Thursday, March 24, 2011

PyCon 2011 Tutorial Report

As mentioned many times in previous entries of this blog, with Brian Rosner I taught the Pinax Solutions tutorial. We had some last minute people sign up so turnout meant nearly every seat in the room was taken. The second-half being a workshop seemed to go smashingly well. That said, one person had serious problems with getting things running and they left the tutorial without having anything running. I'm not sure how to deal with that besides having a spare laptop setup for that invariable bad laptop that always seems to show up.

The next day I took Noah Kantrowitz' (Re-)Introduction to C for Python developers. It was my first time every trying to code in C, and it was done by solving problems on this day. He dumped us right in the deep end, which was awesome for the first exercise but then I got a bit lost. I think he should have shown the answer code after everyone got a chance to try to solve things. He finished up the second half of things with some incredibly good content that made me want to use C a lot. I hope he gives this tutorial again next year since I think with a little fine tuning it will be a showcase class.

I kept my eye on a few tutorials, and was pleased to see that all the introductory Python classes were full. That is a good sign because more beginners means a stronger community.

I'll get you next time, Wesley Chun!

At the start of this month I laid out the Great Pycon Ribbon Game. PyCon ribbons are given to people based on their contribution to the conference. Give a tutorial, present a speech, volunteer to do grunt work, sponsor the event, be Guido van Rossum, and more each gives you a special colored ribbon you get to attach to your conference badge.

Last year I had the most of anyone except for Wesley Chun. He's one of my favorite instructors, is an author and Google App Engine advocate, and a good friend. To my five ribbons he had seven. He clearly beat me and deserved the win.

This year when I issued my ribbon challenge he immediately said that he was giving up. He had too much work and family things going on. I gave him my regrets and planned to totally crush everyone's ribbon count at the conference. I was sure I could duplicate my five ribbon effort from last year and no one else would be able to match me!

So imagine my surprise when Wesley Chun had seven, SEVEN ribbons on his badge. He beat me this year. Worse, I managed only four this year. So he didn't just beat me at the game, he opened the lead.

I'm a good loser. I don't begrudge him. Well, maybe not too much.

Next year I'll issue the challenge again. I hope you join us, since win or lose the wonderful thing about this competition is that PyCon and the community benefits.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Great PyCon Ribbon Game!

Here is my challenge for attendees of PyCon 2011 - try to win as many volunteer badge ribbons as possible. Whoever gets the most ribbons at PyCon 2011 can claim the title "King of PyCon Badge Ribbons" and I'll write a special blog post for you, your employer/company, and your favorite non-obscene thing.

  • You have to earn the badge ribbons. You have to give tutorials, make presentations, volunteer left and right, and be a great sport. Stealing ribbons is out. So is trading for them.
  • Only real badge ribbons are valid. You can't write your own and tape them onto your badge.
  • You must proudly affix the ribbons to your badge.
  • Cheaters will be lambasted verbally. You deserve what you get.
In 2010 I managed to earn five (5) PyCon ribbons and only Wesley Chun beat me. Think you can beat our scores from last year? Think you can beat me this year?