[group-organizers] Hello from the heart of England

Jeff Rush jeff at taupro.com
Wed Jun 27 11:55:20 CEST 2007

Zeth Green wrote:
> I just discovered this list so I had better join in. I might as well
> also introduce myself and my group if that is okay? My name is Zeth
> and I started a user group called 'Python West Midlands' before Easter
> and we have had several meetings and events since then.

Welcome Zeth.  Thanks for your introduction.

> So far we have about 40 people on our mailing list and our best
> meeting had about 15 or so people (and our worst five), averaging
> about 10 normally. We meet twice a month: we have an informal meeting
> in a delightful pub (built in 1729) which provides us with reserved
> space and wifi access; and we have a more technical meeting in the
> premises of a local firm (The Linux Emporium). This 'technical meet'
> is always on a Saturday and has talks or tutorials in the morning and
> a practical group programming activity in the afternoon; the latter
> often takes the form of two competing teams.

A very respectable group size in a short time.  Sounds like good meeting 
facilities were a big help.  I'd like to know more about the afternoon team 
competition activity, how it works.  Perhaps you could tell us about it, or 
write a small article for _The Python Papers_ about your group.

> We are the first formalised Python user group in Great Britain,
> although there is also a London Python Meetup which is well
> established. We will host the first ever dedicated Python conference
> in Britain this September, and we will try to match people up
> geographically so hopefully there may be more British Python User
> Groups in the future.

That's a good plan - hold a regional conference, sort and group attendees by 
address and encourage spinoff usergroups.

> That's basically it, I have a question but I will save that for
> another email since this is quite long already, more information about
> us can be found at http://pywm.eu/

We're ready for your question ;-)  Thanks for the link - I fixed the incorrect 
one on http://wiki.python.org/moin/LocalUserGroups (had a trailing '/pug/' 
giving a 404).

> Thanks for reading and thanks for having us, hopefully we can all
> share tips to make our Python user groups useful and welcoming for our
> members.

When you get time, I'd like to hear about the start of your group -- how you 
first got the word out and found facilities, and also something about the 
focus -- heavy on web developers or scientific computing perhaps?  Mostly 
newbies or experienced Python programmers?  Any local businesses represented 
in the membership or mostly hobbyists and those doing it outside of work?

For reasons not clear, we hear very little about Python happenings outside the 
U.S.  I can't tell if there are many regional/national language equivalents to 
www.python.org dispersing the conversation or if the various subcommunities 
just aren't talking much.  We'd very much like to hear of special issues 
related to regional differences and how we (and the PSF) can have a more 
global, less U.S.-centric voice.  This goes for any organizers here.


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