s)
  • Call for Proposal Manager: help us support the call for proposal process (answer questions, process submissions, etc)
  • Emcee: help emcee for our second track in the afternoon
  • Publicity Rep(s): support us in advertising via the twitters/facebooks/etc
  • Ushers/go-fers: help ensure that the actual event runs smoothly
If you would like to help, please contact Chalmer Lowe or Jessica Nickel
NOTE: Even if your schedule doesn't allow you to support through volunteering, please feel free to sign up for the Education Summit to meet with your peers in education to learn more about combining Python and Education.

2014-12-16

PyCon 2015 Tutorial Schedule Announced

Tutorials Schedule

After a busy few months of competitive reviews, the tutorials team within our program committee has completed their process and have come up with an awesome schedule… ta da! https://us.pycon.org/2015/schedule/tutorials/
Led by Stuart Williams and Ruben Orduz, a fantastic team came together to shape this schedule, including Carol Willing, Ian Cordasco, Harry Percival, Allen Downey, Richard Jones, and Kenneth Love. Thanks to everyone for their efforts, both in reviewing and in submitting!

Register for Tutorials

On April 8 & 9, the two days preceding the conference talk dates, attendees have an opportunity to attend up to four different tutorials. Each day offers both a morning and afternoon session, each providing three hours of learning split by a snack break, with lunch in between the sessions. Our instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, including full time educators or trainers, authors, domain experts, and in a lot of cases, they've created the project they're teaching a session on.
Each tutorial costs $150 USD, which is a steal for what our instructors provide with these hands-on courses and the materials you'll get out of them. You can register for the conference and add tutorials to your existing registration profile at any time.

Accepted Talks

Over on the conference talks end of the program committee, they've recently chosen the list of talks that will make up the schedule! Work is underway to fit each of those talks into schedule format, but for now, the list of accepted proposal is available here.

2014-12-13

PyCon 2015 Education Summit - Call for Proposals

A guest post by Chalmer Lowe.

PyCon 2015 Education Summit

The Python Education Summit, held during PyCon on Thursday April 9th 2015, is gathering of teachers and educators focused on bringing coding literacy, through Python, to as broad a group of audiences as possible. We invite educators from all venues to consider joining the discussion, share insights, learn new techniques and tools and generally share their passion for education. We are looking for educators from many venues: authors; schools, colleges, universities; community-based workshops; online programs; and government.
If you are interested in attending this summit, presenting or have questions, please contact Chalmer Lowe or Jessica Nickel. Invitations are subject to availability.

Education Summit - Call for Proposals

Do you have a story to share on education and Python? We are actively looking for presenters for the Python Education Summit and have extended the submission deadline.
If you are interested in presenting, please submit your ideas for topics/presentations that you would like to present. We will gather feedback on the submissions to assist us in building the agenda. All submissions must be in by January 15th and decisions on speakers/presenters will be made and speakers will be notified by February 1st, 2015.
Note: All speakers will be offered early bird pricing for attendance at PyCon.
Interested in seeing the topics others are proposing to speak on? Click here to have a look and vote for your favorites - help us define this year's agenda!

Proposal Ideas

Need some ideas for topics you could present? Maybe one of these topics will inspire you to share your experiences:
  • The joy and pain of authoring a book on Python
  • Teaching Python on a shoestring budget
  • Gamifying how you teach Python to strengthen engagement and return on investment
  • Using the Raspberry Pi to teach Python
  • Tips for developing your Python-based curriculum
  • How to choose what to teach
  • Educating children to program in Python
  • Educating seniors to program in Python
  • Helping a student transition from Learning Py to Py Employment
  • How to make money teaching Python
  • Developing a community program teaching Python
  • Train the Trainer: teaching volunteers to teach Python
  • Exploring the resources available to instructors
  • Choosing the right teaching resources
  • Taking a student to the next level - guiding 'self study'

See you at the Python Education Summit in April!

2014-12-04

There are under 50 early bird tickets left!

We are now down to the final 50 discounted tickets, and we expect them to sell pretty quickly! If you buy now, you can save up to 25% on corporate tickets or 15% on individual tickets. Student tickets are $25 off if you buy early, coming in at just $100.

After these 800 early bird tickets are sold we'll be onto the regular rates, and we're expecting our fourth consecutive sell out. Don't wait too long or you may miss out.

See https://us.pycon.org/2015/registration/ for all of our registration details and buy your tickets today!

Our program committee is wrapping up the talk and tutorial selections, which we're hoping to have available soon, with the schedule to follow.

2014-12-02

What's so special about the sprints?

Some people love the stuff that goes on before PyCon, and with good reason. The tutorials are probably the best tech training value around, the language summit and education summit (my baby!) are amazing chances to connect with the movers and shakers, and the young coder sessions are exploding with energy and learning. So if you find yourself showing up at PyCon earlier and earlier each year, who could blame you?

But as cool as the pre-conference stuff is, we all know the main conference is even better. So many quality talks that everyone wants to be in at least two places at once the entire time, the keynotes, the lightning talks, the expo hall, the posters, not to mention the open spaces, hallway track, parties, dinners, and lunches. It just goes on and on.

So it's no wonder that by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around everyone is a bit overloaded. People start filtering out, to catch planes, drive home, etc., and by Sunday evening things are definitely much sparser, and on Monday only a relatively small core of PyConistas remain.

And that's a shame because that means that quite a few people miss the third part of PyCon, the sprints.

So what are the sprints? The sprints are the Monday through Thursday after PyCon when people get together to work on coding projects. It could be adding new functionality, fixing bugs, or even porting libraries or applications to Python 3.

I first sprinted in 2009. I didn't know really what it would be like, and as a someone who'd always worked alone, I didn't have a clue about how developers worked on a team. I ended up working on CherryPy with Bob Brewer, and in a day and a half I went from total sprint noob to being the person who started the port of CherryPy to Python 3. I got a great experience working on a project with other people, and learned a ton from discussing the bugs I was hitting with someone who knew more about web apps than I could ever hope to know. In that day and a half I absorbed more practical and lasting knowledge of Python development than I'd gotten from the talks and tutorials combined. And that's saying a lot.

That's what makes the sprints so great - after almost a week of learning about Python, talking about Python, hearing about Python, trading jokes about Python, even (in my case) dreaming about Python, the sprints are a chance to sit down and actually code in Python. And not just code in Python, but do it sitting next to the creators, maintainers, and developers of the language, packages, and applications that we use every day. How cool is that?

Even better, you don't have to be a top developer to sprint. Most projects have a range of issues, bugs, and projects in play, and if you're willing to dive in and work at it, it's pretty likely that you'll come away amazed by what you learned and what you helped accomplish.

And while the rest of PyCon is arguably one of the best deals in the tech conference universe, the sprints are an even better deal - all they'll cost you is the cost of your hotel and few meals (PyCon will spring for one meal a day).

And do keep in mind that the sprints are totally open as to how long you stay. If you can only make if for a day, that's cool. Or you can stay for two or three days, or even be one of the diehards and sprint for the whole four days. It's all good.

If you're curious as to what projects will be sprinting, and want to keep up with sprint news in general (hint: we're hoping to add and tweak a feature or two) keep an eye on the sprint page - it's pretty quiet now, but it will getting more lively as we approach the conference dates.

If you decide to join us, It's dead easy to add a night or two to your hotel and indicate your interest when you register. And if you've already registered, all you need to do is contact the nice people at pycon8-reg@cteusa.com and ask them to add a few days to your stay.

For all you seasoned sprinters, we're collecting top sprint memories and stories to share in a future post. If you've got a treasured memory or story that shows just how cool the sprints are, please send them my way to naomi.ceder AT gmail.com.

So I hope you'll be joining us for the sprints. I'm pretty sure you'll find it an awesome way to finish up what's already an amazing conference experience.