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The PyCon Blog

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Update on the PSF Elections - new election starting

Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Due to some procedural problems with the current election for the Board of the Python Software Foundation, the Foundation has taken some steps to make sure that the elections are freely open for nominations and that there are no conflicts of interest. Specifically, today the board adopted the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, due to procedural deficiencies, the Board Election ballots issued on May 1st (AOE)/May 2nd (UTC) be deemed null and void.

RESOLVED, that David Mertz be removed as election administrator, and that Ian Cordasco be appointed as election administrator.


David has been the election adminstrator for quite a while, and designed the "e-vote" system that we use along with Massimo DePierro. He has put in a lot of time and effort, and we thank him for it. David in particular volunteered for a complex voting administration task that needed to be handled as the PSF expanded internationally beyond a primarily US-based membership that could previously realistically vote (in person, or by proxy) at physical meetings held annually at PyCon
US.

Without David's efforts as Election Administrator over that time, it would not have been feasible to expand the membership as we have, including the conversion to an open membership model in the 2014 update to the PSF bylaws.

For anyone who has received a ballot already, or has received a ballot reminder, please ignore it. We will be canceling the election as quickly as possible.

We also wanted to make sure that the procedure for upcoming board elections was clear, particularly with regard to the timelines for nominations and voting eligibility. To address that, we also adopted the following resolution concerning the timing of future votes for the board. For those who aren't familiar with the term "AOE", it means "Anywhere on Earth." As long as it is not before the end of the day in your local timezone, you are ok.

RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation adopt the follow procedure for Board elections:
    - Day 1: There is announcement of an upcoming board election via public announcement and email to existing voting members.
    - Day 10 (AOE): Nominations and voting eligibility closes for the upcoming board election. The list of voting members is updated.
    - Day 14-15: Ballots are sent out to voting members.
    - Day 25 (AOE): Election closes.


We also are starting a new election using this procedure, so the timeline for the election is as follows:

    - May 5: Announcement of a new election via this blogpost and an email to the voting members.
    - May 15 (AOE): Nominations and voting eligibility closes for the upcoming board election. The list of voting members is updated.
    - May 19-20: Ballots are sent out to voting members.
    - May 30 (AOE): Election closes.


This means that in an effort to be inclusive, the nominations will again be open for anyone until May 15 AOE. If you missed the opportunity to nominate for the 2015 Python Software Foundation Board, you will have that chance.

Thanks,

Van Lindberg
PSF Chair

PyCon is here!

Friday, April 10, 2015
Before we get under way, https://us.pycon.org/2015/onsite/ is your go-to for all things once you're at PyCon. Here are some important details and things coming up.

WiFi: SSID is "PyCon 2015" and upon joining the network you'll be presented with a popup (you may need to try to visit a site first). 

Download the Guidebook app to keep track of it all. Our schedules and events are all loaded in there, and you can build your own personal schedule, complete with notifications to keep you up to date on what talks are going on when. Head to https://guidebook.com/getit/ and install it for your device!

Lunch Menus

We put together the menus for each of the lunches and breaks, and where possible, have listed ingredients. If you've made a specific meal request on your registration, be sure to ask our friendly lunch staff for the type of meal that suits you.

Registration

Pick up your badge starting at 7 AM the next few days! The closing hours differ by day so check out the schedule.

Open Spaces

The Open Space signup boards are placed near registration at the base of the escalators, so you'll be able to plan all of the on-site meetings and discussions and talks you'd like.

5K Charity Fun Run

Join us Saturday morning for the fourth annual 5K Charity Fun Run, with the proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks Canada. Registration is handled here with at least a $20 donation.

PyLadies Auction

Saturday night is the always fun PyLadies Auction. Last year we raised over $10,000 USD for PyLadies, and we've got some great items that were donated by our sponsors and others. Check out the list to get a feel for what's on the auction block.

Job Fair

Sunday is our job fair, with participation from a ton of our sponsors. What better place to see who's hiring than the biggest Python conference around?

Code of Conduct

While you're at PyCon, please be mindful of our code of conduct, listed above and in the print guides inside each attendee bag. Contact information is available on the site, and the attendee incident guidelines are available here.

Come to the Opening Reception on Thursday!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Come celebrate with us as we kickoff the weekend with snacks and drinks at our Opening Reception in the expo hall, Thursday from 6-9 PM. Whether you spent the day in tutorials or you just got in town before the talks begin, join your fellow attendees in mingling around, chatting about what you're up to, seeing what our sponsors have on tap for the night, and getting ready for another great weekend of PyCon.

Each attendee will get a complimentary drink ticket, and we'll have various light snacks available as well. There's no registration needed, just show up and enjoy yourself!

PyCon schedule on Guidebook!

Friday, April 03, 2015
There's a lot going on at PyCon this year. If you've paid for tutorials, you have those to keep track of. Then there's the free sponsor tutorials. Then there's 95 talks going on in 5 parallel tracks. Then there's open spaces. Then there's evening stuff. Lots of stuff!

When you pick up your badge at registration we'll have paper schedules available, but as you can imagine with paper, it's not live and doesn't tell you when things update or give you reminders. That's where Guidebook comes in.

We have once again partnered with them to provide an excellent web and mobile schedule for you to keep track of everything at https://guidebook.com/guide/31995/. They also have apps for Windows, Android, and iOS available in your platform's app store.

Once you've opened the Guidebook app, search for PyCon 2015 and it'll be right at the top. Choose to get that guide and you'll be in sync.

Once you have the book loaded, you can view the master schedule all at once, or breakout schedules on topics such as "talks" for the Friday through Sunday presentation, "other events" for things like the PyCon Dinners, the PyLadies Auction, and more. 

If you see something you don't want to miss, click the + button to the right and set a reminder and it'll be added to your personal calendar. While I used to highlight all of the sessions I wanted to attend, the Guidebook app makes it a million times easier, especially with the reminders. If you need a reminder to wake up for Saturday's 5K Charity Fun Run, Guidebook can do that.

Check it out and see you in a few days!

For Microsoft, Python support extends far beyond Windows installers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
You might have known that Python's 1.0 release came at the start of 1994, but did you know Microsoft shipped its Merchant Server 1.0 product built on Python only a few years later in 1996? Microsoft, this year's Keystone sponsor, has long been a user and supporter of Python, with a history of use within build and test infrastructure and individual users all around the company. There are even a few lawyers writing Python code.

In 2006 they introduced the world to IronPython, a .NET runtime for Python, and later the excellent Python Tools for Visual Studio plug-in in 2011. They continue to release Python code, as it's "a must-have language for any team that releases developer kits or libraries, especially for services on Azure that can be used from any operating system," according to Steve Dower, a developer on Microsoft's Python Tools team.

"Python has very strong cross-platform support, which is absolutely critical these days," says Steve. "It’s very attractive for our users to literally be able to 'write once-run anywhere.'

"The breadth of the community is also very attractive, especially the support for scientific use," he continued. Microsoft has been a significant donor to the Jupyter project (formerly IPython) as well as a platinum sponsor of the NumFOCUS Foundation.

Along with supporting those projects, they have also been providing MSDN subscriptions to the core Python team to assist with development and testing on Windows. Beyond supporting the existing developers, they've jumped in the ring themselves as one of the few companies to employ developers working on CPython itself. "Python has done an amazing job of working well on Windows, and we hope that by taking an active involvement we can push things along further," offers Steve, whose work includes being a core developer on the CPython project.


Steve's CPython work has focused around Windows issues, including an improved installer for 3.5. Additionally, the team was able to come up with a special package for Python users: Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7. Due to Python 2.7 being built on the Visual C++ 2008 runtime, which is no longer supported, they created this package to provide the necessary tools and headers to continue building extension modules for Python 2.7, which will live through at least 2020 as was announced at last year's language summit.


Along with efforts on Python itself, they're hard at work on improving tooling for the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 and Python 3.5 releases. "Practically everything we do will integrate with Visual Studio in some way," says Steve of Python Tools for Visual Studio. "PTVS has been free and open-source from day one, and combined with Visual Studio Community Edition makes for a powerful, free multi-lingual IDE."

As for what's next with PTVS, Steve says, "we try and be responsive to the needs of our users, and we are an open-source project that accepts contributions, so there’s always a chance that the next amazing feature won’t even come from our team. We've also recently joined forces with the Azure Machine Learning team and are looking forward to adding more data science tooling as well.

"We want new and experienced developers alike to have the best tools, the best libraries, the best debugging and the best services without having to give up Linux support, Visual Studio, CPython, git, or whatever tools they’ve already integrated into their workflow."

When it comes to PyCon, they see it as "a learning opportunity for Microsoft, as well as a chance for us to show off some of the work we’ve been doing." "For those of us at Microsoft who always knew how great the Python community is, it’s also been great to bring our colleagues and show them.

"We love that PyCon is about building and diversifying the community, and not about sales, marketing and business deals," says Steve. If you head to their booth in the expo hall, you'll find out first hand that they're there to talk about code and building great things. They're looking forward to showing off some great new demos and have exciting new things to talk about.

The PyCon organizers thank Microsoft for another year of sponsorship and look forward to another great conference!

Fourth annual 5K Fun Run benefitting Autism Speaks

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
We're really happy to be holding our fourth annual 5K Charity Fun Run on Saturday April 11 at 7 AM, before day two of PyCon kicks off. The event was introduced in Santa Clara and has been fun for everyone involved and each year has raised money for a bunch of great causes. This year's proceeds benefit Autism Speaks Canada!

Everyone is invited to come out and join us on the course which snakes along the Port of Montreál just a short walk from the conference center and hotels. Whether you're a runner, walker, or someone who just wants to come out and support Autism Speaks, registration is available at Eventbrite for $20.


For more information about Autism Speaks Canada, see http://www.autismspeaks.ca/.
At Autism Speaks Canada, our mission is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.

We are dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.

More Sponsor Workshops announced!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
As we previously wrote, signup for our free Sponsor Workshops is open and the schedule has now been completed! While registration isn't required, it helps us plan for room sizes and for drinks and snacks, so head to Eventbrite and choose as many as you want!

Wednesday morning gets under way at 9 AM with a team from Elastic taking attendees through the popular Elasticsearch distributed search engine. Honza Král will introduce the various Python clients for working with Elasticsearch, and will be joined by Logstash developer Pier-Hughes and Peter from their solutions engineering team. The full description is available at https://us.pycon.org/2015/schedule/presentation/475/.

The 3:30 PM Wednesday slot features Mark Lavin, Caleb Smith, and David Ray of Caktus Group taking the stage to share their knowledge of RapidSMS and Django. We previously wrote about how they've used SMS while building a voter registration system in Libya, so come see first hand how they do it. The talk is beginner friendly so bring a laptop to check out the code and follow along.

The last slot on Thursday, running from 3:30 to 5:00, will be a trio of talks from Google. Brian Dorsey will be on hand to show how Kubernetes can scale up your usage of Docker, complete with a live demo (he gives great demos btw). The second talk will be on CoLaboratory by Jeff Snyder, covering the project, its integration with Google Drive, and further integrations with IPython and now the Jupyter project. Finally, Alex Perry will cover the use of Python decorators within monitoring pipelines to deliver positive value with minimal impact.

Be sure to sign up today!
 

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