Monday, September 03, 2007

Texas Python Unconference - Sep 15/16

The first regional Python unconference is coming to Houston on September 15-16 (Sat-Sun). Being held at the Texas Learning & Computing Center on the University of Houston main campus, this is a FREE event for Pythoneers from all over the Texas region.

And being an unconference, participation by those who attend is welcome and greatly sought. The topics to be presented are purely up to the attendees.

Details about the facility and a sign-up registration list is available on the event wiki. Please add your name if you think you might attend, so that we can have some estimate of who is coming.

Also add to the wiki topics on which you are coming prepared to present, or that you would like to see. Often people can present on many topics but don't know what others are interested in.

And a big thanks go out to Robin Friedrich and those in Houston for hosting us. Let's roll up our sleeves and help them out! Involvement is key to making an unconference successful.

For those not familiar with unconferences, check out this description.

See you all there...

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator Announces Winner of Most-Video-Plays of the Month, a website offering over 361 instructional screencasts about topics both Python and non-Python, has announced their first winner of the month for the most-played video. And the winner is:

"Learn Django: Create a Wiki in 20 minutes"

by Siddharta Govindaraj, founder of Silver Stripe Software, with 1851 views in August, far outpacing the second-place entry. The prize is a £20 (UK) voucher to Amazon. Congratulations, Siddhi!

Siddhi is also helping Doug Napoleone with PyCon this year, providing a program for generating attendee badges and working to integrate it into the Django-based conference site.

You can catch up with Siddhi on his personal blog.

So who will win this month? It could be you! How about a screencast showcasing a different web framework like TurboGears or Twisted Web? Or something about databases, either relational or object.

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator

Sunday, August 19, 2007

2nd Annual Workshop: Python for the German-Speaking Countries

Being held on September 7, 2007 in Leipzig, Germany the one-day workshop is for both the experienced as well as novice programmer. Early registration gets you in the door at only 50 euros, with a full day of presentations and an informal dinner* in the evening. After August 31 registration goes up to 65 euros.

* Cost of the dinner is not included in the registration price.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Python Trainers, Promote Thyself!

With the recent establishment of the wiki page on of those who offer training services for the Python language, we now have 23 listed, worldwide.

Many of the trainers are individuals or small companies, and it can be hard to get the attention of the big IT houses. While skill credentials and a portfolio of past training gigs are important, perhaps one of the best promoters is when someone has actually experienced one of your classes. They gain insight into your speaking style, how you relate to the students and your ability to explain complex technical subjects in an approachable way. No class syllabus can convey that. The Python community has a valuable resource that can give you the next best thing. Screencasting!

Screencasting is a multimedia creation that focuses on the instructor's desktop, with voiceover guidance. It can be in the format of an online slideshow, a guided sourcecode walkthrough or a follow-along interactive session. They can be as long or short as you wish and they have opportunities for branding, by using custom wallpaper behind your talks desktop and musical lead-in/fade-out.

Screencasts can be hosted on or, if done with a large font, They can also be embedded in your website while being hosted elsewhere.

You can learn more about the details with a talk series I put together entitled Casting Your Knowledge, With Style.

But perhaps you're really busy on current projects and short on time. Consider arranging an audio interview about an upcoming seminar you're offering and making it available as a podcast. Ron Stephens of Python 411 makes available an excellent collection of podcasts and may be interested in hosting yours.

Unlike face-to-face presentation opportunities, screencasts/podcasts have the additional benefit that they promote your training offerings while you're busy on other gigs. It's almost like cloning yourself and having more time for promotion. It's all about leverage.

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator

Usergroups Forming: Arizona and Carolina Regions

Two new Python usergroups are being organized!


Michael March is starting a group for those in the Flagstaff/Phoenix/Tucson region of Arizona. The first meeting to get organized will be held on Monday July 30th at 6:30pm. Location is not yet set -- need input from potential attendees.

If you are interested, a mailing list and wiki page have been established as well as a group, where you can sign up to receive automated calendar reminders of group activities.

North/South Carolina

While there is an existing group TriZPUG for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region, a new group is being formed for the Charlotte and North-Central South Carolina area. No meetings have yet been scheduled - to participate in discussions join the Google Group:

Other Groups

There are 34 states with Python usergroups, leaving 16 without any Python organizations at all -- and this is just in the United States. We would like to encourage the formation of more groups worldwide. If you've been wishing there were meetings near you, step forward and help initiate or revitalize one. There are experienced organizers waiting to mentor you on the group organizers mailing list.

Usergroups are a lot of fun, a source of employment opportunities and a great way to enhance your programming and teaching skills. The Python Software Foundation and the experienced group organizers are ready to support you in your efforts.

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Update Regarding Python Advocacy

For those who might wonder what I do as advocacy coordinator, I've just updated for the month my list of accomplishments at:

My short list of things to tackle next is at:

Suggestions and feedback are appreciated, as is volunteering to create podcasts, screencasts, artwork or whitepapers. There is a list of writing ideas at:

and ideas for articles at:

For screencasting I'm working with Ian of to create a collection of 5-minute videos targeted at those new to or unsure of Python, to make them aware of the strengths of the language in areas in which they might be interested. We welcome contributions - they're only 5-minute talks and so don't require a large investment of time.

And on the low burner we've got some wiki pages bubbling about how to help new programmers get into Python, at:

We could use any ideas that might occur to you as you read those wiki pages.

Jeff Rush
Advocacy Coordinator

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Organizing Python Representation at OSCON 2007

OSCON 2007 in Portland, Oregon from July 23-27 is fast approaching. This is a professional conference that can give Python a lot of visibility in the IT world and draws a different crowd from our community-run conferences like PyCon.

There looks to be a good set of talks on the Python track, with several positioned to promote the use of Python by telling its story:
  • Code Like a Pythonista: Idiomatic Python
  • SQLAlchemy: Taming ORM with Python
  • Super-sizing YouTube
  • How to Write a Killer Sugar Activity
  • Exploiting Multicore Capabilities from Python
  • Python 3000
  • Programming for Everybody: CP4E
  • Coding with Dynamic Confidence
There also is the opportunity to reach out by holding Python birds-of-a-feather gatherings. The Python community is a friendly group and face-to-face contact is important to convey the human aspect of Python. Proposals for BoFs can be submitted by visiting the OSCON page for BoFs.

I will not be attending this year, so we need one or more who are willing to step forward and loosely organize a bit. Let's discuss this on the Python advocacy mailing list and make it happen this year.

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator