Skip to main content

What's so special about the sprints?

Some people love the stuff that goes on before PyCon, and with good reason. The tutorials are probably the best tech training value around, the language summit and education summit (my baby!) are amazing chances to connect with the movers and shakers, and the young coder sessions are exploding with energy and learning. So if you find yourself showing up at PyCon earlier and earlier each year, who could blame you?

But as cool as the pre-conference stuff is, we all know the main conference is even better. So many quality talks that everyone wants to be in at least two places at once the entire time, the keynotes, the lightning talks, the expo hall, the posters, not to mention the open spaces, hallway track, parties, dinners, and lunches. It just goes on and on.

So it's no wonder that by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around everyone is a bit overloaded. People start filtering out, to catch planes, drive home, etc., and by Sunday evening things are definitely much sparser, and on Monday only a relatively small core of PyConistas remain.

And that's a shame because that means that quite a few people miss the third part of PyCon, the sprints.

So what are the sprints? The sprints are the Monday through Thursday after PyCon when people get together to work on coding projects. It could be adding new functionality, fixing bugs, or even porting libraries or applications to Python 3.

I first sprinted in 2009. I didn't know really what it would be like, and as a someone who'd always worked alone, I didn't have a clue about how developers worked on a team. I ended up working on CherryPy with Bob Brewer, and in a day and a half I went from total sprint noob to being the person who started the port of CherryPy to Python 3. I got a great experience working on a project with other people, and learned a ton from discussing the bugs I was hitting with someone who knew more about web apps than I could ever hope to know. In that day and a half I absorbed more practical and lasting knowledge of Python development than I'd gotten from the talks and tutorials combined. And that's saying a lot.

That's what makes the sprints so great - after almost a week of learning about Python, talking about Python, hearing about Python, trading jokes about Python, even (in my case) dreaming about Python, the sprints are a chance to sit down and actually code in Python. And not just code in Python, but do it sitting next to the creators, maintainers, and developers of the language, packages, and applications that we use every day. How cool is that?

Even better, you don't have to be a top developer to sprint. Most projects have a range of issues, bugs, and projects in play, and if you're willing to dive in and work at it, it's pretty likely that you'll come away amazed by what you learned and what you helped accomplish.

And while the rest of PyCon is arguably one of the best deals in the tech conference universe, the sprints are an even better deal - all they'll cost you is the cost of your hotel and few meals (PyCon will spring for one meal a day).

And do keep in mind that the sprints are totally open as to how long you stay. If you can only make if for a day, that's cool. Or you can stay for two or three days, or even be one of the diehards and sprint for the whole four days. It's all good.

If you're curious as to what projects will be sprinting, and want to keep up with sprint news in general (hint: we're hoping to add and tweak a feature or two) keep an eye on the sprint page - it's pretty quiet now, but it will getting more lively as we approach the conference dates.

If you decide to join us, It's dead easy to add a night or two to your hotel and indicate your interest when you register. And if you've already registered, all you need to do is contact the nice people at pycon8-reg@cteusa.com and ask them to add a few days to your stay.

For all you seasoned sprinters, we're collecting top sprint memories and stories to share in a future post. If you've got a treasured memory or story that shows just how cool the sprints are, please send them my way to naomi.ceder AT gmail.com.

So I hope you'll be joining us for the sprints. I'm pretty sure you'll find it an awesome way to finish up what's already an amazing conference experience.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Registration is Now Open!

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of registration for PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio! The prior six PyCons have sold out, so prepare for another one and get your tickets early. The first 800 tickets sold are priced at an early bird discount, saving over 20% on corporate tickets and over 12% on individual tickets. Students save $25 if they purchase early!

To get started, create an account and head to https://us.pycon.org/2018/registration/ to get your tickets!

You get a package that is hard to beat when you register for PyCon. The conference itself is three days worth of our community’s 95 best talks, amazing keynote speakers each morning, and our famed lightning talks to close out each day, but it’s much more than that. It’s having over 3,000 people in one place to learn from and share with. It’s joining a conversation in the hallway with the creators of open source projects. It’s taking yourself from beginner to intermediate, or intermediate to advanced. For some, it’s getting st…

PyCon Opens Financial Aid Applications

Even though PyCon prides itself on being an affordable conference, registration is one of several expenses an attendee must incur, and it’s likely the smallest one. Flying, whether halfway around the world or from a few hundred miles away, is more expensive. Staying in a hotel for a few days is also more expensive. All together, the cost of attending a conference can become prohibitively expensive. That’s where our Financial Aid program comes in. We’re opening applications for Financial Aid today, and we’ll be accepting them through February 15, 2018.
Once you have an account on the site, you can apply here or through your dashboard.
We offer need-based grants to enable people from across our community to attend PyCon. The criteria for evaluating requests takes into account several things, such as whether the applicant is a student, unemployed, or underemployed; their geographic location; and their involvement in both the conference and the greater Python community. Those presenting at …

Introducing the PyCon Hatchery Program

PyCon is known around the world as the Python community’s premier event, attracting people from 39 countries. Outside of the main track of talks, PyCon is home to a growing number of additional events such as Young Coders, the Education Summit, Language Summit, Poster Session, among others. The conference strives to be globally representative by promoting diversity and inclusion through these additional events and outreach programs.
Our community works to meet these goals year on year. In the past, we have received requests to add events to PyCon but have not had the resources to make them work. Although we are still limited on staff resources, we are proposing a stepping point that may lead us in the right direction. What is the end goal?We want to support our community and enable them to add events to PyCon that are important to our community. The long-term goals of this program are to support and grow sustainable events that will become a recurring part of PyCon itself or find a home…