2012: A year in Review.

by Jesse Noller

Well - of course, it's that time again to take a look back at the year and think reflect (if you've got the mental bandwidth) on the previous year. I'm not a huge fan of memes, but I've made it a bit of a self-task to always do something to remind me later. I've broken this up into personal and Python components of course - feel free to skip around.

Overall? I have to call 2012 a bit of a wash. Maybe it's because I'm tired or burned out - I'm not sure. I feel like it's been two steps forward and two steps back. For every good thing, there's been a correlating bad thing or thing that makes me put my head in my hands and go "why?!".

Python & Community Stuff

If I had to write a state of the Python Union talk; it would be "great things are afoot". Python 3.3 was an epic release of Python and Python 3 adoption and porting in general is trending up at a pace this year that's even surprising to me, and I see a lot of stuff behind the scenes.

A lot of this has to do with the general cycle of things - Python 2.7 has been out for awhile, and major libraries and frameworks have, through their natural release cycles, begun dropping support of older versions of Python allowing them to work towards code bases that support 2.x and 3.x. As for Python 3 itself? The number of Good Things in terms of fixes and features is making it more and more attractive. With things like Guido's new async PEP coming around, packaging work and a lot more? Things look pretty good from where I'm sitting. The PSF has been steadily feeding the fire by funding ports of key libraries and frameworks to Python when grant requests come in - and it's growing.

I'm not about to make any grandiose claims like "2013 is the year of the Python 3 x" - but I can tell you with some of the things I personally know about going on, it's going to be a big year.

Community in General

For the community in general - we're seeing growth across the board. The number of companies I know of using Python (and potentially therefore PyCon sponsors) is growing quite healthly despite the concerns of many that newer languages would cannibalize the community and the companies adopting the language. This is, in large part because Python Is Safe. The community is welcoming and open, the language is infinitely approachable. More and more cool things are being made and released in it as OSS every day - continued, steady growth has been Python's story for years now.

It's not trendy; I know. If you frequent online forums you'll see tons of noise about Node.js, Rust, Ruby, etc, etc. Sure, all of those are going to grow and to an extent, we've seen the maturity (I'll call it "slowing down" for the sake of my point) that Python has coming to other communities as they grow older, become safer. No - Python isn't a headline grabber, and no, if you live in the technology echo chambers you probably feel like it's not the Next Hot Thing, but hey - I'll take steady and continous growth over explosive growth and implosive shrink any day.

The community has grown more and more towards a focus towards outreach and brining people in. On the technology front projects like the Raspberry Pi are giving us inroads to schools and education and the maker community in general.

The continued explosive growth of outreach and education groups such as PyLadies, OpenHatch/Workshops, PyStar, CodeChix, LadyCoders, Women Who Code, Code Scouts and many more has seen Python as a community grow more and more organized in probably one of the most important areas we can today. Our awareness has shifted, matured and grown. This, as well as reaching into education more and more and encouraging the next generation of Python Programmers will be our key driver to maintain the growth and increasing diversity of the community. Oh, and don't forget reaching into data science and scientific community even more - the recently formed NumFOCUS Foundation should see nicely to that.

Growing up is hard to do - for example, the recent announcement of the Code of Conduct requirement the PSF put in place (the Foundation is, as far as I am aware the first grant providing organization to do this).

As I say in that post, it's a sign of not just the times, but of an increased inward focus on things we can do better at.

We've also seen more and more discussion and debates about civility within the community in general - luckily, Python has avoided too many of the PR disasters that have affected other communities, but we still have miles to go before we sleep. We have to continue to prove that Python as a language and community is something You Are Welcome in, and Something You Can Count on. I said it long ago - I wouldn't trade this community and all the friends I have made for anything.

Of course, who can forget that we're also growing up on our - I'm sorry to say this - marketing. Everything I've already listed is a form of marketing, but an extentsion of that is our, as they say, copy. Python.org is getting a major site redesign - a project that I've spent probably five years cooking, and would not have happened except for the heroic efforts of a great many people.

All in all; as I've said before, the future looks bright for the community.

Sadly, 2012 was not without it's losses. We sadly lost John Hunter, author of Matplotlib as well as Kenneth Gonsalves, founder and leader of the India Python Software Society. Both will be dearly missed within our ranks.


2012 saw, yes - the largest PyCon US ever. 2300 attendees - almost 200 sponsors. I've spent most of the last few years working on PyCon US, and 2012 was no different. The team and I started working on PyCon 2013 before PyCon 2012's main conference days were even over (well, technically we started working on it before PyCon 2012 even started). PyCon 2013 is going to be even bigger, although we've capped attendance at 2500 attendees. We've got more events such as PyPgDay, PyData SV, the Education Summit, Let's Learn Python (for kids), another PyCon 5k and a stunning list of talks and tutorials. A stunning array of sponsors and partners and so much more.

And I'm, not even close to done yet with things for PyCon 2013.

Ignoring PyCon US for a minute: 2012 also so explosive growth in the number of other Python/PyCon conferences. Just see PyCon.org for an example. The first PyCon South Africa? The first PyCon Canada? PyCarolinas? Too much amazing is going on - this is why anytime someone asks me if we're shrinking I sort of laugh.

New Projects

I've already mentioned the voluminous PyCon 2013 and Python.org Redesign which consumes much of my time - but I've found some time to slip in some new Projects for the community here and there including From Python Import Conference, continued work for the Python Software Foundation (and a FAQ for it), and a cross language/community effort called Speak Up! which I still need to formally announce. Speak Up! is aimed at mentoring new people (and those looking to hone their craft) by leveraging mentorship, teaching and an excellent set of mentors (we're adding more weekly).

Quoting it's mission:

The mission of the Speak Up! project is to assist in the guidance and mentorship of potential technical speakers, tutorial presenters and attendees of conference, user groups and other community events. We hope by providing access to mentors from many programming languages who are seasoned speakers, conference organizers, or other volunteers we can grow not just the gender diversity of speakers at technical events, but the diversity of speakers at technical conferences as a whole.

Through positive, reinforcing, polite, and safe actions - we all can increase the diversity of voices in our communities, conferences and elsewhere.

In Summary

Much of what I wrote in my 2011 wrap up still applies, more than ever. Design and our (Python/Community) interface to the world matters more than ever. Things are growing and new projects and companies are coming online every day. Hacking on Python - the community more than ever - has absorbed more and more of the time I have. It's worth it though. To stand back and see yeild of the labor of so many dedicated programmers, hackers, community leaders and groups have poured into the community continues to make me proud to serve. Even if I have an unhealthy addiction to fighting the fight online and arguing with "the internet".

So yeah. Maybe it's time to update my Gittip page. Somehow, I ignored my own advice in my 2011 wrapup and kept adding and spinning off new projects so much for taking it easy. And these are the ones I can talk about publicly right now.

The Personal Side

Well. Reading back on my 2011 Personal Portion post, well, I've managed to stay healthy (weight lifting, diet, running), I've kept up the standing desk discipline, but lost the time to do Bikram (tradeoffs, they're a thing).

Addison; our youngest has thrived - through a combination of early intervention - and early diagnosis, she's now about to turn 10 months old. She says daddy, and mommy (albeit in the toddler way). Her gross motor skills are impressive, she's a total love bug and has come to be one of the happiest toddlers I have ever known. Abby, now in kindergarten, also continues to thrive - scarily intelligent and perceptive, she's about everything you'd expect in a five year old version of me (she got my personality… Not sure if this is good).

Sadly, the brink my family found ourselves on did not abate. After the turn of the year we realized given the fact we had to lose an income due to everything else going on, climbing debt, and many other factors - it would be best for us to sell our home (our first) at a loss or to give it up entirely. It became a yolk rather than a blessing, and after the bank with whom we tried to work told my wife "we didn't tell you to have a second kid (referring to Addison)", well - that sealed the deal. At PyCon 2012 I was negotiating with them while also doing the conference, and we managed to pull off a short sale.

We're still on the hook for a large sum, thanks to the short sale, but we're in a good apartment, and we're able to do more things and focus more on the girls. We had to go back to two incomes - given the hole we had found ourselves in, it was impossible for one of us to stay home with the girls.

Inside all of this, my wife Dusty got sick - very sick. That incurred more time off, more expenses. Luckily we didn't have the house hanging over our heads, but we passed through some pretty bad times. We spent more time in emergency rooms, asking our friends for help, ducking out of work or comforting the girls that mommy would be ok than I care to admit or discuss.

While Dusty never got a prognosis that gives us resolution or a path forward; she's stable and healthier now (although the migraines that triggered it all haven't abated). Towards the tail end of this year, we've seen things finally begin to stabilize and fall into the rhythm we so desperately need as a family.

2012 has not been an easy year on any of us family-wise. But we're still here, and we still hold each other close and I've got that hope that I can finally begin to say "it's going to be ok" and not to have it feel like I'm lying to myself.

It's been a rough year, but we've grown closer as a family, and we've gotten to spend more time where it counts - with each other. Two beautiful daughters, a beautiful loving wife - I am blessed and I know it.

Just take a look at my Instagram page. My letter to my wife from Feburary still applies more than ever.


I'm so not going there. I've got projects on the burner that aren't public, a conference and a family to work on, and a smattering of other projects (oh yeah, and a full time job I love). I'm not resolving to do anything except "keep it going".

And maybe I can step back after this year. Dunno. I doubt it.

 I can't stop watching this.

I can't stop watching this.

Followups: Code of Conduct, PyCon, Speakup...

by Jesse Noller

Just a few random bits from the newsphere:

The Code of Conduct

First up, the Python Software Foundation Code of Conduct announcement generated a fair amount of feedback, triggering my own essay on the matter, since I'm the one who sorta pushed it through and argued it. You can see some feedback on HN here and here, but for the greater part, the emails/tweets and feedback from outreach groups and people has been overwhelmingly supportive, and makes me once again proud to serve. Fundamentally, the PyCon US one may not be perfect, but in conjunction with the diversity statement and response guide; it's a good start. 

There are concerns I've heard through the back channels that this is the start of NoFunPyCon, some of which are aired quite... Acerbically, some rationally. It is my fundamental belief that these don't hold a lot of water, but perhaps there's some word smithing for the PyCon one that could be done to assuage those concerns. This is also why the PSF board resolution specifically cites the Ada Initiative template, and not PyCon US'.

PyCon 2013

PyCon 2013 is already turning out to be amazing - in the past few weeks we've announced the list of accepted talks (including a 6th talk track) and tutorials, PyPgDay, PyData SV, even more partnerships with outreach groups, a survey about childcare, Start up Row - this adds to the Let's Learn Python tutorial for kids, the PyCon 5k, an amazing line up of Keynote speakers and a lot more.

We're not done yet. Proposal submissions for Poster session presentations is still open, financial aid applications are due by December 31st, and registration is limited to 2500 attendees: if you're thinking about delaying registering: I don't recommend it, fwiw. Register now - we've already sold out of early bird tickets!

Oh, and on the fence about sponsoring? Read what Walt Disney Animation Studios, via the always amazing Paul Hildenbrandt had to say about that! We have a stunning array of sponsors almost all of them hiring Python hackers - and we've got room for more!

New Project: Speakup.io

I've spun up a new project to help with speaker mentorship, diversity and generally helping people who might not feel strong enough to present get help, track call for papers, collect ideas, practice their talks and much more. The goal of the Speak Up! project is to really guide anyone who wants or needs help speaking or "getting in the door". We've got an impressive list of mentors already, and some great discussions happening on the mailing list. I should do a proper announcement soon. The code is on github too.

New Project: From Python Import Conference

This is another one of those "finally getting to it" projects. It's been on my (and many other people's) to do list to start distilling the collective knowledge of various conference organizing teams (across programming languages, conference sizes, etc) into a helpful guide. Everyone is welcome to contribute (source is on github)! More to come.

Python.org Redesign

The redesign is proceeding: oh yes, yes it is. Project Evolution's Jason Hogue posted a status update the other day you should take a look at. If you have feedback you want to shoot to us, drop us a line at psf-redesign@python.org.

I think that's about it. I admit to a certain amount of mental discombobulation with everything going on. Maybe I'll add a to do item to fix that. Until then:


The Code Of Conduct

by Jesse Noller


By now, if you're linked in to current Python / Python Software Foundation News you know that as of November 21, 2012 the PSF now requires that all conferences it sponsors, or provides grants to (and there are many), have a code of conduct in place. The exact wording of the reslution the PSF board ratified is this:

RESOLVED, that the PSF will only sponsor conferences that have or agree to create and publish a Code of Conduct/Anti Harassment guide for their conference. A basic template to work from has been generated by the Ada Initiative at http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy

Before I go much further; I'm going to state unequivocally that I am the one responsible. I proposed, argued for it, put it on the agenda and argued for it vociferously during our meeting. However, the board approved it overwhelmingly as a body with a single abstention.

Additionally, as you read this, do not assume anything about my personal politics, political leanings, etc. You would be wrong - trust me on that one. If you are assuming that a horrible event at a PSF / Python event triggered this, you are also wrong.


Community is a broad term. In the case in which I refer to it - I refer to is as the constantly growing and evolving and diversification of the big-P Python community. The Python community is growing at an astounding pace. The number of Python related conferences and events is also growing at a pace which frankly floors me. We have "PyCons" popping up all over the world almost monthly. Canada and South Africa just had their first one this year for example.

Most, if not all of these events are put together by small teams of dedicated, passionate and kind teams of largely unpaid volunteers. This is both amazing, and heartwarming. The level of love and passion shown by so many in this community amazes me on a daily basis.

I once said this about the community in which I am honored to be a part:

Some of you may have met me - almost none of you have met my wife and family - and yet the outpouring of support from the Python community has humbled me and brought me to my knees in thanks. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the generosity that has been bestowed on us by people inside of this community. Something as small as a card - a box of crayons and a coloring book for my oldest daughter - it has helped my family and I and touched us in a way I don't think we've ever been touched.

It is amazing to me that I can admit to hurting or going through something like this and people all over the world will immediately start sending the resources on where to look for information or who to talk to or specialists that they know, contact information for family members that they know who have experience with epilepsy or seizures.

It has been amazing to me the amount of support that I've gotten from a community that's based on a programming language; we are all engineers and it is not something that you'd necessarily expect.

To this day; I stand by those words. Each day I get well wishes, each day I get a chance to call attention to others within our community who need help, or call attention to those who have fallen.

This passion I have, this love for the community, its ever-growing diversity and what it has done for me is exactly why I put this resolution up to the board. It's not because the Python community is broken. It's not because we've had a "trigger event", although Julia Elman's experience and call to action sticks in my mind like a road flare when thinking about this.

So no: I don't think our community is "broken" or has performed ill - but nor has it been perfect, nor shall it ever be. I am proud of it, I spend countless hours working on behalf of it, and I would not trade it for the world. It has made me feel welcome, it has supported me in my times of need. It has allowed and empowered me to do amazing things.

Oh yeah, and I'm totally in love with the language, even if I cheat on it sometimes.

But, like with code - there's a smell in the community - but it's the larger Programming community and its conferences and events as a whole.

D stands for Diversity.

We've seen enormous growth in the diversification and inclusion of the vast non-majority within our communities thanks to the hard work of many - this includes the PyLadies movement, Women Who Code, Devchix, CodeScouts, The Ada Initiative, the Boston Python Workshops, OpenHatch, RailsBridge and many, many others.

What we are seeing is a fundamental shift in the awareness that we need to be more welcoming, more open to those who do not make the majority of our community. We need to have workshops, we need to be more inviting. We need to lower the barrier of entry of contribution. We need to make safe havens for those who want to contribute but who are scared and intimidated by the status quo. This includes men, women - everyone.

Part of this effort is the social realization of one of the Zen of Python rules:

Explicit is better than implicit.

What I mean is this: no more unwritten rules or expectations. No more assumptions that we're living in a utopian meritocracy. We don't. Sure, OSS has been defined as "they with the best code and who does the work, wins" - but that ignores the frequent corollary of "those with the thickest hide, and ability to fight win". Look at any mailing list - look at the discussions on the relative merit of a given feature, bug fix, etc. You will see things that would make your hair turn grey. You will see people shouted down for naivety, you will see that even the most meritorious idea may not win against the establishment.

This happens everywhere. This is why I say "explicit is better than implicit" when it comes to social norms and expectations.

The idea that there's some unwritten guide on how to behave in society, at a conference, at a meetup, or anywhere is fundamentally absurd. Look around you for examples.

But what does this mean in the Python Community? It means we can do better! We already are on so many fronts - but just because we're seeing positive changes doesn't need we should stop the movement.

Back to Code of Conduct

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual, party or organization.

That simple, right? Well, yes, actually. When it comes to a code of conduct for a mailing list or group or for a community such as Ubuntu and Fedora or for a conference it all boils down to the same thing. A set of rules that don't dictate what you can do, or who you must be, but what is not acceptable.

It's sort of like laws. Laws don't generally dictate your personal freedoms - what they do normally do is dictate where, given unlimited freedom, your "right to do whatever you want" ends. Laws are there not to stop crime. They are there to set rational expectations for rational people - they tell the rational actors in our story what they can count on. They set in place the rules of societal engagement and put in place punishments for when those rules are broken.

A code of conduct is no different - it is an explicit set of rules on what isn't acceptable! It's not there to take away your rights - unless you feel your rights include sexual harassment, putting pornography in talk slides, or making sexist or racist jokes in a large group of people (an event). It's there to show everyone what is not acceptable behavior, and to show what repercussions there are if anyone violates this behavior.

Quoting Jacob Kaplan-Moss on this (re: Code of Conducts/anti-harassment policies):

The criticism that’s usually raised at this point is that anti-harassment policies are unlikely to actually stop this sort of behavior. Someone who thinks that assault is acceptable behavior isn’t likely to be stopped by a code of conduct. Most people are fundamentally good and don’t need to be told not to harass their peers.

Just like laws; a code of conduct / anti-harassment policy is not going to stop bad actors. It won't. It can't. It might convince a person who acts in bad faith, or intends to do so to not attend the event - it is, after all, a signal they are not welcome, and there are consequences. Really though - again just like laws - it won't stop a determined bad actor. If I, the PyCon chair, choose to slip a bit of porn into my slides as part of the PyCon opening ceremony, I can. No one is going to know until they see it ala Fight Club.

However, should I choose to do so, instead of unspoken, unwritten rules about what's acceptable, or what consequences there would be (social shame, etc), we have a lovely document that outlines precisely what will happen to me.

If a participant engages in behavior that violates this code of conduct, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

I will, simply put, be kicked out. As conference chair, I will be asked to leave the conference area, I will not be given a refund. I will, in addition to this, probably be publicly shamed by all of those people who I knowingly and willingly abused, I will lose my seat on the PSF board, etc. I would, in fact, support being asked not to attend PyCon, or other Python conferences for a period of no less than 1-2 years.

Quoting the Staff Guidelines:

Publishing an account of the harassment and calling for the resignation of the harasser from their responsibilities (usually pursued by people without formal authority: may be called for if the harasser is the event leader, or refuses to stand aside from the conflict of interest, or similar, typically event staff have sufficient governing rights over their space that this isn't as useful)

Take another hypothetical. Say that someone - anyone, man or woman, calls my phone number during the conference and say they are being harassed. That too, is covered explicitly in the Code of Conduct, including the Attendee and Staff guides to incident reporting.

  • I will immediately ensure the safety of the Attendee.
  • I will take a report on the incident.
  • If there is immediate danger; I will contact law enforcement.
  • I will call a staff meeting, and we will discuss the incident.
  • I, or one of the staff will approach the alleged harasser, their side of the story will be taken.
  • Should the report stand, based on the information, take further action against the harasser.

If you read the Staff Guidelines you'll note something interesting: there are protections in there for victims, and protections for alleged harassers/Code of Conduct violators. This is meant to protect everyone involved in the situation from false allegations, or knee jerk reactions.

This Code, this Guide, provides the explicit declaration of what is expected, and how we will react.

But Everyone is nice, we've always been cool

I know. Honestly, I do. Except for minor incident that I recall, PyCon US has largely been free of issues such as this. Every meetup, conference, etc I have been to has been filled with nice, kind people and largely jerk-free. This is a testament to the community as a whole.

So, you ask: if we're all chill cool people, and nothing bad has happened, why have one?

Because it won't always be that way.

If we continue to expand and grow (and we will), and if we continue to grow even more diverse - in sex, race, creed and geography - the chances of "an incident" will grow. In fact, I know incidents have happened and been dealt with.

So no, the unspoken rule of "don't be a jerk" doesn't scale very well. And that's what we're talking about - a scalability problem. The social norms and rules of a group of five people, or one hundred people may float. What about 200? 500? 800? How about 2300 people (the attendance of PyCon 2012)? No. "Don't be a Jerk" may be our unspoken, unwritten community motto; but its not enough for those on the outside looking in.

Those outside of these circles want clear lines on behavioral expectations. They want to know that not only are there unwritten rules about not being a jerk - they want to know what will happen if a Jerk Occurs. This sets their expectations, and it gives them comfort. It makes them feel more welcome, more safe. Especially when they're part of a group who has been put under constant objectification and harassment for decades in our industry.

The Social Signal Flare

A Code of Conduct is, in fact a social signal flare to "others" - it's a message to them on what to expect, that they can feel welcome and safe and most of all that someone cares. I have the emails and phone calls thanking me and the PyCon team for the Code of Conduct to show it. They all carry the common theme:

Thank you. Thank you for showing me you care, and that you are thinking of me

What has this triggered? Combined with this guide, and outreach, we have drastically increased the number of (for example) female speakers at our event. We have more female and varied attendees. We have people bringing their families with them. Not just because of a single document. But because they know that because of that document and the history and people within the Python community they can feel safe, and welcome.

This social signal flare; this written set of guidelines matters to them. And we're not the only ones realizing this http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/07/sexual-harassment-at-technical.html. OSCON, Ruby Conferences, JS Conferences and other events - all of them are realizing that having rules and expectations set out for all to see makes it better for everyone.

So why the Foundation?

Now we get to the beginning: why an "edict" from the Foundation board that states this is a must for any conference they are providing money to. Well, if you read this far, hopefully you're convinced of the basic case of having a document such as this in place.

Let's look at it from a brand perspective.

For PyCon 2013 I was asked by no less than four different sponsors if I had a Code of Conduct / Anti-harassment guide in place. If I did not, they would not become sponsors. Conference attendees are demanding conferences have one, or they will not attend, or speak.

For example, I applaud Caktus Consulting Group for taking a hardline, zero tolerance stand:

…Along with this blog post, Caktus is asking conference organizers and other sponsors to join us in the following effort: Moving forward, Caktus will require that a zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy is established and enforced by the organizers of any conference that we sponsor or attend. We want to ensure that our community events are safe, welcoming, and supportive for all of our colleagues…

Let us assume that the PSF is no different than a sponsor (it is, sorta): we provide you money, we give you our name and logo (and probably setup a booth too). We are, by our participation and funding, implicitly and explicitly endorsing your event.

This means that should something happen, the "PSF brand" - which to many, is synonymous with "Python" (duh) - would be tarnished. We would be seen as endorsing an event which did not deal with a situation/incident. We would be lobbied to pull our funding/sponsorship (and I would vote for it). We would probably, via social pressure, required to distance ourselves from the event and the organizers and probably even issue an apology of our own.

So. Starting for the idea that these documents, these guidelines benefit us as a community, and help us grow more diverse and inclusive, that they help in some way to make events more safe and welcoming - we end up in a place where from a pure business perspective it is in our best interest to put these protections in place as a mechanic of sponsoring an event or issuing a grant.

These protections provide social good; they are also smart business. Yes - it is a sign that we are growing up, but that's a good thing.


In closing, all I can say is this - no one is trying to be a fascist, or a nanny state. No one is trying to say you can't cuss like a sailor (I do, but mostly behind closed door). No one is trying to censor you, or tell you you are not welcome. This is not a perfect, or foolproof solution: it is a step in the right direction.

Quite the opposite. We, the Python Community, are trying to tell people who are scared, or who feel alienated that they are welcome. That they belong. That the community, the foundation and everyone cares about them. That we want to provide a safe place for collaboration and the free exchange of ideas.

We want to show everyone what they hopefully already know by now - that the Python community, despite its quirks, is welcoming, supportive and open to all.

Jesse Noller PSF Director

Adding a few more projects to the list...

by Jesse Noller

...Or wherein I figure out all the things, right?

In addition to cutting the cord on my previous webhost due to the utter meltdown they had when I announced the Python.org Redesign and rapidly swapping DNS providers and all of my years of data over into my new host (squarespace, fwiw) - I've managed to add a few more things onto the queue.

(Intentionally not talking about PyCon - let's just say that there's big news coming on Monday... Stay Tuned.)

First up is "From Python Import Conference" - this is me finally putting the wheels to the roads with a plan many of us involved in organizing Python (and other conferences) throughout the years.

I want to cover everything from the simple considerations (how many tracks, how many people) to the more complex ones like budgeting, hotel venue negotiation, marketing, sponsorship, etc. It's a tall task - and anyone who wants to help is very welcome.

All the code (sphinx) is up on github. Please, join in!

Next up, is something that has also been brewing in my head since I started working with the PyCon Program Committee awhile ago. What really triggered me on this is this tweet between Jacob Kaplan-Moss and Selena Deckelmann.

What started as a twitter conversation, rapidly turned into an idea burning my brain. So, a new social experiment was born:

Speak Up!

Speakup - I hope, will become a mentorship group for helping those wanting to speak, or become better speakers, or learn how to navigated call for proposals, etc for conferences. I wrote a pretty extensive Mission Statement. Obviously everything is a bit raw, but once again all the source is on github and I am adding issues to the tracker to help guide the project.

We already have 10 mentors! Please join us, file issues, give us suggestions - anything.

The idea behind making a safe, welcoming and guided area to mentor people from all walks of life, to help increase our diversity of speakers across the board is a good one, I think.

PyCon 2013? Well - let's just say things are going really well :)