[Texas] PyTexas 2012 leadership opportunity

Kojo Idrissa kojo.idrissa at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 08:33:07 CEST 2011

I'd have to agree with Brad on a university providing a better value
proposition. I've got no problem with Austin, per se, but having an
environment that both wants us there and already has the needed
infrastructure in place is a force multiplier. It allows the conference
organizers to focus on organizing the conference, optimizing the conference
experience and dealing with any surprises. This, instead of trying to
recreate the needed infrastructure in an environment that isn't prepared for
it. And at a cost of $0 if there's support.

I attended the 2010 and 2011 PyTexas cons, as well as the 2010 TXLF.
 PyTexas was at Baylor & TAMU: free infrastructure; force multiplied, free
cons. 2010 TXLF was at a convention center and while it was a good con, I'd
have to imagine it was a bit more trouble to set up. And it wasn't really
prepared for that many geeks all trying to WiFi at the same time. :-)

So, BCS or Austin, I don't really care, but trying to use a university (or
even a community college) seems like a smarter
proposition economically (especially if we want to keep the con free) and
organizationally. But, the fact that TAMU actually WANTS us back and has a
vested interest in Python makes it even MORE appealing. Anyone in Austin
know if UT/St. Edwards/ACC has any Python users who might want to host us?

As far as formats, I think with the conference growing, a BarCamp approach
might be too chaotic. If people are going to come from all around Texas (and
Arkansas and other states, as they have before), I think they'll want to
know what they're coming too in advance.
What COULD be done is we could include some Barcamp-style BoF sessions into
the schedule.  We had some open spaces this year and we could set those
aside AS Barcamp/BoF style rooms. Perhaps formally designate spaces for
that.  I remember this year there was interest in Python scripting on
Android that came up during a keynote, so that sort of thing would have been
perfect for a Barcamp/BoF session. This gives you structure with room for
sessions that may emerge.  I don't know if there were any Android dev
sessions proposed for the con, but once we were all there, there were
CLEARLY people interested.  If we could formalize that process and make sure
there was a way to get news about the Emergent Sessions (there, it's got a
name) to the attendees, that might work.  That could be as "simple" as
having announcements happen at the beginning or end of sessions if new
Emergent Sessions arise. That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure
there's a better way.

RECAP of MY thougts (cuz it's late & I'm sleepy)

   - I've got no problem with Austin (used to live there, going to Austin
   Drupal Camp in Nov.), but it's not the city that matters, it's the con
   - TAMU wants us back, is LOOKING to provide us with more space, has
   Python users on faculty & staff to champion us and provides the 'force
   multiplying', $0 infrastructure that schools can provide. Moving PyTexas
   2012 *anywhere* else only makes sense if we can AT LEAST match those
   conditions. Really, we should significantly exceed them. Can we match/exceed
   the TAMU venue "bang/buck" in Austin?
      - We should also consider proximity of food to the venue if we're not
      going to feed folks (which we shouldn't, to keep costs low);
TAMU had plenty
      of lunch food within easy walking distance from the venue; Baylor, not so
      much; factor in parking, driving to food at lunch, etc. A seemingly small
      thing, but it's akin to UX on an app. Rushing to and from your car and
      driving around a city you don't know during lunch is NOT FUN for
   - Barcamp style is too chaotic for a statewide con (but would be fine for
   something city-wide); Build in space/time for Emergent Sessions/BoF
   discussions and develop a mechanism to keep attendees updated on them as
   they Emerge. The rest should be structured.

On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM, Brad Allen <bradallen137 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Austin option sounds interesting, and I'm glad to learn you're
> excited about it.
> Moving to a hotel introduces a huge effort and set of costs. A
> supportive university can offer a better value proposition, and in my
> experience a better chance at reliable, scalable wifi.
> It would be worth checking into whether UT or St. Edwards has a strong
> enough interest in Python to be supportive and could reserve a large
> enough room to bring all attendees together for the keynote and other
> plenary activities. Do you know if those universities have Python
> proponents on faculty or administration, who could champion and
> support getting a nice venue for PyTexas 2012?
> There was some fairly serious talk at TAMU about reserving a much
> larger, nicer space for next year. Since two departments make heavy
> use of Python (the IT dept and the College of Architecture), and the
> TAMU Comp Sci dept actually teaches using Python, there seems to be
> significant interest in hosting PyTexas again next year at TAMU.
> On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM, Travis Swicegood <travis at domain51.com>
> wrote:
> > Howdy all;
> > Talk about timing -- emailing the list about the 2012 PyTexas has been on
> my
> > todo list for the last day.  Guess I can mark it off now. :-)
> > A few of my co-organizers for the Austin Web Python group and I would
> like
> > to get PyTexas 2012 in Austin.  It definitely makes sense for there to be
> > someone "on-the-ground" here that can deal with getting a venue squared
> away
> > and such, so I'd be happy to step up as chair if PyTexas in Austin sounds
> > like a good idea to everyone else.
> > As far as the sales pitch, I think Austin needs no introduction as to
> what
> > it can handle.  In addition to the standard mega-conferences, tx.js,
> > html5.tx, and Code Works all happen here in Austin that draw similar
> sizes
> > to what I think we could get for a PyTexas -- a few hundred devs.  We've
> got
> > options for hotels, both UT and St. Edwards (where both Code Works and
> > html5.tx were held this past year) for university options for hosting
> plus
> > all of the traditional venues (Alamo Drafthouse, hotels, etc.).
> > Thoughts?
> > -T
> > On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 9:07 PM, Brad Allen <bradallen137 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> Would anyone like to take on the chairman role for PyTexas 2012? I
> >> would like to step down and make way for the next person to take on
> >> the challenge, while making myself available to help as a volunteer
> >> and mentor to the next chairman.
> >>
> >> The chairman role going forward will hopefully be easier and require
> >> less time commitment, now that the group of volunteers has grown so
> >> large. For example, one person has already mentioned they could take
> >> on sponsorship coordination responsibilities. There is also an
> >> energetic team who has volunteered to built out additional
> >> functionality in the PyTexas website.
> >>
> >> The next couple of months is a good time to start thinking about what
> >> we want to do for PyTexas 2011. Do we want to follow the same format,
> >> or possibly consider a BarCamp-style unconference? Should we plan for
> >> a meeting or sprint at PyCon? Do we want to hold it in College Station
> >> again this year? There was some talk about larger spaces being
> >> available.
> >>
> >> The sooner we can establish leadership, the sooner we can make
> >> important decisions which will enable a successful conference next
> >> year.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Texas mailing list
> >> Texas at python.org
> >> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/texas
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Travis Swicegood | @tswicegood (most everywhere) | Senior Open Source
> > Engineer @ Texas Tribune / Armstrong | 512.693.7051
> >
> _______________________________________________
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