What motivates all unpaid volunteers at Pycon?

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 22:11:51 CEST 2008


> >> There really isn't any simple answer.  Most people seem to be
> >> motivated to help out their communities,
> >
> > I still think all this unselfishness is noteworthy
> > and curious.
>
>
>        Assuming that people get nothing back by participating in a
> community, yes, it would be curious. My experience, though, is that I
> get a lot more out of it than I could ever contribute. IOW, it's a
> great example of synergy.
>
> -- Ed Leafe


I attended my first PyCon in D.C. a few years back.  The next year I
volunteered as a session chair because I wanted one of the groovy black
"staff" shirts.  Last year I signed up as the tutorial coordinator because I
was told there was a need for people to step up and I felt strongly that as
part of the community I have an obligation to give back (the same reason I
was a volunteer firefighter for 5 years).

I had no idea how much work it would be to put together 1 day of the
conference; and just the talks at that (there's the technical aspect, food,
registration, etc., that others handled).  Once you become part of the
community that puts the conference together and see how much passion these
people put into their tasks it's hard to walk away, at least for me.  I've
signed up for tutorials again for 2009 and hope to bring 3 or 4 other
volunteers along for the ride.

What do I get out of it?  Sure, I got another groovy tee shirt, but I also
saw over 600 people taking classes on Tutorial Thursday.  I got to meet some
very smart cookies and saw a lot of Python that I had never seen before.
Not everything went as planned, and a few things went poorly but, overall,
things went pretty well.  We are taking all off the feedback into account
and are already looking at next year.

So, if you're still reading this, why don't *YOU* help out, too?  You can
help out a little or you can help out a lot.  There are highly technical
issues that need addressing (see "PyCon Tech") and other tasks that don't
require programming at all but are just as important (food, swag, etc.).
Click on over to http://www.python.org/community/pycon/ and introduce
yourself.  You'll get a lot more than a groovy tee shirt out of it!

--greg
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