Pycon disappointment

Raymond Hettinger python at
Tue Mar 18 00:39:12 CET 2008

On Mar 16, 4:10 am, Bruce Eckel < at> wrote:
> If the following seems unnecessarily harsh, it was even more harsh for
> me to discover that the time and money I had spent to get to my
> favorite conference had been sold to vendors, presenting me as a
> captive audience they could pitch to.

My thoughts:

* Saturday and Sunday were much better than Friday.

* Open-source != Anti-vendor.  The vendors are a vital part of the
open-source community.

* Lightning talks should be proportionate to their information
content.  The most common vendor message can be done in 45 seconds
while the next speaker is setting-up:  "Hi, I'm Raymond from Raymond
Enterprises.  We sell Raymond's signature to Raymond's fans.  We use
Python to crawl the web for clients wanting his signature.  We're
hiring Python programmers with experience in web-crawling.  We're
proud to sponsor for PyCon 2009. Good night and good luck.".

* The sole guiding principle for the conference should be whatever
best serves the attendees.

* As the conference gets bigger, lots of previously minor annoyances
will become more irritating.  The conference organizers will adapt as

* Vendor/sponsor presentations should not have priority over
informational talks.

Also, lots of things went well:

* Sean stepped-in and fixed-up the wireless for Saturday and Sunday
(but on Friday the third-party wireless setup sucked mightily).

* The conference admin (checkin, schedule posting, etc) was excellent.

* The AV work was great (you'll soon be able to see HD recordings for
most talks).

* Steve Holden successfully created a new type of talk, "Teach me

* The feedback on the tutorials was excellent, the BoFs seemed to go
well, and the sprints are off to a nice start.

* The conference was close to the airport.

One last thought:

* Most of the conference work is done by volunteers.  As the community
grows, more volunteers will be needed (for next year, I plan to help
by reviewing talk proposals).


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