My first tutorial of the day was Advanced Python I with Raymond Hettinger. He is very knowledgeable, but I got stuck in the very back of the room and had a terrible time following him. The speaker went over a bunch of basics of IDLE with Python 3.2. He covered how to open a module and use IDLE’s builtin Class Browser to browse the code quickly.
He then moved on to optimization using itertools (which he wrote?) and functools through a vectorization process. He would show some bad code with lots of function or method calls and then he’d fix the code using part of itertools, functools or both. I think I know a little more about optimization, but I wasn’t up for the second part of the class. Note that this was considered an “Experienced” level tutorial. I guess I’m not quite experienced enough yet, but I hope I will be by next year.
A couple months ago, I told my readership that my organization wasn’t going to pay my way to PyCon and wondered if they would help me. I got mixed results and dropped that idea. Then my boss said he was going to try to make it so I could go and he did. So I made it to PyCon after all. I got in yesterday afternoon, after much confusion with the strange Atlanta shuttle service who put me in multiple vans before finally bringing me to the hotel.
So far, I’ve met a few people and seen some acquaintances. I also did some volunteer work last night. Today I went to my first tutorial of the day, but I’ll write about both of those activities in separate posts. For this short one, I wanted to get feedback and ideas. Let me know what you want to see and if I can fit it into my schedule, I’ll check it out and write about it. Check out the PyCon schedule to get some ideas. Thanks!
The PyCon USA 2011 site has finally gotten its schedule up this week and in the last couple of days, they have added the ability to sign up to be a Session Chair or Session Runner. These are fairly important roles that need to be filled to make the conference flow smoothly.
Basically, a Session Chair will chair a block of talks. What that means is he or she will introduce the speakers and help to stay on time. They can also help organize an open space, although I don’t think that’s mentioned in the job description this year. Finally, they help take questions from the audience.
The Session Runner will help the speaker get from the green room to the appropriate stage. They help in any way needed to make the session run smoothly. In other words, they assist the Session Chair.
You can meet fun people and make new friends by signing up for one or both of these positions. Just go to the schedule page and click on the “S” symbol next to a talk to sign up. Just remember that you’re signing up for a 2 or 3 talk session in one room. Be sure to check in at the green room to get your gear probably 15-30 minutes before the first talk in your session.
Update: Another way to view which sessions have Chairs / Runners has been posted to the PyCon website
As PyCon approaches, the blogger community was invited to interview the speakers that are coming to the event. I chose Wesley Chun, writer of Core Python Programming and co-author of Python Web Development with Django. In this interview, I ask Wesley about his talk, Running Django Apps on Google App Engine and about PyCon in general. Letâ€™s see what he has to say: Continue reading PyCon 2011: Interview with Wesley Chun
This weekly edition of Python News has quite the variety of topics. You can learn about how to create passwords, the new Enthought Python Distribution and about something called pylibftdi. Plus, I’ve added a section just for PyCon related stuff since they seem to be releasing a lot of info this month. For example, there’s an interview with Armin Ronacher (author of Flask) in that section.
So far no one has ever given me any leads for my next article, so that either means I’m doing something right or no one’s reading these posts. Well, as always, I will take a look at any links that my kind readers give me.
PyCon USA 2011 is less than a month away! This year, they are promoting the use of Convore as a PyCon aggregator of sorts. I guess that means that the cool DjangoDose from last year is dead now. Anyway, Convore is similar to Twitter, but it has the concepts of Topics, so it’s a little more organized. I suppose I would describe it as a mix of Twitter and IRC. They currently have three topics: whether or not to use the service, volunteering for PyCon and a Scotch BoF.
Jesse Noller has announced “Startup Stories“. Startups are the theme of this PyCon and as I understand it, they will be the focus of the plenaries. So in addition to the “Fireside Chat” with Guido and the Hilary Mason talk, we will get to hear about Dropbox, Disqus and Threadless. I use two out of three of those, so I’m excited.
There’s still time to sign up and come to PyCon. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
I didn’t really have much time last year to check out the first PyCon Poster session, but this year I’ll have the time to really check it out. The last I heard, there will be 35 posters at this year’s session and they have some pretty amazing topics. Here’s a sampling:
I’m not even sure what some of that stuff means, but I’d like to find out. What about you? Don’t you want to check this out too? I’m pretty sure this session won’t be recorded, so you’ll need to be there to check it out. If the above didn’t get you excited, then try reading the full list.
Did you know that PyCon’s Early Bird registration is over and you missed it! Well, now you have to pay more! I recommend doing it now before they reach their registration cap because sneaking into the conference is just plain wrong. Also, airline ticket pricing tends to fluctuate more than the waves at the seaside, although unlike the waves, the prices usually just get bigger. If you’d like the bang for your buck, check out the PyCon blog page because it lists a bunch of the activities that they have planned.
On another note, PyCon is still looking for sponsors. Do you have cash buried in your back yard or under your mattress and you don’t know what to do with it all? Do you use open source software and always wondered how to support them? Well, PyCon can solve both those problems! Heck, you don’t even have to spend all your loot. Get a friend and make him pay too.
The big question that always pops up when giving away money is: what will this accomplish (i.e. what’s in it for me)? Well, check out this handy list:
- It keeps the conference cheap!
- You will get warm fuzzies
- You will support the Python Software Foundation which in turn supports sprints, Python projects, other Python conferences and lots of other things.
- You’ll get your name in the program (I think)
If you happen to own a business or know someone who does, this is a great way to advertise. Especially if you have job openings for geeks. There are several sponsorship levels to choose from. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Jesse Noller (email@example.com) directly with any questions you might have.
PyCon is a conference that is run almost entirely by volunteers. Do you know what that means? It means that they need you! Last year, I volunteered and it was a mostly good experience. You can check out the staff list to see if there’s any responsibilities you’d like to take over. If so, be sure to join the pycon-organizers mailing list. Here is the primary Volunteer page and following is a copy of what they currently need help with onsite:
- Registration desk volunteers
- Swag bag stuffers
- Session Staff (Note: we need to setup a way for session staff to volunteer for particular sessions; Stay tuned!)
- Tutorial day help
- Electrical cord tapers / untapers
- Last minute helper mob
You can read about these positions here. You can read about my experiences as a session chair here. I was a little nervous when I did it, but I think it went alright.
The main thing to remember is this: If you see someone who obviously needs help, don’t just stand there like a dope! Get over there and help them out!
Last year, it was popular for bloggers to write about the five talks that they most wanted to see at PyCon. I don’t know if I’ll be going to PyCon this year, but if I did, these are my picks in no particular order.
Of course, there are more than 5 that I want to see and I’m sure that there will be plenty of them that happen at the same time, so I won’t get to see them all anyway. Alex Gaynor has a couple talks that I’d like to see and Martelli is giving another cerebral presentation. Wesley Chun has a couple talks too. I don’t see anything by Jeff Rush, which is a shame. I’ve enjoyed him in the past. Anyway, what are the talks that you want to see? Let me know in the comments!