[PyAR2] pyArkansas 2010

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Sat Aug 21 14:34:57 CEST 2010


Good Morning, Everyone -

pyArkansas is scheduled for Saturday, October 16th and once again, our
friends at UCA have agreed to host us.  This is our 3rd pyArkansas and I'd
like to start leaning on local talent more than we have in the past two
years.  Part of that is because I think there are plenty of Python
developers/user right here and the other is that the bast majority of our
budget the past two years has been devoted to flying people in and housing
feeding them.  I am going to pyTexas this Saturday and may ask Jeff Rush if
he could come up (he was here in 2008) but, unless there is a huge cry from
the masses, that will be it this year.

Our format has been classes in the morning and talks in the afternoon.  This
worked well when our primary thrust was to introduce Python to people but,
as I mentioned, there are a lot of people using Python and we need to
accommodate them as well.  To that end, I'd like to propose that we have at
least 1 classroom devoted to talks or open space in the morning.  We need a
"Python for Programmers" class for experienced coders to learn Python (Dr.
Burch from Hendrix College has already offered to repeat his class from last
year) and I'm torn on the "Python for Complete Beginners" class.  Dr. Chen
(UCA) did a fantastic job teaching it last year but, if memory serves, we
only had 4 people in it [however, one was a representative from Philander
Smith College looking to evaluate Python for their CS curriculum!].

I have been contacted by Michael Finch, EAST Lab Facilitator out of Greene
County Tech High School (Paragould) about pyArkansas.  For those of you who
are not aware, the EAST program -- Environmental And Spatial Technologies --
is an effort to get technology into High School classrooms and, I think, is
a perfect fit for us.  Michael has stressed that they do not promote one
technology over another, but is interested in making his students aware of
pyArkansas; this may be a perfect opportunity for us to offer the "Python
for Complete Beginners" class.  I've included him on this email and will
contact him separately to see how we can work together.

If we are going to have talks, we need people to speak!  I will put together
a "call for papers" and I need *YOU* to think about presenting something.
If can be on a specific Python topic (how to program objects, database, web)
or on something cool where you have used Python.  I have even toyed with
having 30-minute talks as well as 60-minute talks because I think we cold
get more people to speak for shorted periods of time and I'd love to see all
sorts of topics.  We will need to get a list of topics people would like to
see.  I am working on getting our wiki up (friends from pyTexas are helping
me with that).

So, here's where we stand.  We need to get word out to everyone (Dr. Burch
has volunteered to get word out to Universities/Colleges and I'm handling
High Schools).  We need to get a wiki up (hopefully tomorrow) and then we
can get a call for papers out.  I need someone to handle swag (if we want
it); I can help out, but someone has to do the legwork (write email/make
phone calls).  And we will need some $$.  I'll ask Novasys but does anyone
have a contact at Acxiom or HP?  Anywhere else in Conway that we can think
of?

This may have repeated some of what I wrote two weeks ago, but I only
received 2 responses.  If this is going to go forward, more people have to
get involved!  Let me know what you want pyArkansas to be this year!

--greg
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