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Open Spaces

Published / 11 Sep 2014

PyCon has always been more than just a conference. It has been a place where people who have similar interests find each other and have great conversations.

This time, we want to make room for more such conversations. This time, we are going to make Open Spaces more exciting.

What are open spaces?

An open space is a place for people to come together and work on / share something. This can be anything like:

  • Hacking on some open source project (A feature hack, a Bug bust, etc)
  • Code reading. Pick up a FOSS and start. An experienced hacker can take a group along for a quick intro.
  • Sharing a cool refactor technique
  • Talking about how a technology is used in ones workplace
  • A crash course on static site generators
  • Round table hacking
  • … Or even an all out vim VS emacs battle.

The best part of an open space is that there is no schedule, there are no pre decided talks. They are entirely up to the people who attend the conference. Just get there, make an announcement and get down to it. Things work purely on a first come first serve basis. Also a smaller group generally leads to a lot more discussions, encourages the audience to ask more questions and keep things lively.

To give you some examples, here are the list of some of the things that happened in the open spaces last year:

  • Deploying python application in heroku
  • Python 3 difference and experience in porting python 2 to python 3
  • GSoC experience and how to apply for GSoC.
  • Q&A testing in RedHat
  • Web scrapping with scrapy.
  • Learning science with expeyes

Additionally, If you have proposed a talk that didn't make it in the schedule, you can come to venue and find a slot if available. That way, the people who are interested in the topic you proposed can catch up with you at the event itself.

Getting in touch with others

Pulling off something like open spaces requires one key thing - abundant communication.

There will be a board in a prominent location with a set of stickies. You can come over here and put up your name and interests, that way anyone looking to talk about something can find you and vice versa. This can act as the central point of communication for open spaces. Booking rooms for larger talks could also be done via stickies. To give you a quick idea, This is how barcamp did it in 2011.

As far as actual spaces are concerned, Nimhans is really big and the first floor can be used for discussions. We will arrange a bunch of tables. In addition to these, there are multiple rooms on the first floor that can be utilized as well.

While we are still trying to figure the details on how to make this communication as seamless as possible and this seems like a good starting point. We will share more details as things get clearer.

Final thoughts

We always encourage people not to attend all the talks. We believe that there is a lot that you can learn from the other peers attending the conference. So, go over to the open space and interact with someone, or even better, do something yourself!

For any clarifications please contact Jaseem Abid. He will be in charge of activities around the open spaces.

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