Just proposed - Python Core Mentorship program

by jesse in ,

*wipes the dust off the blog*

*cough* Now that PyCon 2011 is slightly behind us/me - I've managed to eke out time to draft and propose something that's been gnawing at me for some time - proposing a Python-Core mentorship program. You can see the python-dev thread here, but I have also reposted the email below. I'm interested in thoughts/feelings/feedback about the idea.

Hello everyone:

I wanted to take a moment to outline another idea which came out of PyCon 2011 this year from numerous sources - a Python Core Mentorship Program predicated on the idea that Python-Core, and Python as a whole would be served by further lowering the barrier to entry of contribution, and to provide a program to connect new programmers, students, women, and others to experienced Python-Core developers (Mentors).

Brett's revamp of the Dev guide was part one of "secret plan to get more people involved in python-core" - this is another part, but I'm not sure of the numbering scheme.

The mission of the Python Core Mentor Program is to provide an open and welcoming place to connect students, programmers - and anyone interested in contributing to the Python-Core development. This project is based on the idea that the best way to welcome new people into any project is a venue which connects them to mentors who can assist in guiding them through the contribution process, including discussions on lists such as python-dev, and python-ideas, the bug tracker, mercurial, code reviews, etc.

Additionally, mentors will assist in something incredibly critical to maintain contributor interest: getting patches through the process and actually *committed*. We all know - not everyone who is mentor will have all the answers, so mentors also act as conduits to others who will have the answer.

The project itself will (hopefully) be low in time-spent, and largely self-managing. We will start simple with a mailing list (core-mentorship at python.org) where mentors, and those who wish to be mentored or ask questions may do so. This mailing list will have a code of conduct which will help prevent flame wars, or other counterproductive discussions - a code of conduct also makes it clear to mentors what they're agreeing to when they decide to participate.

The new list will also have a closed, members-only archive. After consulting with other core developers, we believe it's easier to ask questions when you don't have to worry about Google picking up your words from a public archive. We want to make this list a resource for people to be able to get started, ask "silly" questions, and so on - our goal is to turn anyone who wishes to be into an active, sustainable committer to Python.

Mentors will be asked to answer questions - but also assist people in need of help with discussions on the mailing lists and bug tracker (conversations on which could have become contentious or stressful) and generally to be advocates for the people being mentored. For example - if a person submits a patch to the tracker, the mentor list may help them through initial code reviews, or discussions with other core developers. The job is to act as an experienced proxy for them.

The first step to this project is to ask for volunteer mentors - people who are willing to help answer questions on the list, and generally guide people as needed being as friendly and courteous and welcoming as possible.

If you are interested in being a mentor - or have feedback about this plan in general, please feel free to reach out to me (jnoller at gmail.com) directly. My goal, once this is setup, is to have the project largely self-managing, with the PSF helping to market it to the community as a whole.



Update: We've launched, and we're doing well - check out this post right here for more information and the code of conduct.

PyCon 2011: Talks, Tutorials, Keynotes and you!

by jesse in ,

Whew. Where did the time go. I swear, it was only a few weeks ago when we were standing in Atlanta together at PyCon 2010 laughing it up and having a blast (albeit me with a busted ankle). Time flies. It really, really flies.

That said - as I stated on the PyCon 2011 blog, we've officially announced all the talks and tutorials for the conference this year:

This year was particularly difficult for the program committee (the group in "charge" of selecting talks) - some of which I go into in the announcement. We had so many awesome talks, and an abbreviated timeline, a new site, the holidays and a lot more to contend with. Looking at the program though, things look amazing. Additionally, we've already lined up one amazing keynote speaker, and are working on at least one other.

Not to mention - we're lining up an impressive array of sponsors (yes, Nasuni is one as well) - if you know of a company using python who might be interested in being a PyCon sponsor (yes, it's totally worth it) - send them our way. If you have questions - please reach out to us at pycon-sponsors@python.org - sponsors get a lot of benefits, and they help out the conference and community immensely. Remember, any funds which count as "profit" for the conference go straight to the Python Software Foundation.

PyCon 2011 looks like it's shaping up incredibly well - but it's not going to be much of anything without you. Yes, you. PyCon isn't PyCon without all of you in the community showing up and making it simply the best programming conference out there in terms of welcomeness, intelligence and fun. But not only have we had to cap total registration to 1500 people - the early bird deadline for registration is approaching a lot more quickly then you'd think! (January 17th) - so you've got to get registered!

Finally - get the word out, and volunteer! We always need help spreading word about PyCon, and this year is no different. We are also always looking for on-the ground staff and other volunteers to help us when the conference rolls around! Check out:

PyCon 2011, Atlanta, March 9-17

PyCon 2011 Registration is now open

by jesse in , ,


Van says it all here - but I'll quote it nonetheless:

While the program committee toils away over the record number of talk and tutorial submissions, we are pleased to announce that registration is now open for PyCon 2011. Get your tickets early, because for the first time, we will have to cap this year's registration at just 1500 spots.

Something most people don't know about me is that I am a data geek. So, being who I am, I have gone back through the statistics for the past four years of PyCon to see if I could find any way of gauging the health of the conference from early in the cycle. I found that there was an almost perfect correlation between the number and timing of the talk submissions for PyCon and the final attendance.

This year, we got more talk and tutorial submissions than ever before in the history of PyCon. We broke the previous records by double-digit percentages in every category.

I shouldn't have been too surprised. We started hearing people get excited about this upcoming PyCon eight months ago. To keep from overwhelming our venue, we have decided that we need to cap attendance at 1500 people. We also promised that those who submitted a talk or tutorial proposal would be guaranteed a slot, meaning that of those 1500 tickets, approximately 250 are already spoken for.

Early bird registration rates are effective until January 17. Regular registration rates will run from January 18th until March 1 - if there are any spots left. More information is available on the registration page as well as a direct link to our registration site.


Go here to register.