[Conferences] introducing eduPycon idea...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue May 26 03:50:16 CEST 2009


Greetings conferencing crowd:

Per this blog post below, concluding picture, if you click on, you'll see
we're in some screen shot of a slide show, I'll describe it, so no need to
actually look:

http://mybizmo.blogspot.com/2009/04/testing-jackalope.html

Yes, that's Britney with a snake, but on the left you'll see "eduPython
grows a longer tail" as an "internal development" within the Python
Community.

This results from two threads:  conversations at a BOF of people tracking
the edu-sig list especially (Python.org), and Vern Ceder agreeing to serve
as "watcher" i.e. someone awake and aware between Pycons willing to engage
in some kind of judging process whereby we sift through proposals and decide
to showcase a few in a Hyatt Regency or whatever center ring, when Pycon
next meets.  Talking about posters, devoting some floorspace to LCDs showing
off school projects (various loops).

The purpose of the above workflow is to encourage participation by younger
talents who may be legal minors in fact, yet could still get bragging rights
for having their work exhibited in a rather prestigious venue, frequented by
adult business professionals with an eye for real skill.

However, that's a rather limited way to reach out to school user groups,
other faculties, so the other idea, which I attribute the Jeff Rush simply
because that's who I got it from, is eduPycon.  We might call it that to
deliberately leverage the Pycon brand, and attract PSF support, but there'd
be real differences from Pycon itself, in particular we might be open to
college campus based meetings, a whole different atmosphere from "corporate
big spender" which is more the core Pycon flavor (not Waldorf Astoria
exactly, but not that academic either, more Silicon Valley than MIT?  More
Silicon Forest than Harvard?).

Anyway, I'm obviously not going to carry this ball on my back all by myself,
much as the ISEPP logo suggests atlas type behaviors ( isepp.org -- the
organization I was representing at Pycon this year).  I am willing to put my
shoulder to it though, especially if we start getting "I'm interested"
signals from academia, edutopia, or wherever that is (the people who want to
fork off yet preserve the culture, especially lightning talks -- if it turns
into professorial "droning for hours" nothing snappy or snakey, then PSF
should pull the plug is what I'm thinking, declare "lights out" in la-la
land, but that's just me and my biases speaking, we're obviously not there
yet).

By way of personal background, I'm a long time veteran of these campus-based
conferences staged by Friends, a certain religious society originating in
the 1600s that brought you William Penn and fixed pricing or whatever
legends we tell ourselves (Quaker Oats and blah blah).  I'm not allowed to
prostelytize (says so right in the manual) but that doesn't keep me from
organizing little coups, upsetting an applecart or two.  Here's my feeble
attempt to subvert PSF, make it be Quaker.  I failed we can say, but at
least I got some bragging rights, plus PSF is already transparent and open
and takes good minutes, so there was really nothing to do in this case,
except take a few pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/3398042313/in/set-72157616066135225/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/3409708717/in/set-72157616066135225/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/3397645455/in/set-72157616066135225/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/3398453336/in/set-72157616066135225/

Anyway, we usually do two years at a campus, then move on, though Reed
College dumped us, and we bailed on Pacific University citing ADA compliance
issues.  A somewhat ornery bunch, gets upset if we run low on coffee (we're
actually called "beanites" but that's another story I won't bore you with).
Montana this year (1 of 2), haven't filled in my reg form yet.  We're
backward, don't use Django, though we should, we really should (eat our own
dogfood).

Kirby
PSF '09
edu-sig
usa.or.pdx
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