The second day of PyCon was very busy too, I think Friday and Saturday are probably the busiest days of PyCon and also the best attended. There were a TON of quality talks, most of which I missed since you can only see one out of five of them, at best.
If you missed it, see the first article in this series, PyCon 2023 – Conference Day 1 Thoughts
More Open Spaces
But my missing talks was partially by design and partially by accident. I meant to go to a sponsor’s talk about Playwright given by my friend, Pandy Knight, but I saw an open space for trainers and teachers and I got sucked into that instead.
Strangely, I think there were only five or six of us in that open space, but it was still a very interesting chat. I think we only had teachers / trainers for adults in the room. I would have enjoyed learning something about teaching school age children too, but it was still good and I hope we keep in touch.
I also hosted an open space in the afternoon for Python Authors. That open space had 6-8 people in it. I would say authors from O’Reilly were the best represented, but we also had a No Starch author and myself. Everyone seemed to enjoy exchanging anecdotes about writing and we had a fun session describing our hardest chapters to write.
Meeting People / Networking
My main focus this year was on meeting people that I only knew from my PyDev of the Week series here on Mouse vs Python or social media. I got to chat with a lot of great people. It was a lot of fun meeting the Real Python crew in person instead of in video chats, for example.
I also got to meet some of my readers and newsletter subscribers too! The next time I come to PyCon, I think it would be fun to do an open space for them and see who shows up.
While I was hanging out with Marlene Mhangami, she noticed that Guido van Rossum was nearby, so we went and said hello. He looked very tired and I felt like he didn’t want to chat, so we wrapped that up and continued our own conversation. It was still nice to actually talk to him, which was something I’d always wanted to do.
When you’re at PyCon, I always recommend trying out all the different activities to determine which ones you will enjoy the most. But make sure you try them more then once.
For example, some talks are amazing and some are not. The reasons vary wildly. There could be audio / visual issues, the talk might be too advanced or too simple or the speaker may be hard to understand.
Open spaces can be amazing too. But an open space needs people to attend. If no one shows up, or if the mix of people isn’t quite right, they can be hit or miss too.
Regardless, there are TONS of things to do at PyCon. If you get to go, check out everything that you can.