inpycon09 the success story

When the first discussions happened, everybody doubted it might become just another conference discussion that will never happen. It has taken the support and sheer determination of quite a number of people to make it happen. We just wanted to try it once, to at least see how the Python community responds to such initiatives and it has ended up being more than encouraging to make this a yearly event. This is the simple story of inpycon09.

When I landed at the IISc campus on a not so chilly morning, the posters were up and I could find a few people waiting here and there in the corridors. When I entered nothing was up yet, other than a few volunteers running around putting posters and direction notices. Slowly people started turning up and I could see more known faces. By 9 AM, there were enough crowd to start the registration counter and soon a long queue got formed.

The conference kit consisted of a notepad, ID tag, a pen and a pycon tee. It was a simple white tee, with a caption in the back. Unfortunately we ended up having a spello in it, which indeed made the tee more special 😉 Halls were fast filling up and when Prabhu Ramachandran was delivering the keynote the benches got filled and people started filling up the foot steps as well. It was a very interesting talk, encouraging everyone to go and give a shot with Python. He had also included his associations with ILUGC and how it helped him. He advised people to become a part of an active LUG. His talk was mostly around SciPy and Mayavi.

As the keynote ended, talks in other two halls started, kicking the normal proceedings of the first day of inpycon. Every hall was running full house and we would’ve had around 300 people attending the conference, especially a big bunch of students of REC, Chennai. Kenneth and Noufal took the Introduction to Python talk, leaving me for the second day. There was actually a balance of talks, not just focusing on web development. And the lunch was really good.

A lot of #linux-india guys had turned up and it was surprising to meet them before the normal foss.in season. The first day ended up quite satisfactorily and gave us hopes for the second day to run smoothly. Though we did not have a huge crowd on the second day, and it being only a half day of scheduled talks, it too went calmly. I took the beginners’ introduction to Python, following by Kenneth taking some advanced topics. There was a white sheet posted with post-it notes to be used to express the feedbacks from delegates and we ended up getting some quite interesting, even contradicting opinions posted about the conference. We welcome the criticisms as it helps us to know our holes and stop it from appearing next time.

On the whole, the beta release of inpycon was a satisfying success, leaving my weekend to have not been wasted and giving us the encouragement to come back better next year, may be in Chennai 😉

PyCon in India

PyCon is the annual conglomerate of Python community at various places around the globe. It is an occasion which brings together the developers, users and business community around Python, serving as a platform to interact and share each others’ views and experiences.

There was always an idea to have once such conference in India, but the need for it has become stronger of late in the BangPypers mailing list that has given to numerous threads of discussions going on in the mailing list. Also a formal proposal is getting drafted as well as open discussions happening in the wiki were people can pen down their opinions and ideas.

The month of September has been proposed for the tentative time for PyCon India to happen, but it is still under discussion. The few hot topics among the on-going discussions are whether to have tee-shirts available or should we have more useful stuffs like Python cheat-sheet given as a part of delegate kit. Also, what’s the level and mode the conference should take up being the first such event in India is also a point to decide upon.

Baiju also raised the idea of inviting Guido to open up the conference, as they would be having an opportunity to meet him during the PyCon in Chicago to happen soon.

Another point to remember is that PSF doesn’t want numerous PUGs in the country to have their own PyCons, which means all PUGs within India should put their heads together and organize a PyCon in the country together. This means we can have the PyCon each year at a new location, and the decision can be made during the current year’s PyCon about the next year’s venue. As the initial discussion has started in BangPypers, the beginning will most probably happen in Bangalore.

I know only three active PUGs in India, the BangPypers, the ChennaiPy and MumPy (which is pretty infant comparing the other two). If you know of any more PUGs, please enlighten me up so I can keep them on the loop as well.

Please feel free to add your thoughts in the wiki. We will soon select an organizing committee, and despite it we will need lots of volunteers and lots of sponsors. If you are in a company using Python and would like to participate and/or sponsor in this wonderful event, then please join the BangPypers mailing list or poke us in #bangpypers in irc.freenode.net. We will soon try to have a dedicated mailing list running up for all discussion relating to the PyCon.

If you have any more points to add to this post, please drop a comment to this post and I will consider adding  it 🙂 Let’s all make the PyCon happen in India. Python, FTW!! 🙂