This year, I decided to volunteer at PyCon. At both my previous PyCons, I had planned to help, but wasn't sure how to join in. The evening before the tutorials started in 2009, I wandered all over the hotel looking for PyCon staff and found no one. Once the tutorials started, I felt pretty drained in the evenings because I was taking the maximum number of tutorials and that's a lot of information to soak up. But back to this year. I volunteered to be a Session Chair for one session. It was an interesting experience. I got to meet a fair number of cool Python people, although the only ones that I really saw after the session were Stani and Nadia.
The first evening I was at PyCon, I was approached by some guy who wanted to know if I would do some data entry. He had a bunch of tutorial surveys that needed to be entered for Greg Lindstrom, founder (I think) of Elegant Stitches (AKA: WearPython). So I ended up doing some of that once I actually found a location where the PyCon wireless worked.
My next act of good will occurred Friday morning. I had just found a place a sit near an access point when this fellow came up to me and asked if I could help put the power strips under the tables. This was in the main auditorium. I ended up doing about half the room. Sometime during that, another fellow started helping me. The objective was to plug them all together from the front to the back, usually in two series. The biggest drawback to this method is that if anyone in the back bumped their power strip's switch, then all the people who were feeding off that one would lose power. I never heard if this was an issue or not.
My final volunteering activity was being a Session Chair. I actually talked about that in another post, so I won't repeat myself here. I'll just say that it was a mostly good experience other than some minor audio issues and some butterflies.
I was kind of hoping to get an awesome staff tee, but the main staff tees were lame. They're just black with some white lettering and the PyCon logo. If you were paying attention at the conference, then you'd know that the only differences between the staff and the conference tees were slightly different verbiage and the fact that one was black and the other blue. Oh well. I do like the PyCon logo, but it would have been cooler if they had a large logo on the back too or something.
Next year, I encourage you all to get out there and volunteer to make PyCon 2011 even better!
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