PyCon India Blog

If you are planning to submit a talk/tutorial to PyCon India,  this post is meant for you. It is also useful to those who have made submissions already. Read On.

You have a subject matter  that you would like to speak at PyCon India. How to decide whether to submit it as a talk or tutorial ? Here are some guidelines that might help you.

  1. How you want to present the topic - Do you want to take a topic, give an overview and some details, perhaps discuss some practical aspects and show at most 1-2 demos ? If so a talk would be suitable, since this style of delivery fits the shorter time span of a talk.  However if you want to explore your topic in a lot of practical detail, show more than 3 demos and actually want to educate your audience on the intricacies of the topic in a hands-on manner, a tutorial would be a better fit, since you need more than an hour for this style of presentation.
  2. Breadth of the topic - If you want to take a slightly broader area and educate your audience about it, a tutorial is always a better choice. A talk would be too small for such topics and could bore the audience because you would be forced to be generic about it. For example, "Building apps on Ubuntu" is a topic broad enough that an hour of discussion won't get you anywhere - it is a better fit as a tutorial.  Another example could be "Developing mobile apps using Python for Android" or "Solving puzzles using Python". Examples of such talks from past PyCons are Functional programming with Python and Web Scraping with Python .
  3. Do you expect a lot of audience interaction and feedback  for your presentation to be successful ? - If answer to this question is yes, you should submit the topic as a tutorial. Anything which involves detailed audience interaction and feedback would not work as a talk because there will be too much back and forth which would eat up your presentation time.  Examples of these kind of talks are those that teach the audience a skill or details of a library, an application etc. A specific example from past PyCons is Web API programming using Python .
  4.  Presentation involving a demo where audience are mostly passive - As in contrast to above, if your presentation is going to be a mostly one-way demo where the audience can learn a lot by simply watching and popping an occasional question, it is best submitted a talk.  Good examples of these in the past PyCons have been Device interfacing with Python and ZIO and Python and WII - Intuitive Control.
  5. Topics - Some topics seem to fit a tutorial mould than a talk. Our experience shows us that talks on GUI libraries for example are best delivered as tutorials since audience tends to get bored with textual presentation of something which is best delivered as a visual experience and with lots of hands-on examples. Other examples could be talks on Mobile frameworks, Web frameworks (Django etc) and talks on Big Data frameworks (Hadoop etc). However if you have a specific and concise aspect of any of these topics that you want to present without too many demos, it could fit a talk as well.
  6. Introductory Talks - This might sound counter-intuitive, but introductory talks on anything are best delivered as tutorials. This is because the average skill and experience level of any audience is always above beginner level and there might be at least a few people in the audience who would be bored by what they feel as basics. If you define your talks as a tutorial, then the audience for it would be tailored to the level for the talk (in this case beginner) and you would find a more receptive audience and a more successful presentation.
  7. Dates - Last but not the least, if for some reason, you can attend only the first day of PyCon India, but still want to talk, you can submit it as a tutorial. This is because, the first day is reserved for tutorials only :-)

These are general guidelines. Please go through past PyCon talks including the links given here, if you are in doubt of whether your topic is fit for a "talk" or a "tutorial". 

People who have already submitted their proposals might also benefit from this. For example, if you feel that you could have submitted something as a tutorial or a talk after reading this, you are welcome to resubmit or edit the submission.

For any further help or clarifications, email me at .

Anand B Pillai