This year’s PyCon biggest, best, OpenHatchiest one we’ve ever been to. I had the honor of leading a panel of successful diversity outreach stories. If you want to see how the Boston Python model of working within an existing Python user group is spreading around the country, watch four affiliated event organizers tell their story!
After the panel, we headed back to the expo floor for OpenHatch office hours at our booth.
This was OpenHatch’s second PyCon booth — we were on the exhibitor floor in 2012 as well. We gave almost two dozen T-shirts to donors, and we grew our announce list (where we send the monthly newsletter) by almost 50%! We also met Tariq, who invited us to run an Open Source Comes to Campus event in Amherst. With the PyCon team’s approval, we distributed over 2500 stickers to attendees in their attendee bags, leaving a few to hand out at the booth. (They were such a hit!)
Earlier in the week, I had the honor of being a part of the first PyCon Education Summit. Naomi Ceder, the event’s organizer, invited me to talk about how outreach events can find attendees and spread the word about the educational opportunties they entail. Through the summit’s hallway track, I talked with a community manager at a large online education website and shared some ideas on getting their students to work together on projects. I also learned about Software Carpentry’s increasing focus on evaluating their programs, through which I met the ever-enlightening Caitlyn Pickens.
I also had the pleasure of attending the Python User Groups birds of a feather (BoF) session. I listened as organizers shared their concerns: user groups often need help managing funds, want advice on great event types to run, and know to do more outreach but need some nudging in the right direction. The situation reminds me of all the college computer clubs whose leaders I met over my undergraduate career: we want to build great local communities with our limited time, so we focus on our members and forget to share what we’ve learned and listen to other groups’ leaders. We worked to get most of the attendees on the Python.org group-organizers mailing list — if you are excited about improving your local Python community, join that list!
All in all, PyCon 2013 was a great event, and OpenHatch is honored to be have been an OSS / Community Sponsor! We can’t wait til the next one. In 2011, I stood on a PyCon stage and talked about community diversity outreach; in 2012, Jessica and I did. In 2013, there were four affiliated events talking about their work. In 2014, let’s continue the trend and pack 8 people on a stage!