[PyAR2] pyArkansas 2010 Update
aagg at comcast.net
Sat Sep 18 19:50:41 CEST 2010
> Saturday morning means I'm at the Chick-Fil-A in Conway working on
> pyArkansas! We're 4 weeks out and there's a lot going on. We are
> receiving support from a number of fronts and I can't help but feel
> pyArkansas is on the verge of becoming a real event over the next few
> Novasys Health has verbally committed to covering the cost of the
> conference to the tune of $1,500.00. That's a really big deal to me
> because times are pretty tough and there's nothing making them do this
> other than wanting to give back to the Python community. As soon as
> we get the official word -- and the $$ :-) -- I'll get an email for
> you to thank them. Sure, it's where I work, but it's a very nice
> gesture on their part.
> Gloria W Jacobs has agreed to come down to speak on concurrency
> (1-hour) and a comparison of web frameworks (1-hour). She is a
> free-lance programmer out of New York and is obsessed with getting
> young people -- particularly young women -- into computer related
> careers (all without being a militant nutcase about it!). I'm very
> happy that she can come to speak because she is incredibly
> knowledgeable and enthusiastic about teaching. She is interested in
> getting together after dinner to do....what? A mini sprint?
That's me :) I am a bit nutty, but not in those directions :) Many
thank-yous to Novasys for covering my expenses. I am starting to prepare
the material this weekend. I am really busy this year, with three
freelance projects, but I feel that tech talks are extremely important,
and are a great way to give back to the community. I will have small
bits of code people can download, more supple mental material than
anything else, sice I won't want the code to detract from the talk.
If there's any sort of mini code sprints one wishes to do, let me know!
I'd be happy to spend time on something either Friday or Saturday evening.
> I received a call from the Center for High Performance Computing at UA
> Fayettville. A very nice woman bu the name of Kelly Emeneker asked if
> I would like a professionally designed web site for pyArkansas! She
> does this kind of thing for a living and, I believe, has been allotted
> some time by her superiors to do this because they feel conferences
> like pyArkasas are important. This rates way up on the cool-meter and
> we should see something as early as next week. My mind is already
> working on next year; could we have classes on multiple campuses and
> use teleconferencing? Check out Kelly's work at
> There is a boatload of swag and giveaways pledged:
> * Wingware has supplied 2 professional editors and swag (gliders
> and pens). I use this editor and it is very, very nice. They
> are also offering a 50% discount to anyone attending the
> conference who want to purchase the editor.
> * ActiveState has supplied 1 editor and swag.
> * O'Reilly Publishing has supplied 15 (count 'em, 15) e-books.
> The winners get a code and select the title of their choice. Sweet!
> * No Starch Press has supplied books (including Lego League!) and swag
> * Manning Publishing is sending books.
> I'm putting together the schedule of classes and we are just about
> full. This year we will have two different ways for people to take
> the "Introduction to Python" class. A traditional class taught by
> Carl Burch and a "Teach-In" organized by Brad Allen of the Dallas
> Python Users Group (and pyTexas organizer). Dr. Burch taught the
> intro class last year and it was very well received (I popped in a
> couple of times and really enjoyed his energy). This class is perfect
> for people wanting a hands-on lecture format. The other class, a
> "teach-in", is a new concept (to me, at least), where students load a
> course on their computers and work through exercises dealing with
> various concepts of Python. There are volunteers working with the
> students to get them going and answering questions. The software uses
> a unit testing framework so, after the student codes in their
> solution, they can see if it is correct. Fro what I understand, this
> is popular in the Ruby world and was well received at pyTexas last
> month. Brad has volunteered to organize it, but we will need
> volunteers to step up and make it work. That means you -- YOU -- have
> an opportunity to help make the conference a success!
> There has always been concern over the schedule of classes.
> Traditionally, we have put classes in the morning and talks in the
> afternoon. This works well for "newbies", but has left our more
> seasoned Pythonistas with nothing to do in the morning. To help
> resolve this, we are going with 2 classes in the morning, "Intro to
> Python" and "Teach In" and then use the other 2 classrooms for talks.
> We have a 2-hour class on Blender, but I'm going to put that in the
> afternoon so out friends from Henderson State University can take the
> intro class in the morning and then the Blender class in the afternoon
> (they are going to use Blender to analyze astronomical data!). The
> other classes will be organized, I hope, to allow people the best
> opportunity to attend various topics. Other conferences video tape
> the talks. While I like the idea of having talks online for others to
> see, it's a huge effort and may dissuade people from presenting talks.
> We have 20 people signed up on the web site. Dr. Hu and his friends
> at UCA will be sending out letters to area high schools and Dr. Burch
> at Hendrix is getting word out ot Colleges/Universities. The rest of
> us need to get work out to professional (and amateur) programmers. It
> really is best to have all sorts of people at these things. So
> contact people you know and get them signed up!
> I'll need two people willing to run the registration desk from 8:00AM
> -- Noon on Saturday. I'll ask my daughters but, if you know someone
> willing to do it, it would be a uge weight off my shoulders.
> I'd still like at least 2 more talks. Or teachers, encourage your
> students to present a 30-minute talk. It will be a very friendly
> audience and great practice for them. Please make sure it's Python
> related, though.
I am pinging a friend in Philly who is an excellent speaker, and has
done OAuth in Python on the Droid (as well as other good things). She
knows PyGame quite well, and she can talk about a variety of fun stuff.
I'll let you know if she can make it.
> Thanks for your support. Let me know what's on your mind and how we
> can make pyArkansas even better!
Greg, thanks for this effort! I understand how much work goes into this,
and you'reamazing for doing it all.
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