PyCon Wrap-Up

First, my public-service announcement: if you went to PyCon, please make sure to answer the PyCon 2012 survey.

Second, my self-service: my crashing talk and lightning brain-hack talk.

Now that this is out of the way — this was a unique PyCon for me in many ways. First PyCon I could commute to, instead of staying in a hotel. I’m still torn about what I want to do for next year — commuting has advantages, but so does staying in a hotel. Driving 30 minutes back and forth was decidedly not fun. Being a local with a car was decidedly fun — being a local with a car who has been to this convention center 3-4 times before was even more fun. I knew the area, I could help others out and so on.

The other way it was unique is that I had tons of colleagues in this PyCon. There was the constant temptation to sit with them for lunch, and the constant fun of introducing them to everyone. I also tried my hand at recruiting at this PyCon, with limited success.

The last way it was special, if not quite unique, is that I have given a talk after 3 conferences where I did not. I forgot how much work it is to prepare a talk, and how nervous it makes me. Actually giving a talk is fun, but preparing for it was a bit nerve-wrecking. I was tweaking the presentation until the last day, making sure that it was exactly what I wanted. I definitely have tons of ideas for next year’s presentation. I also intend to submit a poster session — those were a lot of fun. I’ll probably try to go in with a partner for the poster session though.

On Friday, I thought it would be my “duty day”. I chaired a few sessions, and then had to give my talks. The keynotes were awesome, and the talks I chaired ranged between OK and Good (nothing that blew me out of the water, but nothing that had me going “oh, dear lord, make it stop”). What was apparently a mistake in the schedule had every speaker get an extra 10 minutes — that they used well, so I did not mind. For my talk, I was really happy with the way the green room worked this time. The runner took my laptop, connected it and all I had to worry was about getting wired up and then talking. I have to say, watching my video was kinda disappointing — I definitely need to do better on the “um”, “like” and “uuuuh” fronts. A lot of people liked my talk, though. At the Loggly party, I ate, and talked to a lot of fun people. After 90 minutes of it, I was full, I was starting to get tired and drove back home.

On Saturday, I gave a lightning talk in the morning. That was kind of an awesome experience, giving a talk to a room this big. Of course, only the non-commuters who knew how awesome lightning talks are were there, but still. I then hung out in the green room which was awesome/mistake, as I got roped into chairing the session where one talk was opposite of the “shooting squirrels with water guns” talk (guess why nobody volunteered to chair it). It was an OK session, all in all, though I thought the talk that was basically reading out loud a PyPI howto was mildly meh. For dinner, I went with a friend to the Mongolian Grill place, and then came back for my birthday. That was pretty awesome, partially because I got to introduce my wonderful wife to everyone.

Sunday had way more people in the lightning talks, and was kind of a short day. I drove to the Subway place for take-outs with a couple of people from the Twisted sprints, and then helped the Twisted newbies get started. I finally crashed and decided to go home and get a good night’s rest.

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