[PyAR2] PyAR^2 Meeting Notes 2/16/2008

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Sat Feb 16 20:10:46 CET 2008

The inaugural meeting of PyAR^2 was held at San Francisco Bread Company in
Conway on Saturday, February 16th at 11:00.  Four members, and one potential
member, were present.

So, we have a Python Users Groups.  YoHoo!  Now, what do we do?
Traditionally,  groups follow the 80/20 rule, meaning that 80% of the work
is performed by 20% of the members (that's not intended to be a slam, just
reality).  We, as a group, need something *meaningful* to do and have to
generate more interest in Python.  WE have a lot of good ideas -- maybe too
many! -- but that means we can choose what interests the group and work on

One way to learn any language is to work on a project.  If the project is
"real" (that is, one someone might actually want and/or use) it would have a
better chance of generating interest.  As fate would have it, our
"potential" member has a project that would not only be at a good level for
us, involving a web framework and database, but would fill a need for an
overworked/under-appreciated segment of our health care system.  From the
very brief discussion we had about it I would think that it is perfect
candidate for learning the TurboGears/CherryPy framework.

Classes/seminars were requested again, too.  We have many people new to
Python and classes on "the basics" and "what's next" are needed!

We talked about putting on a "mini-conference"; a one-day seminar of classes
for High School/College students (and their instructors) showing off Python
and applications written in Python (there was general agreement that most
people are unaware of Python or anything written in it).  The Hot Springs
Technology Expo was brought up as a possible alternative for the
mini-conference.  The expo is an annual gathering of High School tech-heads;
it would give us huge exposure and take the burden of organizing a seminar
off our shoulders.  In addition, since it is a large conference, the Python
Software Foundation might be willing to fund someone to come present an
introductory class (Steve Holden comes to mind).  Greg will look into
information about the conference.

A web site was discussed.  It would be a central place to get information
about us.  A "calling card".  We need to look into hosting (will the PSF
host a site?) and think about who can help us design it.  This may be
another good project for the group.

It was suggested that setting up virtual meetings because of the distance
between our members.  We can move the meetings around the State if we could
offer a way for others to wire in.  This would also give us a way to handle
any group project that we decide to take on.

We need to think about  a PR effort.  A list of contacts at Colleges and
High Schools (including school papers) would be a great resource for getting
word out about us and our events.  Contacts at newspapers and local
publications (Sync magazine, for example) would help.  Anyone want to step
up and start this?

More was discussed, but I (Greg) did not get all of it.  Frankly, there are
way too many good ideas to implement, so we need to talk about what we want
to do.  I left the meeting excited about the opportunities out there for the
taking.  What we want to do is up to us.

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