Announcing AQR as Platinum Sponsor

AQR

Hi Everyone, it is our pleasure to announce the PyCon India 2018’s first platinum sponsor AQR.

AQR is a global investment management firm dedicated to delivering results for our clients. At the nexus of economics, behavioral finance, data and technology, AQR’s evolution over two decades has been a continuous exploration of what drives markets and how it can be applied to client portfolios. Our culture of intellectual curiosity compels us to challenge the status quo, disrupt long-held beliefs and uncover new insights.

The firm is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, with offices in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, and Sydney. As of March 31, 2018, AQR had approximately $225 billion in assets under management.

PyCon India Tickets 2018

PyCon India 2018, the tenth edition of the premier conference in India on using and developing the Python programming language is conducted annually by the Python developer community has started ticket sales for the mega event that is scheduled from 5th - 9th October 2018.

The conference will be having a tight schedule of workshops, keynotes, talks, workshops, and dev-sprints strung together through 3 different tracks. Any person who has a conference ticket is eligible to attend the Devsprints. Although the Developer Sprints are free, we would be having registrations beforehand to manage the logistics. The ticket structure is as follows:-

Grab the Student and Regular tickets now from Explara.

Tickets Structure

Early Bird Tickets

An Early bird ticket reserves your seat for the conference on 6th - 7th October, 2018, with a pricing of INR 1200 (GST applicable), the sale of early bird tickets ends on 30 June 2018 or completion of 300 tickets.

UPDATE: Early-bird tickets have been sold out.

Student Ticket

A student ticket reserves your seat for the conference on 6th - 7th October, 2018, with a pricing of INR 1000 (GST applicable), the sale of student tickets ends on 30 September 2018 or completion of 300 tickets.

UPDATE: 100 Student tickets have already been sold. Get yours now !!

Regular Ticket

A regular ticket reserves your seat for the conference on 6th - 7th October, 2018, with a pricing of INR 1700 (GST applicable), the sale of regular tickets begins on 1st July 2018.

Late Bird Ticket

A late bird ticket reserves your seat for the conference on 6th - 7th October, 2018, with a pricing of INR 2500 (GST applicable), the sale of late bird begins on 1st September 2018.

Payment Options

You can pay through Citrus or EBS gateway via Credit Card, Debit Card or Netbanking. You can also use Paytm for your registration by accepting the terms and conditions of Explara.

See you there at the Conference!!

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How to Write a Good Proposal

The call for proposals for PyCon India 2018 has been up and running for a few days now. We already have quite a few exciting proposals, and it is only going to get better. The programme of a conference is undoubtedly the greatest part of the conference. It is in the talks and workshops that the participants can learn the most and speakers can make the most impact. Ever since the inception of tech conferences led by FOSS communities, talk selections have been a continuously-evolving process. PyCon India is now in its tenth year. In this time we too have gone through many different cycles of revising our talk/workshop proposals and selection processes. We pride ourselves on being not only adaptable but also welcoming towards change and learning from other conferences and communities.

This year, we have decided to engage with the audience (both speakers and attendees) well in advance of the talk proposal-review-update cycle in a very proactive manner. One of the many ways in which we hope to accomplish this is the mentorship programme for first-time speakers (you can read more about it here). Another step in that direction is laying down some guidelines about what makes a good proposal. That is what this post is about. We cannot emphasize enough that these are only guidelines, not rules, derived mostly from the experiences of Pythonistas who are regular speakers at tech conferences.

Before we get into the details, let us take a look at some myths that many novices have, about speaking at a tech conference.

  1. An advanced talk is a good talk : As you can see in the CFP, the intended target audience for any talk or workshop is categorized under "Beginner", "Intermediate", and "Advanced". These categories have no correlation with the quality of a talk. Talks are evaluated not only based on their inherent depth but also on the impact they might have on the audience - and as such, good talks for beginners are much more likely to have an impact than mediocre talks for experts. We also tend to confuse beginner talks with easy talks. As Einstein famously said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." So, generating even the simplest content takes a lot of effort and expertise. Conversely, anyone can come up with a complicated and arcane material, but it means nothing without clarity.

  2. Showing code is important : You may, under the right conditions, show snippets and templates of code, but live coding is generally a bad idea. A piece of code not working exactly when people are looking at it is something that happens so frequently that it is not even funny anymore. Moreover, code, by its very nature is not meant to reside on slides. Making an audience read the code, or even walking them through code wastes quite a bit of time. Yes, talk is cheap and you ought to show people the code, but a presentation is not the right place for it. Show snippets or templates and leave links for the audience to follow.

  3. Upvotes are critical in selection : Upvotes on a proposal are only marginally important. They are used mostly as tie-breakers. The organizers are acutely aware that the people who upvote or downvote talks may not even attend the conference. Some authors go to great lengths to get their talks upvoted. This is a misdirected effort at best. This is not to say that there is no merit in promoting your own talk among your network and asking people to upvote your proposals. However, do remember that a popularity of a talk works only if it is organic. It is not uncommon to have mediocre proposals become very popular just because they have plenty of buzzwords in them. Such proposals stick out like a sore thumb and may easily be subject to stricter scrutiny.

  4. Workshop slots are easier to grab than talks : It is no mean feat to keep an audience of 30 to 50 people sufficiently engaged for the better part of three hours. Workshops are, by definition, highly interactive and therefore, writing Jupyter notebooks for a workshop requires more effort than writing slides for a talk. It is true that the content for a workshop may not be as original as that for a talk, but since the audience is expected to code alongside the speaker and solve exercises in the course of the workshop, the content is subject to more criticism.

  5. Loud proposals are more visible : A loud proposal here means too much of any of the following: memes, jokes (no matter how funny and non-stereotypical they may be), buzzwords or catchphrases, exclamation marks, religious jingoism towards or against a piece of technology, etc. Authors can rest assured that every single proposal will be given its due attention and care. The loudness, instead of making your proposal more visible, only makes it more difficult for the reviewers to sift through the noise and get to the real message.

These points themselves might have given you a broad idea of how the programme committees normally look at talk or workshop proposals, but there are quite a few details to follow. While there is no formula for a good talk, broadly each talk is judged on three aspects  relevance, clarity and the potential impact of the talk.

The importance of the relevance of a talk to the Python community need not be emphasized. A talk about the internals of the Linux kernel, while irresistible to many of us, would not be a good candidate for a PyCon. One of the best ways of keeping things relevant is knowing your audience well. Spend some time looking at the well-received talks in other conferences, and try to balance your content accordingly. This is not to say that the history of a conference dictates its future content. On the contrary, many great talks come from breaking the glass ceiling. Keep in mind that it is very easy for audiences (and communities in general) to forget what is relevant to them, especially in this age of information overload where we are distracted by and attracted to every new article that goes viral on Hacker News. Consider this example - an interesting point of debate from a panel discussion last year was that Python has too many web frameworks. Now, your takeaway from this could be that no one wants to hear yet-another-talk-about-yet-another-web-framework. However, a very good proposal might emerge from evaluating different web frameworks, weighing their pros and cons, pointing out what could be done to fix problems, and a healthy dose of practical advice drawn from your own experiences, which would eventually motivate the audience to seek better solutions. A good speaker is one who steers the audience in a more relevant direction, even under the overload of information, just like a recommendation system. Be the best recommendation system you can be.

The clarity metric is simply a corollary to the first point made in the list of myths earlier. Keep in mind that ideas and concepts are far more sustainable in a talk than solutions and tools. And to be able to crystallize these in your presentation, clarity is paramount. The ideas themselves may be simple or complex, but they should be clear. What Donald Knuth said about writing code for computers and writing code for humans applies in conferences too. Conferences are nothing without people, and people, especially programmers, thrive on clarity of thought. When drafting your proposal, make sure that you clearly highlight the focal points. The remaining is just details, which should follow naturally.

The final aspect of the talk - its impact - can be both positive and negative. One way of determining the potential positive impact of your talk is by asking yourself questions like:

  • What is the real contribution of this talk?
  • What am I bringing to the table?
  • Am I just dispensing information that could be found anywhere?

The negative impact of a talk is somewhat difficult to determine, but a few things that must invariably be avoided are toxicity, race/gender stereotypes and shaming, directed toward anyone - even toward a hypothetical individual - for any reason.

Do not forget to ask for help and take full advantage of the mentorship programme. Be active on the CFP. Actively engaging with reviewers and the audience in the comments section of your proposal can work wonders for your proposal. Note that conference slots are a very expensive affairs for everyone involved - the organizers, the speakers, and the audience. Part of the responsibility for making a talk successful lies with the organizers too. Therefore, we are as invested in your proposal as you are yourself.

All the best!

Call For Proposals is open!

The time has come! And we are thrilled to announce the opening of Call for Proposals. We encourage everyone to submit a proposal on any topic they would like to share with the community.

Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind:

  • July 10: Proposal submission deadline
  • July 29: Workshop finalization and first round decision for talks
  • August 12: Final round decision for talks
  • September 1: Schedule announcement on the webstie

PROPOSAL TYPE

The proposals can be of two type:

  1. Talk: A Talk is focused on a topic for 30 minutes.
  2. Workshop: A Workshop is an in depth, hands on session for 2 hours and 30 minutes

PROPOSAL CATEGORIZATION

Here are some sections under which you can submit your talk or workshop:

  1. Core python and Standard library - Language Features, Python Implementations, Extending Python and Standard Library
  2. Data science - Data Analysis, Scientific Computing, Machine Learning and Data Visualization
  3. Developer tools and Automation - Testing, CI/CD, Containers, Orchestration, Logging and Monitoring
  4. Web Development - Web frameworks and RESTful APIs
  5. Embedded python - MicroPython, Python on Hardware, Robotics, Arduino and Raspberry Pi
  6. Networking and Security - Network Programming, Async, Network Security and Encryption
  7. Others - Everything else that may be of interest to the audience of PyCon India

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

  • The proposal should have an objective with clear expectation for the audience.
  • The proposal description should be short and to the point.
  • The proposal should have proper prerequisites like environment setup, library version.
  • Appropriate session content like presentation, pdf, code snippets etc. are a plus.
  • Proposal content links can be updated later.
  • Proposal content should adhere to code of conduct.
  • Proposal content shouldn't have a company name throughout the content. Mention of the employer is allowed only at the beginning of the content (presentation/pdf).
  • Background image/wallpaper shouldn't contain company name/logos.
  • Selection/Rejection about talks will be notified via email.
  • For any questions, please write to contact@in.pycon.org.

Mentors

Presenters, regardless of experience, sometimes want a little help. If you’d like any help in proposing, preparing, or presenting your talk, feel free to contact one of our mentors! A mentor is an experienced presenter who has volunteered to help other presenters.

If you are a first-time speaker, or looking for help to give a shape to the idea that you have in your mind, or just appreciate another set of eyes, our mentors are here to help. If you would like to be matched with a mentor to help with your proposal(s), request a mentor here.

FAQ

Q: Who can propose a session ?
A: Anyone who works on python irrespective of the experience.

Q: I am first time speaker, can I propose session ?
A: Yes. We accept proposals from everyone.

Q: Will someone help me fine tune the content ?
A: Yes, we have a set of reviewers who will review the content and give feedback from time to time. You can also go through these resources to make your talk successful:

Q: Can I upload the content later ?
A: Yes, it is advised to start with rough draft and iterate rather than postponing to last minute.

Q: Can I propose multiple talks?
A: Yes, you can as long as they are different.

PROPOSE YOUR TALK NOW!

PyCon India 2018 : Update in Venue, Addition of HydPy

There has been few major changes in the organisation of PyCon India 2018 due to some unavoidable circumstances & to have a successful PyCon India.

To the City of Nizams

The community has decided to shift the venue to Hyderabad & let the new entrants take lead this year.

The Python community in Hyderabad has been growing rapidly in the last few years. The city saw the first regional Python conference held recently in October 2017 organized by the Hyderabad Python Users Group(HydPy).

HydPy will be organising PyCon India on Oct 5th - Oct 9th instead of PyCon Hyderabad this year, the new dates were kept in alignment with the schedule earlier planned for its own regional conference.

The Event

  • Workshops : Oct 5th (Fri). 4 parallel tracks with each workshop being 3 hour long
  • Conference : Oct 6th & 7th (Sat-Sun). 3 parallel sessions
  • Dev Sprints : Oct 8th & 9th (Mon-Tue)

Volunteer structure

We’re incorporating workgroup structure which will take responsibility of getting things done for various teams of PyCon India 2018.

Workgroup - Core group of people responsible for the execution of tasks mandated for a given team. The workgroup is also responsible for setting guidelines on the team's working.

Volunteers - The workgroup along with the volunteers execute the various tasks in the shape and form as agreed within the workgroup.

Important Dates

CFP

  • Opens : TBD
  • Closes : July 1st
  • Last date to upload final presentation : July 15th
  • Talk acceptance : Aug 4th.
  • Final schedule : Aug 15th.

Registration

  • Opens : May 15th.
  • Closes : September 28th.
  • Note : Ticket cancellations will not be allowed beyond September 15th. Also, registration is limited by the venue capacity and hence, might close sooner.

That's about it folks. Spread the word, talk about it, let your friends and family know, and let's make the 10th year conference the best one ever.

Sponsorships are open now!

While the preparations are under full swing to celebrate the 10th year anniversary edition of PyCon India and make the event a grand success, here's a chance for you and your organisation to make it even better!

The entire organising team and the community at large are extremely thankful to all the sponsors who have supported us throughout out the years. It is no secret that without your support, we wouldn't have been able to even think about taking the conference to bigger and better heights with each and every year. Many of you must already be eager to come forward and book your slot, but here's a bit more information and incentive so as to why you should consider sponsoring:

Put your business in the spot light

Stand out among the attendees by prominently displaying your products and marketing material.

Low Cost Marketing

Instead of spending a fortune on traditional advertisements, take a look at our reasonably priced sponsorship slabs and pick one - letting you be discovered and known to the cream of the community at maybe half (or even less!) of your marketing budget.

Hiring

The conference has a history of attracting smart folks from various backgrounds and also of making matches between them and potential employers. Get connected, make your pitch and find the best programmers to join your ranks!

Give Back to the Community

Establish your goodwill and show the community that you’re a reliable partner, willing to support the ecosystem. Sponsorship is a way of giving back to the community and thanking them for their support. Your sponsorship helps PyCon India remain affordable and accessible to the widest possible audience.

Small Business Discount

To make PyCon India affordable to small businesses and startups, we provide a 50% discount for the Gold, Silver and Associate sponsorship slabs. Note: In order to avail this discount, your organization must have been established not more than two years ago, with fewer than 10 current employees.

Flexibility

Have something specific in mind? Please don’t hesitate to ask! We are more than happy to work with you and tailor sponsorship benefits to suit your needs.

Interested in getting involved? Checkout our sponsorship prospectus right here.

If you have any queries whatsoever, please don't hesitate to reach out to sponsorship@in.pycon.org