Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Python Education Summit — in its 5th year in 2017!

Teachers, educators, Pythonistas, come and share your projects, experiences, and tools of the trade as you teach coding and Python to your students. The “Call for Talks” to speak at the Annual Python Education Summit, which is held in conjunction with PyCon, is open until January 3rd. We want to hear from you!

Go here for more details: https://us.pycon.org/2017/speaking/education-summit/

We are looking for ideas and experiences and best practices: how teachers and Python programmers have implemented Python instruction in their schools, communities, and other places of learning.

  • Have you implemented a program that you’ve been dying to talk about?
  • Have you tried something that failed, but learned some great lessons that you can share?
  • Have you been successful implementing a particular program?

Then we urge you to submit a talk! You do not need to be an experienced speaker. We want you to share knowledge; we want to learn from your experiences.

This year, talks that focus on the challenges and triumphs of implementing code education are especially encouraged.

About the Python Education Summit

The Education Summit was started by Naomi Ceder in 2013: https://us.pycon.org/2013/events/edusummit/

The goal of the Summit was to form a coalition of teachers and educators from various walks of life who believe in teaching programming and using Python as a tool to do so. Since then, the Education Summit has become an integral part of PyCon, and 2017 will be its 5th year!

The structure of Education Summit has changed since its inception. In 2013 the Summit was by invitation only — it consisted of three discussion panels focusing on curriculum, teaching and engagement. Following lunch, the Summit transformed into a workshop where attendees could mingle and discuss topics from the morning sessions.

But from 2014 onwards the Education Summit became a whole-day event, with both morning and afternoon talks. The proposals for these were invited via a CFP. Some topics that were presented were on Teaching Data Science with Python, FOSSBox, et cetera.

You can check out the list of talks presented at Pycon 2015. Some that stood out to me were an uplifting talk about Women in Peru and how the outreach activity there is encouraging young women to take Python. Another one was how to use Trinket to create games! There is a recent article on Eliot Hauser who presented this talk, and how his product is now benefiting K-12 students and being used in schools.

In 2016, the talk list grew even further! There were two tracks, and the talks were recorded. A variety of talks were presented. This led to some great discussions, friendships, and engagements that went beyond PyCon. An excellent keynote on the Python Education Working Group and the micro:bit was presented by Nicolas Tollervey. This gave us insight on Python and Education activities in the United Kingdom. We learnt how one can attract younger minds to coding through games, with a talk on Pygame Zero and Minecraft. Teachers gave us excellent insight into their Python curricula and methods of teaching. The unconference sessions that followed further fueled the discussions and filled us all with renewed vigor and motivation to do something and make a difference!

Personally, I am full of gratitude to the Python Community and the Python Education Summit. My participation and learning has led to fruition and I was able to launch PyKids in the Summer of 2016 with the goal of teaching Python to grade schoolers. I have had much success — 7 after-school sessions this Fall with 5th graders, and a promise of new students in early 2017!

We hope to see you at the Education Summit this year. Hurry! January 3rd is the Talk Submission deadline — so pen down your thoughts and ideas and send them to us now.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Talk, Poster, Education Summit proposals due January 3rd — but feel free to submit them now!

With the holidays nearly here, this is the moment to ask yourself: are you really — when you return groggily to work on Tuesday January 3rd following the “New Year’s (Observed)” holiday on Monday — going to remember to write and submit your Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals for PyCon 2017?

Waiting until the last minute is very tempting. After all, the whole reason that we worked with the Talk and Poster committees to move the deadline as close to PyCon as we dared was to let you submit as current and as up-to-date a proposal as possible.

But — are you sure that you want to risk starting your first work day of the New Year (if your schedule even puts you back at work by the 3rd!) with a conference deadline looming only hours later?

I myself am adopting a safer approach this year: I will be going ahead and submitting all of my proposals this week, ahead of the holidays. Then, if I do remember the deadline, I can always log into the PyCon web site on January 3rd and use the “Edit” button to make all of the last-minute revisions that I want. But if I forget? Then at least an early version of each proposal will be in the system and can be considered by the Program Committee!

As was true last year, our schedule is designed to allow Financial Assistance submissions to include any Talk, Tutorial, Poster, or Education Summit proposals that you get accepted:

  • January 3 — Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals due, as long as it is January 3rd Anywhere on Earth (AoE).
  • February 1–12 — Talks, Tutorials, Posters, and Education Summit schedules announced.
  • February 15 — Financial Assistance applications due.
  • March 3 — Financial Assistance grants awarded.
  • March 30 — Your deadline to respond to offer of Financial Assistance.

One final note: more than 90% of our Early Bird tickets are now gone, with only a few dozen remaining. If you have hoped to purchase your Student, Individual, or Corporate ticket at our discounted rate, then your time is almost up — register as soon as you can, and we look forward to seeing you in Portland in May 2017!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The new, simpler Tutorial proposal form closes tomorrow!

This is the time of year when the upcoming PyCon really starts to feel closer, with the close of our earliest CFP (Call for Proposals) tomorrow on November 30. This is the first of several milestones for the conference that start arriving more and more frequently through the late autumn and winter. Each milestone ratchets PyCon one step closer to its arrival.

Our earliest CFP is for our Tutorials, which closes tomorrow — at the end of the day on November 30 anywhere on Earth. So if it is still November 30 in your time zone, then the CFP will not yet be closed!

IMG_0794.jpg

What are the main features of Tutorials?

  • Tutorials are 3-hour-long courses that pack the first two days of the PyCon conference schedule.
  • Students register ahead of time and pay separately for each 3-hour tutorial they attend.
  • We end the Tutorials CFP a full month earlier than for Talks and Posters, so the tutorials committee has extra time to fully vet each proposal and to generate a solid line-up of valuable topics that will repay the students’ investment to attend them.
  • In return for providing this value to the conference, we compensate each instructor. The amount can vary each year depending on the conference budget, but in 2016 we were able to reward them each with $1,500 for the instruction they provided our attendees.
  • You can learn more at our Proposing a Tutorial page, which includes links to long lists of topics in case you need inspiration!

If you proposed a tutorial last year, you will be happy to learn that we have streamlined the form to only four fields beyond the title itself:

  1. The Description is the public advertisement for your Tutorial and will be visible on the PyCon web site — replacing what used to be separate Description and Abstract fields. The other fields below are private and shared only with the committee.
  2. The Audience field lets you write a free-form description of who you think will be interested in and benefit from your tutorial. It replaces the old Audience, Category, and Perceived Value fields.
  3. The most detailed information, as before, belongs in the Outline that you write up for the committee.
  4. Finally, the Additional notes let you describe your previous experience as an instructor and mention any special setup or materials that your tutorial will require. It replaces the old fields Additional Notes, Additional Requirements, More Info, and Handout.

Hopefully the new form means that you spend less time puzzling over what the difference between a Description and an Abstract is, and more time focusing on your ideas about your course!

Does teaching at PyCon interest you? There is only one day left to submit your proposal! Head on over to the Proposing a Tutorial page and get your idea submitted before the end of the day on November 30 anywhere on Earth.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Tutorial proposals are due in three weeks

The PyCon 2017 call for proposals (CFP) first opened about a month ago, and the team who will be bringing the conference to Portland have been excited to watch the first wave of submissions roll in. Exciting topics from across the PyCon community have already been proposed for our talks, tutorials, and poster schedules.

But we know that many of you are brimming with ideas that you have not yet submitted, so we wanted to remind you of this year’s deadlines:

  • Talk proposals will be due on 2017 January 3.
  • Poster proposals will be due on 2017 January 3.
  • Tutorial proposals are due on 2017 November 30.

Yes, that’s right — tutorial proposals are due in three weeks!

Last year we explained the one-month difference between the talk and tutorial deadlines in a detailed blog post that we invite you to review this year if you want to understand why the Tutorial review process takes more time for its committee. Entrusted with the one PyCon schedule for which attendees pay an individual fee per course, the Tutorial Committee takes extra time to make sure that courses are going to live up to the conference’s high reputation. As the Tutorials Chair, Ruben Orduz, reminded us last year:

“It’s a very time-consuming process, but it helps in selecting the best lineup while making sure every tutorial that had potential was given a fair chance. Compressing the timeline would mean only selecting from the top well-known proposers and forgetting the rest. That would be against our philosophy of giving chances to new instructors and increasing diversity.”

So we hope those of you with dreams of offering a tutorial will find the time within the next two weeks to get your proposal written up and submitted. Just visit our “Proposing a Tutorial” page for a guide to writing up your idea and getting it submitted — before November 30, when our Tutorials CFP will close once it is midnight and the day is over in every time zone. Good luck!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Registration is open for PyCon 2017!

This year our conference registrar is happy to offer a sleek and more modern interface for registering and getting your hotel room for PyCon 2017 in Portland, Oregon! There were a few technical kinks involved so we took the process slowly. We started with a soft launch to iron out any problems, and are now ready for everyone to sign up!

PyCon has now sold out 5 years running, and we expect it to sell out again this year. Portland proved to be a wonderful venue for the conference, and we look forward to our upcoming return there for a second and final year. Remember that the first 800 tickets sold receive our Early Bird discount, and that they are likely to sell fast.

We have also opened our Financial Assistance application. It stays open until 15 February — so speakers will have time to apply after we announce the program schedule — but please feel free to go ahead and sign up now if you know that attending PyCon will present you with financial difficulty.

Here are the links:

Registration Information
Registration Form
Financial Assistance

PyCon 2017 is more than a week of events! Two days of tutorials offer classroom-style instruction, the three main weekend conference days are packed with talks and open spaces and events, and then the conference finishes with four full days of sprints where volunteers work together on open source projects. More than 3,000 fans and contributors to Python are expected to attend!

Both breakfast and lunch are included in the price of registration, along with refreshments and coffee breaks.

Note that tutorials are not covered in the price of a normal registration. Instead, each 3-hour tutorial class costs $150, and you can attend up to four classes if you book both a morning and an afternoon class during the two tutorial days. We will open tutorial sign-ups once the tutorial schedule is announced next year!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

The PyCon 2017 site has launched — thank you to our Launch Day Sponsors

The new PyCon 2017 web site recently went live, and the conference volunteers have worked hard bring the new site up-to-date with all of the essential details about 2017’s schedule, venue, and hotels. We are very happy with the new logo and banner that Beatrix Bodó crafted to help the conference celebrate its second and final year in beautiful Portland, Oregon!

With the release of the site we have also opened up the proposal forms for Talks, Tutorials, Posters, and Education Summit presentations. Visit our “Speak at PyCon” page to read the details of our Call For Proposals (CFP) and to learn about becoming part of the 2017 conference schedule.

Our launch-day sponsors this year — the organizations who have gone ahead and pledged to support and attend PyCon 2017, helping keep the conference affordable for as wide a range of attendees as possible — are from a broad array of fields that illustrate just how widely Python is used in today’s world.

Two of our Launch Day sponsors this year are supporting the conference at the Platinum level:

  • Platinum sponsor Microsoft “is proud to support the Python community through sponsored development of Python Tools for Visual Studio, Jupyter, CPython, Azure Machine Learning and organizations such as the PSF and NumFocus.” Millions of programmers around the world find themselves with support for Python already sitting on their desktop because their team or workplace uses Visual Studio.
  • Platinum sponsor Anaconda from Contiuum Analytics “is the leading Open Data Science platform powered by Python.” Any of you who, like me, now use Anaconda as your go-to method for installing Python — and all the best data science libraries — will appreciate how crucial the tool has become to our community’s ability to get new users up and running quickly.

Our launch-day Gold sponsors range from large Fortune 100 companies to small consultancies providing boutique consulting and programming:

  • Wingware — An IDE designed specifically for Python.
  • Stormpath — An identity management API for software teams.
  • Sentry — Real-time error tracking for your web apps, mobile apps, and games.
  • Nylas — A new platform for email-powered apps.
  • Lincoln Loop — A full-service software development agency specializing in Python and Django.
  • Leadpages — Helps businesses grow by collecting more leads and driving more sales.
  • Fusionbox — A custom software development agency specializing in Python/Django, ETL, and application security.
  • Demonware — The online services behind some of the world’s most popular game franchises.
  • Capital One — A Fortune 100 Company with the levels of innovation and agility that you’d typically find at a start-up.
  • Caktus Group — Django web application development done right.
  • American Greetings — A leading creator and manufacturer of innovative social expression products.

And, finally, we have already signed our first Silver sponsor!

  • O'Reilly — The media company that first put open source on the map for many programmers, providing shelves of books and references to help orient them to a world of operating systems and tools that they had not known existed.

For more details about each sponsor, see the detailed sponsor descriptions on our Sponsors Page and follow the links to their web sites. We look forward to seeing every one of these sponsors in the Expo Hall on Friday and Saturday of the main conference!

Subscribe to our blog here for regular updates as the conference approaches. To get you started, here are the most important dates for the conference through the rest of the year and up to PyCon itself:

2016

  • October 3 — Call For Proposals (CFP) for Talks, Tutorials, Posters, and the Education Summit
  • October 14 — Financial Assistance application opens
  • October 17 — Registration opens
  • November 30Tutorial proposals due

2017

  • January 3Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals due
  • February 1–12 — Talks, Tutorials, Posters, and Education Summit schedules announced
  • February 15Financial Assistance applications due
  • March 3 — Financial Assistance grants awarded
  • March 30 — Deadline to respond to Financial Assistance offer

In Portland, Oregon

  • May 17–18 — Two days of Tutorials
  • May 19–21 — Three main conference days including Talks, Expo Hall, Job Fair, and Posters
  • May 22–25 — Four days of Sprints

Saturday, June 11, 2016

PyCon JP 2016 Call for Proposals

PyCon JP is a conference where Python users, or people interested in Python, gather to learn from each other and meet other members of the community.
We will hold PyCon Japan on September 20-24 this year in Tokyo and are looking for talk proposals.
We are pleased to invite the Pythonista to submit your proposal to PyCon JP 2016.

Important Dates for Proposal Submissions
  • Submission deadline: 2016 June 13(Mon)
  • Author notification: 2016 June late
Proposal Submission process
  1. Register an account at the site of PyCon JP 2016
  2. Register the speaker profile
  3. To submit a new proposal
Click https://pycon.jp/2016/en/account/login/ to submit Proposal

Best regards and hope to see you at PyCon JP 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to get ready for the PyCon development sprints

[A guest post by Kushal Das, one of the 2016 Sprint Coordinators]

So — you have already decided to join in the PyCon development sprints! The sprints run for four days, from Thursday to Sunday after the conference. You do not have to be registered for the conference to attend the sprints! Some teams plan to write code over all four days, while some projects plan a shorter sprint if the organizers cannot stay for all four days.

Can you start getting prepared for the sprint ahead of time? Yes!

There are several things you can do ahead of time, that can save effort once you arrive at the sprints — and some preparations can even be made at home, before you arrive at PyCon:

  • Have your operating system updated and patched — whether Mac, Windows, or Linux. This eliminates one possible source of problems with getting software up and running.
  • Go ahead and install the version control system that will be used by the projects you are interested in. If you install both git and Mercurial on your computer, you will be ready to help with almost any project at the sprints.
  • If you might be sprinting with a project whose code is written in C, you should have the default compiler for your platform installed. This will usually be make and gcc in Linux, and the Xcode tools on the Mac. You will have the chance to learn more about these at the Intro to Sprints session.
  • Browse ahead of time our list of projects that will be sprinting. If there are projects that especially interest you, try checking out their latest source code to your laptop and attempt to build the project and run its tests successfully. If you run into snags, see whether the project has a project mailing list or IRC channel where you could ask questions. Or you could wait and ask for help from the project leads in person once you arrive on-site at the sprint itself, where they can iterate more quickly on the error you are facing. I took this approach myself in 2013 while attending my first-ever PyCon development sprint! For the CPython project, you can consult https://docs.python.org/devguide/ for the steps on how to build it.
  • Not every project that will be sprinting is listed yet on our projects page. The official list of sprinting projects is presented in a quick presentation a few minutes after the final PyCon keynote ends and the conference ends. Each project lead will come to the stage and introduce their project in around 30–45 seconds. Here is the long queue of project leads waiting to present at 2013:

The long queue of sprinters

  • If you are yourself a project lead or developer for an open source project, feel free to add your project to our list if you are prepared to come lead a sprint. Be sure that you are ready with a checkout of the latest source code, and a list of features and bugs on which both beginners and experienced programmers can work.

  • Remember to use the rule of two feet: if you are not enjoying a particular project, feel free to go visit all of the other rooms and tables and projects. Work on whichever projects you like. No one will feel bad if you leave one table and join another one.

We will be presenting an “Introduction to Sprints” workshop starting at 4:30pm on June 1st in the Oregon Ballroom 201–202. If there are spaces left, you can pre-register yourself for the session on EventBrite:

Intro to Sprints event sign-up page on EventBrite

Finally, remember to enjoy your time at PyCon. This is the time of the year when we all can meet, discuss new ideas, showcase our work, and make new friends.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Childcare spots are still available for PyCon 2016!

A venue as exciting as the city of Montréal in 2014–15 and now Portland in 2016–17 often tempts attendees with children to want to go ahead and bring them along, turning what could have been simply a business trip into a full family vacation to a new city. Other attendees are in circumstances that make it impossible to leave their children at home, threatening to rule out PyCon entirely unless children can be accommodated.

For both of these reasons, PyCon is proud to be offering childcare again for Portland 2016 — our third year of being able to offer this service to parents who are attending the conference.

And we are especially grateful to our 2016 Childcare Sponsors: Facebook and Instagram!

Without the generous support of these Childcare Sponsors, parents would be facing a bill four times greater than the $50 per child per day that we are able to offer this year. By providing this generous subsidy, Facebook and Instagram are working to make the conference possible for parents who might otherwise have been not able to consider it.

Visit our Childcare page to learn more:

https://us.pycon.org/2016/childcare/

Several spots are still open — so if childcare could make your PyCon visit even better, there is still time to sign up!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Announcing the Startup Row 2016 Companies

[A guest post by Startup Row coordinator Yannick Gingras:]

What in the world could be more exciting than fantastic startups using Python to help change the world? The answer, simply put, is nothing.

Come visit the Startup Row in PyCon 2016’s Expo Hall to see some of the best young companies pitch their startup ideas, and to learn how they are using Python to make an impact.  These are the best Python startups in North America, many of whom had to win a previous pitch competition in their home market to make it to Startup Row.  It’s this next generation of Python startups who will continue to build up our community, so let’s show them the support they deserve.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for — drumroll, please —

Announcing the 2016 Startup Row Selections for PyCon:
  • UtilityAPI — An energy data infrastructure company that specializes in facilitating communication between utilities, account holders, and third parties.
  • Metabrite — Provides consumer and behavioral insights for the consumer packaged goods industry.
  • ReUP — An online marketplace for the wholesale distribution of regulated cannabis products.
  • Validate Health — an actuarial risk analytics platform that helps hospitals and other medical providers to identify and manage patient financial risk.
  • Bauxy — Administers a patient’s health insurance and financial accounts to help reconcile healthcare transactions at the point of service.
  • CodeUpstart — Lets anyone learn how to code by cloning real life startups like Kickstarter, Instagram, Medium and more from zero to launch.
  • Deako — Beautiful, connected light switches that allow you to control any light in your home from any light switch or your phone at one fifth the cost of comparable systems.
  • LadyMarry — A Virtual Wedding Planner who helps couples customize schedules, recommend vendors and coordinate all details. LadyMarry is powered by big data.
  • Script Speaker — A cloud-based service for rendering film scripts from text to audio files.
  • Textio — Shows you how your job listings and candidate emails will perform before you’ve even posted them.
To add this this impressive lineup, there is one company yet to be named.  As the Startup Row tour makes its final stop in Montréal on May 10th, the best of the companies to present that evening will also be part of the Expo Hall at PyCon 2016.

Finally, we would like to recognize all of the entrepreneurs who submitted their application to be part of Startup Row. This has been one of the strongest applicant pools we've seen yet. We wish every company the best of luck!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Introducing our 2016 Keystone Sponsor: Heroku!

We organizers of PyCon 2016 are grateful that, amidst a roiling stock market and uncertain economy, so many sponsors have stepped forward to assert that their relationship with the Python community is worth investing in. And we are particularly happy to announce that our highest level of sponsorship has been filled.

That’s right — a Keystone sponsor has stepped forward: Heroku is our Keystone sponsor for PyCon 2016!

If you have attended a recent PyCon, you might remember visiting Heroku’s elegant booth in the Expo Hall. And many more of you in the community have used Heroku before to deploy web projects large and small — in their own words:

“Heroku is a cloud platform that lets you build, deploy, manage and scale apps. We’re the fastest way from git push to a live app, because we let you bypass infrastructure and deployment headaches. You just focus on your code, and we make the rest easy.”

Speaking from personal experience, when I helped build a Django app for a non-profit: it is dismaying to explain to a small organization how much work is traditionally involved in self-deploying a new app. An organization would rent or purchase a server, monitor its logs, keep it patched and updated, install the app and Django and the other Python dependencies, install PostgreSQL, give the app access to the database, and establish backups that they then have to monitor and archive.

All of that disappeared when I pointed the organization at Heroku. Their app now serves users every day, without their staff having had to spend even a moment worrying whether their PostgreSQL write-ahead log is working properly, whether a critical operating system patch is overdue, or whether the database is being backed up.

I asked the folks at Heroku why PyCon is on their list of conferences each year:

“We know that building the best platform for Python developers is easier when we can talk to them and find out what’s happening on the ground. So, we’re thrilled to be participating again — so thrilled that we’re the Keystone sponsor of PyCon 2016. We can’t wait to explore Portland with you all, and build some really wonderful apps and memories along the way.”

And how did Python itself get on their radar in the first place? Has the language been a successful choice of target for their platform?

“Python is simple and elegant — which is exactly what your deploys on Heroku feel like. We’ve been seeing amazing growth in Python on Heroku, and that’s why we have folks on our team like Kenneth Reitz, who can advocate for the needs and interests of the community. He makes sure that Pythonistas are happy with the Heroku experience.”

The Kenneth Reitz they mention is, as you probably know, the famous author of the Requests library. When not working on his open source projects, he has spent the last several years crafting Heroku’s support for hosting Python-language applications.

We look forward to seeing Heroku in the Expo Hall at PyCon 2016, and are excited that they have stepped forward this year to take on the responsibility of the Keystone sponsorship. Thank you, Heroku!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Open Spaces — plan a day ahead this year at PyCon 2016!

What’s so awesome about PyCon’s Open Spaces?

Open Spaces are spontaneous, grassroots, and attendee focused. While most of the conference is scheduled months ahead of time, Open Spaces are created on-site by the participants themselves! They offer groups the ability to self-gather, self-define, and self-organize in a way that often doesn’t happen anywhere else at PyCon.

Open Spaces are little one-hour meetups during the three main conference days, held in free meeting rooms that PyCon provides at the convention center. Some people reserve spaces to talk about a favorite technology, whether web frameworks, neural nets, or natural language processing. Academics and scientists plan spaces around topics like astronomy, data science, and weather forecasting. Other attendees schedule actual activities during open spaces like yoga, nail painting, and board games!

Any topic that two or more attendees are interested in, or an activity that more than two people would like to do, is a great candidate for an open space. You can find a list of sample ideas a few pages down in the Open Spaces guide on our web site:

https://us.pycon.org/2016/events/open-spaces/

If you have additional ideas, please email us at pycon-openspaces@python.org and we can add them to the list.

For 2016, an extra day to plan each Open Space!

This year we are doing things a little differently. Instead of the sign-up board for each conference day only making its first appearance that morning, we are going to go ahead and make each day’s board available the previous day as well. This means that each day will feature two sign-up boards, which will be placed closed to the registration area: one for the current day, and one for the following day.

This will give Open Space hosts and their attendees the ability to plan further ahead. Hosts will be able to reserve a slot one day in advance — creating a longer window for them to advertise the space and let other interested attendees know. And attendees will be able to go ahead and start planning which Open Spaces they want to attend the next day.

In fact, the very first Open Spaces board will be up on Sunday evening during the Opening Reception, the evening before the main conference even starts! This will give hosts a chance to go ahead and reserve a slot for the first day of the conference while it is still the night before.

Promote Your Open Space

We are introducing the hashtag #PyConOpenSpace this year. We encourage you to use it as you promote your Open Space and let people know about it. It’s also a great idea to add your Twitter handle to the card that you pin on the Open Space schedule board, in case anyone interested in attending your open space has a question or wants to contact you about it.

If you’re unsure about whether people like your open space idea or whether they would attend, we encourage you to use the new Twitter polls function and mark your tweet with the hashtag #PyConOpenSpace so those interested in Open Spaces can vote on topic ideas.

The committee is looking forward to all of the great Open Spaces that are awaiting us at PyCon US 2016!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sign up now to volunteer at PyCon 2016!

While commercial programming languages often enjoy large and spectacular conferences from their beginning — think of the elaborate JavaOne conference, staged barely a year after Java’s first release — languages without corporate backing tend to accrete their community more slowly and organically. The first conference often takes place without dozens of paid staff to dash back and forth behind the scenes and make sure that the event happens.

Instead, that first event is possible because of volunteers.

PyCon is proud to be part of the long tradition of events that take place because the attendees themselves care and are willing to put forward hours of volunteer work to ensure that new arrivals are greeted at the registration desk, that speakers are guided to and from their session rooms, and — yes — that swag bags are all properly stuffed.

If you are already registered to attend PyCon and are interested in serving as part of the team that makes the conference happen in 2016, simply visit our “Volunteering On-Site” page to learn about the ways you can contribute:

https://us.pycon.org/2016/about/volunteers/

The roles listed there include:

  • Session staff who run the talks.
  • Registration staff who help people at the front desk.
  • Swag volunteers who hand out the conference bags.
  • Volunteers for lunch, tutorials, and Young Coders.
  • And volunteers for the famous Swag Bag Stuffing event the afternoon before the conference starts, when the materials provided by our sponsors get carefully distributed amongst the bags that will be handed out to our attendees.

When volunteers pitch in, even a conference like PyCon with three thousand attendees is able to function smoothly. If you have ever wanted a way to give back to the Python community then take a look at the volunteering page, balance the commitment of each position against your own need to have free hours to experience the conference for yourself, and — if you see a role that interests you — sign up!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Registration is open for our Young Coders tutorial!

PyCon is excited to once again offer a free full-day tutorial for kids! We invite children 12 and up to join us for a day of learning how to program using Python. The class is running twice, on each of the two final sprint days:

  • Option 1. Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Option 2. Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

The sign-up page is here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pycon-2016-young-coders-tickets-24319019843

The Young Coders tutorial was first offered at PyCon 2013 in Santa Clara. It was an immediate hit, and has been an important part of every PyCon since — including a French edition for the two years that PyCon was held in Montréal! Whether you and your family are local to Portland, or you are traveling to PyCon and bringing your family along, this class is a great way expose kids to programming.

The Young Coders workshop explores Python programming by making games. It starts with learning Python's simple data types, including numbers, letters, strings, and lists. Next come comparisons, ‘if’ statements, and loops. Finally, all of the new knowledge is combined by creating a game using the PyGame library.

Registration is limited — sign up soon if you know kids who will be interested!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

PyCon’s Sponsor Workshops

Now that PyCon 2016 is sold out, we want to highlight the events that you can still sign up for — events that take place outside of the three main conference days, and which are not yet at capacity:

The two Tutorial Days are a familiar and longstanding feature of the PyCon conference. Coding sprints are not only familiar, but were invented by the Python community!

But you might be less familiar with our Sponsor Workshops!

Workshops let a sponsor communicate with attendees on a deeper and more sustained level than is usually possible. While sponsors do tell their story and share what they are doing with Python through conversations at their Expo Hall booth, Job Fair table, and even through chance encounters in hallways and at lunch, those conversations are usually short. A workshop, by contrast, provides either a 1½ hour or a 3 hour session for attendees to receive a more thorough understanding of how a sponsor is using and advancing a technology.

In brief:

  1. Sponsor Workshops are free for attendees.
  2. They run on the two Tutorial Days before the main conference.
  3. They are offered by top-notch companies — this year: Caktus, Dropbox, Google, IBM, OpenShift, OpenStack, and Rackspace.
  4. You can sign up on our Edit Registration page.
  5. See the full list of Workshops here!

Workshops are an especially attractive option if you are arriving in Portland early and want to go ahead and start experiencing PyCon — or if you have already signed up for a few Tutorials, and are looking for something else to fill out your schedule.

We hope that you will find Workshops a useful way to connect with some of the companies who are bringing Python to bear on interesting problems, and increase your own skill set as well!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Startup Row: UtilityAPI won the SF Python pitch event

A post by Don Sheu, one of our Startup Row Coordinators

PyCon 2016’s Startup Row got our campaign on the road on March 9th in San Francisco, meeting with the local SF Python user group at Yelp headquarters. Six early-stage companies that use Python gave their pitches, competing for an opportunity to exhibit in the PyCon Expo Hall on Startup Row. The roster of candidate startups included Alpaca, Bauxy, Beansprock, Opsulutely, Watt Time, and UtilityAPI.

UtilityAPI won! They convinced the judges that its services for the new energy economy held the most promise, edging out their high quality competitors. Founded by Daniel Roesler and Elena Lucas, UtilityAPI provides easy access to usage data for customers like PG&E, ConEdison, and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

An outstanding panel of judges selected our winner. On the panel were several entrepreneurs with successful exits like Bethanye McKinney Blount, Bebe Chueh, and Leah Culver. Kat Manalac, a partner with Y Combinator, joined the panel, as did currently active founders: Startup Row alumna Christine Spang founder of Nylas, and Jessica Scorpio founder of Getaround.

Our judging panel! From left to right::


Tonight, March 21st, Startup Row continues its road trip with a visit to Seattle. The local Puget Sound Programming Python meetup and Techstars will meet at Startup Hall on the UW campus, Seattle, to select Seattle’s representative to PyCon in Portland. If you’re going to be in Seattle this evening, you can join and be part of the audience!

Photo credit: Jeremy Smith, Startup Row's California Director

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Only a few sponsor booths are left

We are nearly out of booths! While PyCon does continue to accept new sponsors once we run out of Expo Hall booths, and those final sponsors enjoy almost every benefit of their sponsorship level, they are placed on a waiting list for a booth and can miss out on one of the most exciting ways to connect with attendees at PyCon.

If you haven’t yet applied to sponsor PyCon 2016 because you have been eyeing the larger sponsorship levels — Platinum, Diamond, and Keystone — but have not yet reached a decision, then this year presents a special opportunity. With the markets uncertain and PyCon sponsorship down at every level, we have run out of Silver and Gold booths before running out of premium ones! Here is what remains in our inventory:

You can snag one of these last booths by filling out our Sponsorship Form or can learn more details by reading our Sponsorship Prospectus.

If instead of staffing an Expo Hall booth you are interested in more unique ways of supporting the conference, check out the À La Carte section of our Sponsorship prospectus. One need in particular stands out:

PyCon talks featured live CART for the first time last year, and we received a positive response from our attendees for making the talks more accessible. As a recent and high-profile addition to the conference, captioning lets a sponsor put their name specifically behind the idea that PyCon should continue to expand the range of attendees for which the conference provides explicit support.

Whether you are able to sponsor PyCon at an extravagant level or a relatively modest one, please know that your sponsorship is important! You sponsors make it possible for the Python community to assemble each year at ticket costs that are a fraction of comparable industry conferences, and make conference attendance and financial aid possible for many who could otherwise not attend. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in Portland!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Call for PyCon Charity Auction Donations

By Jackie Kazil

One of the privileges of becoming a PyCon sponsor is that you have the chance to contribute to one of the most creative events at the conference — the PyCon charity auction!
Contributing an item to the auction is a great way to get your name recognized, to receive a tax deduction, and to support PyLadies, a group of women developers worldwide who love the Python programming language.
Auction details:

  • Benefits PyLadies
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 6:30 to 9:00 pm
  • Room F149–F152 in the Oregon Convention Center

Thanks to the combined generosity of our sponsors and the audience, last year’s auction raised more than $12,000! Unique items are a way to for attendees to remember you. For example, Disney has donated concept art year after year since the auction was first held. Their donations have had a huge impact, and rank as PyCon’s consistently highest-bid item — the painting illustrated above, for example, was from the early work for Frozen.

Donations can be almost anything, and don’t need to cost a lot of money. Donations that have a Python flare do very well. For example in 2014, a pair of Python cufflinks stole the show!


In 2015, it was a 25 lb., 34,000-calorie gummy snake that went for $700. The purchaser required that the snake was eaten that evening. This year conference sponsor Eventbrite is donating a two-hour lunch with co-founder and CEO, Kevin Hartz.

What will you donate? If your company is sponsoring PyCon or you want to donate items for this charity event, please email us to donate.







Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why not join the sprints this year at PyCon?

A guest post by Naomi Ceder, one of our 2016 Sprint Coordinators.

Sprinting has always been one of the hidden gems of PyCon, a part of every PyCon from the beginning, back in 2003. Hundreds of programmers stay one or more extra days after the conference to collaborate on open source projects large and small. The people who’ve done it treasure the experience. Not only do the projects that participate benefit from fresh eyes and ideas, but the sprinters usually find that they gain enormous insights into a particular problem or library, into the Python language, and even into coding in general. This year will be no exception, with many established projects sprinting and new projects joining.

Given how cool sprinting is, many of us have been puzzled that more people don’t join the PyCon sprints. Why could that be? Well, we know that everyone has their own reasons behind what they choose to attend, but in case any of the following apply, we wanted clear a few things up.

Reasons you might not be sprinting at Pycon (that totally should not stop you)

  • I’m not experienced enough.

    We’ve got that covered! We understand that not everyone has sprint experience, but we can help you, in several ways:
    • We’ll again be holding an “Intro to Sprinting” workshop on Sunday night before the sprints start. Shauna Gordon-McKeon, with several volunteers from the Python community, will present this session to help bring you up to speed on what to expect while sprinting, how to participate, as well as what projects are particularly newcomer friendly. Once we’re done, groups will organize to go out to dinner, so you can connect with your fellow first time sprinters and some people from the sprints. If you’re interested in this workshop, please visit our registration page to let us know.
    • Well identify the sprints that are most newcomer-friendly, and give those sprint leaders whatever support we can to help them better welcome newcomers to their projects.
    • Finally, well have a help table, to give you any last minute directions or help with the sprints you might need, from installing and using common tools to suggestions on how to get the most out sprinting or just talking about how it’s going.
  • I don’t know what I’d sprint on.

    Well, that's understandable — there will be a lot of interesting projects sprinting, so deciding is never easy. However, we have help there, too. In the lead-up to PyCon, many of the sprints will be listed on the PyCon site, so you can check them out in advance. Then, at PyCon one of the last events at the main conference will be a chance for sprint organizers to present their sprints. And, as mentioned above, we’ll identify sprints that are particularly beginner friendly.
  • I don’t know anyone who’s sprinting.

    That may be true (although you’d be surprised). But the cool thing about the sprints is that by lunch time of the first day you will know people sprinting. Project maintainers, people whose talks you’ve seen, people who you’ve only met online. And you’ll be working alongside them. What a great way to connect with some new people in the Python community!
  • I don’t know how to register for the sprints. Isn’t it a hassle?

    That’s why we’re here. You don’t need to change your registration to join the sprints. There’s no additional registration fee, and you even get lunch. You do need to cover the additional lodging and other meals, but that’s it.

    If you want to sprint, the first thing to do would be to make sure you have a place to stay for the extra days. If you’ve booked a room through the PyCon registration system, you'll need to contact the registration team at pycon2016@cteusa.com as soon as possible to request the extra nights. The sprinting itself (along with lunch every day) is free, so your only expenses are your room and other meals.

    Once you have that taken care of (and booked the right flights, of course), the registration form for the Intro to Sprinting tutorial is here. This is also free, so please sign up and join us.

Veteran Sprinters also welcome!


But you already knew that. If you’ve sprinted before the odds are you know how awesome it is. Not to worry, we didn’t forget you! We do want to keep the sprints fresh, and to keep improving them for veterans as well as newcomers. To do that we’ll be making a few additions and tweaks.

So plan to sprint!


You can check out the projects currently planning to sprint at the PyCon Sprints page and if you’re interested in the sprinting workshop just visit the registration form and sign up. And get ready for some serious sprinting at PyCon!


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

2016 Python Education Summit

by Chalmer Lowe

We are pleased to announce the speakers/talks for the 2016 Python Education Summit. Held during PyCon on Sunday May 29th, 2016, the summit is a 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.

Talk Schedule

Please take a look at the full list of talks. If you are interested in joining us please visit our registration page. We hope to see you there!

Note:  All Scheduled Speakers are eligible for Early Bird pricing for attendance at PyCon!

Lightning Talks

In addition to the scheduled talks, we will have a round of Lightning Talks. Sign-ups for the lightning talk session will be on-site.

Unconference Sessions

In the afternoon, we plan on having two Unconference Sessions — the topics for which the attendees will decide on-site! Bring your best ideas for topics to discuss with your fellow educators.

If you have any questions, please contact Chalmer Lowe or Jessica Nickel.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Full schedule is up — and Financial Aid closes tomorrow!

Everything is ready!

With these final three releases, the PyCon 2016 schedule is now complete — thanks to the long hours worked by the program committee chairs and co-chairs and reviewers. The tutorial chairs particularly wish to thank Allen Downey, Carol Willing, Jake Vanderplas, and Harry Percival for their help in selecting this year’s slate of tutorials.

Tutorials are 3-hour classes that take place over the two days before the main conference. They are a great way to dive deep into subjects that PyCon’s talks cannot cover in as much depth. Signing up is easy, whether you have already registered for the main conference or not: visit our registration page, click the big red button, and select the “Tutorials and Sponsor Tutorials” add-on.

Sponsor workshops are offered over the same two days as the paid tutorials, but are free! You do have to register, so we can plan capacity, but signing up incurs no extra cost for your registration. Workshops can be a great way to fill in any gaps between the tutorials you want to attend, by giving you the chance to learn from some of the top vendors used by Python programmers today.

The Poster session is always popular because there is no difficult choice about which poster to attend — you get to see them all! The posters are all displayed together in the Expo Hall on the final morning of the conference. You are free to browse them all, stopping to talk with the presenter when a poster particularly interests you.

Tutorials and workshops fill quickly, so register soon.

Finally, note that Financial Assistance applications are due tomorrow, on March 1st — if you have been wanting to attend PyCon but cannot afford it, now is the time to apply!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Startups will soon be pitching to join 2016’s Startup Row!

PyCon’s Startup Row kicks off our 2016 season with a pitch event March 9th, hosted by SF Python at Yelp! HQ. This continues a tradition started for PyCon Montreal 2014, where Startup Row held pitch events around North America to select participants. A benefit of this approach is to guarantee geographic diversity in our featured startups.

On March 9th, early-stage startups will present at SF Python’s audience of over 200 for a chance to connect with the global Python community at PyCon Portland. Joining on the judging panel are Bebe Chueh Chief Marketing Officer of Legalzoom Local, bethanye McKinney Blount founder of Cathy Labs, Christine Spang founder of Startup Row alumnus Nylas, Jessica Scorpio founder of Getaround, and Kat Manalac partner at Y Combinator.

Startup Row will award the winner selected by our judges with a free booth in the expo hall and two PyCon badges, so that they can join the 11 other early-stage startups on Startup Row in our Expo Hall at the Oregon Convention Center.

If you founded or work at a startup founded in the last two years and currently have less than 15 employees, the organizers of Startup Row want to speak with you.

Apply now to pitch on March 9th for a spot on Startup Row!

Coming up later in the month are events in Seattle on March 21st and Chicago on March 30th. The event in Seattle is in collaboration with Techstars Seattle and will be held in Startup Hall on University of Washington’s campus. Braintree is hosting the Chicago pitch event. Adam Forsyth our supporter at Braintree also hosted a successful event for Startup Row in 2014.

Startups in Seattle and Chicago, apply here to be considered!


Judges for our SF Python Startup Row Event:

  • Bebe Chueh, Chief Marketing Office Legalzoom Local Bebe Chueh cofounded AttorneyFee, acquired by Legalzoom in summer 2014. Currently as Chief Marketing Officer of Legalzoom Local, Bebe prioritizes building value in the product for all stakeholders and profitability of Legalzoom Local both short-term and in the more distant horizon.
  • Bethanye McKinney Blount, Founder Cathy Labs Bethanye McKinney Blount, a Texas native, is a technology leader with over 20 years of experience delivering great products and scalable infrastructure. She was briefly reddit’s first VP of Engineering, after working on some of Facebook’s most complex infrastructure projects.
  • Christine Spang, Founder & CTO Nylas Christine went to MIT, dropped out of an operating systems graduate program to be an early engineer at Ksplice, and most recently cofounded Nylas, a startup building an email platform. Recently Forbes named Christine to its “30 under 30: Enterprise Software” list.
  • Jessica Scorpio, Founder Getaround Jessica Scorpio is a founder and Director of Marketing at Getaround, a peer-to-peer carsharing company. Scorpio previously founded IDEAL, a not-for-profit network for entrepreneurs and young leaders.
  • Kat Manalac, Partner Y Combinator Kat Manalac is a partner at Y Combinator and originally joined as its first Director of Outreach. Kat focuses on finding great entrepreneurs for the program.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Announcing the Keynote Speakers for PyCon 2016

We are excited to announce our keynote speakers for PyCon 2016!
Each speaker will be featured at one of our plenary sessions, of which there are four — a plenary session that opens each of the three main conference days at PyCon, and a final plenary session at the close of the main conference at the end of the third day.
All of the following details are also available on our main conference web site on the Keynotes page, if you want to reference them there:
https://us.pycon.org/2016/events/keynotes/

Parisa Tabriz

Security Princess
Parisa Tabriz has worked on information security for over a decade and as a (self-appointed) “Security Princess” of Google for the last 8+ years. She started as a “hired hacker” software engineer for Google’s security team. As an engineer, she found and closed security holes in many of Google’s products, and taught other engineers how to do the same.
Today, Parisa manages Google’s Chrome security engineering teams, whose goal is to make Chrome the safest way to browse the web, and generally improve security on the Internet. She also is a reserve for the U.S. Digital Service, whose mission is to improve the state of critical government technology.

K Lars Lohn

Hippie Biker at Mozilla
At first, you’d think K Lars Lohn is some character from a biker bar on the bad side of town. However, speaking with him dispels that image in favor of, perhaps, a professor from Hogwarts. Lars is an eccentric, skeptic and heretic.
Lars has had a diverse career spanning 40 years. His early adoption of C++ in the late 80s gained him a formidable reputation as an emergency services programmer. Lars adopted Python in 2002. Lars currently works for Mozilla Corporation where he has been the primary engineer behind the Firefox crash reporting system, Socorro.
Lars lives in a yurt on organic farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Never having understood the word “bored”, Lars hacks hardware, restores old pin ball machines, draws mazes, makes 3D printable designs, plays electronic woodwinds, grows exotic carnivorous plants and rides a noisy Harley.

Lorena Barba

Computational Scientist
Lorena A. Barba is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has MSc and PhD degrees in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology and BSc and PEng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile. Previous to joining GW, she was Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University (2008–2013) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bristol, UK (2004–2008).
Barba is an Amelia Earhart Fellow of the Zonta Foundation (1999), an awardee of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) First Grant scheme (UK, 2007), an NVIDIA Academic Partner award recipient (2011), and a recipient of the National Science Foundation Early CAREER award (2012). She was named CUDA Fellow by NVIDIA in 2012, and is a sought-after speaker about high-performance computing, fast and efficient algorithms, and computational science.

Cris Ewing

Plone Foundation Member
Cris Ewing is a husband and father of two, and an independent developer with nearly 20 years of experience building software. He started in the field of computer music, and since 2001 has worked building web-based applications.
He has been involved with Plone since 2006 and has served on the board of directors of the Plone Foundation. He teaches web development in Python for the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education program and has established the Python program at Code Fellows in Seattle, WA.

Guido van Rossum

Python’s Creator
Guido van Rossum is the author of the Python programming language. He continues to serve as the “Benevolent Dictator For Life” (BDFL), meaning that he continues to oversee the Python development process, making decisions where necessary. He is currently employed by Dropbox.

Van Lindberg

Chair of the Python
Software Foundation
Van Lindberg is Vice President of Intellectual Property at Rackspace. He is trained as a computer engineer and lawyer, but what he does best is “translate” to help businesses, techies and attorneys understand each other. Van likes working with both computer code and legal code. For the past several years, he has been using natural language processing and graph theory to help him digest and map the U.S. Patent Database. Van is currently chairman of the board of the Python Software Foundation, as well as the author of Intellectual Property and Open Source.