2010-02-16

All PyCon, all the time - Atlanta 2010

We are about 16 hours away from the official beginning of PyCon 2010 in Atlanta, and there are already news to talk about.

First, this from Alex Gaynor:

I'm very pleased to announce The Ultimate PyCon Live stream: http://pycon.djangodose.com/. Eric Florenzano, Brian Rosner, Greg Newman, and I have been working on putting together the best possible feed of everything that happens at PyCon, throughout the conference we'll be aggregating and streaming all the news about PyCon on Twitter, photos on Flickr, upcoming talks and uploaded slides, commits on BitBucket and GitHub (on specified repositories), and announcements via IRC. We hope you enjoy it!

...I will be talking all about the building of this in my talk, and we're looking forward to open sourcing it.

Next, we have (on request) a PyCon mailing list for "the non-twittering classes." The mailing list at pycon@python.org will be dedicated to attendees for exchanging tips, opinions, open space announcments, meeting times, and anything else appropriate for PyCon. You can sign up at http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/pycon

2010-02-14

Staggering Through PyCon

If you have been looking over the PyCon schedule while packing your bags this weekend, you might have noticed that — besides flat-out offering more talks than any PyCon in world history — this year's schedule has a really interesting feature: the start of lunch time is “staggered”, with some talks ending just after noon at 12:15, and others ending fifteen minutes later at 12:30. The talks that start right after lunch are similarly staggered across fifteen minutes, starting either at 1:20 or 1:35. Just take a look at the schedule and search for the word “lunch”:

http://us.pycon.org/2010/conference/schedule/

If you have ever been at a conference where you had to stand in an enormous line as everyone at the conference tried to get lunch simultaneously, then you probably have an idea about why we are excited about this change! With this staggered arrangement, there should be a shorter line for lunch, since the conference-goers will arrive in two waves.

But the real win is that, for the first time, attending a 45-minute talk will not mean missing two 30-minute talks! For contrast, compare this year's staggered schedule to the 45-minute talks in last year's schedule, which you can see here:


Do you see the difference? Last year, many of the 45-minute talks forced you to miss at least parts of two other 30-minute talks! The staggered schedule eliminates this restriction entirely: because the 45-minute talks carve their extra 15 minutes from unstructured times like lunch and the afternoon break, you never wind up having to choose to see “one talk for the price of two.”

And this additional convenience, we hope, will make it a bit more bearable that you have to choose between such great talks in the first place!

Travel safely, and we look forward to seeing you later this week.

2010-02-10

PyCon 2010 - You should register now... and new tutorial slots!

With approximately 18 hours to go before the end of pre-conference registration, PyCon officially has 1000 registrants. Pre-conference rates are still good while it is Feb. 10th somewhere in the world, so REGISTER NOW!

Even if you have already registered, we have been able to get bigger rooms for three of our most popular tutorials:
If you were not able to get into these tutorials, we have a few more slots open.

Finally for those who are currently digging out from under yet another snowstorm, I also point out that PyCon 2010 will be in Atlanta, making it an ideal location for those looking for a way to escape the late winter blizzards in the northeastern United States.

PyCon online registration ends TODAY



The Long Count calendar developed by ancient Mayan astronomers predicts that the end of PyCon 2010 Online Registration falls on February 10, 2010 - this very day! Although experts differ on what will happen next, many warn of catastrophic results for those who fail to register for PyCon immediately, such as the expense and hassle of registering onsite.

In other words, this is the day. If you are still waiting for employer approval to attend the world's biggest Python event, it may be time to invoke this important principle of dynamic language programming:
EAFP
Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. This common Python coding style assumes the existence of valid keys or attributes and catches exceptions if the assumption proves false. This clean and fast style is characterized by the presence of many try and except statements. The technique contrasts with the LBYL style common to many other languages such as C.

2010-02-09

Pre-Conference Registration Ends Soon

Incredible though it seems, PyCon tutorials start a week tomorrow!

If you are planning to attend and want to register at pre-conference prices you have just over 24 hours to do so!

PyCon is the place to learn about new and existing Python features and meet Python personalities. Register now while you still have chance to save money!

2010-02-06

PyCon Atlanta is almost here!

We are just a couple weeks away from PyCon 2010. We are making final preparations, and getting ready to travel and setup what will be an exciting conference. We have a few notices, and some exciting news.

  • For those who are looking for a job, we have a bunch of sponsors who will be recruiting at PyCon this year. We will be sending out a pre-conference email soon with more details. However, start polishing off your resume for PyCon.
  • As a reminder, the last day for pre-conference registration rates is this coming Wednesday, February 10th (actually, 6AM Thursday, US - EST. That is the last time when it is February 10th somewhere in the world).To lock in your conference rates before they go to the on-site rate level, make sure you visit the registrations page at https://us.pycon.org/2010/register/
    before then.
  • The on-line hotel registrations are closed, but you can still make hotel reservations at the conference rate by calling the housing bureau at +1-847-759-4277, or emailing pycon3-reg@cteusa.com.

As for our news, will likely be opening up more spaces in the most popular tutorials. Stay tuned for an announcement early next week.


2010-02-04

PyCon 2010 Needs Volunteers! (Sign Up Now!)

Every year it takes an army of volunteers to help out at the conference to make everything happen smoothly. Many hands make light work (and all that.)

This year we have expanded the program to have 5 tracks. This means we are desperate for Session Staff. The Session Staff are a group of volunteers whom work with the presenters to make sure the talks run smoothly. The work is not hard, and it is a fantastic opportunity to meet with amazing people.

We have Session Chairs and Session Runners. Chairs sit in the conference room and make sure nothing blows up, and the runners run around pretending that nothing has blown up; acting as the legs for the chairs. Everyone has two-way radios. (What geek can resist that!?!?!?! What IS the air speed of an unladen swallow presenter? A session runner knows the answer, and is more than willing to share...)

Volunteering is easy and there are a ton of open spots on the schedule. Just look for talks which do not yet have both the little clip board ( chair) and star ( runner) icons on the left hand side. On the talk information page or pop-up, click the volunteer link.