2020, Online

Wanna help make PyCon India even more amazing? Join the team!

Have you ever wished you could contribute or give back to the Python community? Well, here’s an awesome opportunity for you to do it with the year's premier conference for the Python programming language, PyCon India 2020.

PyCon India is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven conference. What that means is every year for the past 12 years Python communities across the nation have come together to help plan, organize, manage, and run the conference. The conference is operated entirely by volunteers from planning to finding the speakers to managing call for proposals to handling the mega event successfully without fail.

What you need to know.

Before you embark on a journey helping the community make the conference even more amazing, there are a few things you should know:

  • There is a lot of work that goes into a conference, and all of it is done by the volunteers. So, naturally, volunteering requires a lot of time and effort, and some activities like running outreach and social media, building content, and finding speakers, a lot more than others. So, make sure you can allocate sufficient time to your volunteering efforts.

  • If you are engaged in a volunteering activity while a session is going on, you might not be able to attend that session. If someone needs your assistance with a task, you need to be there. So, plan your conference schedule accordingly.

  • Volunteering does not provide you a free way into the event. At PyCon, everyone needs to buy a ticket, even the organizers. We volunteer because we love Python and the community, and want to make this event great, not to get a free pass to the conference.

Workgroup - Group of people responsible for the execution of specific tasks focused on a particular aspect of the conference mandated for a given team. The workgroup is also responsible for setting guidelines on the team's working.

Volunteers - The workgroup, along with its volunteers, execute various tasks as agreed within the workgroup. Each Workgroup consists of several volunteers who assign each other tasks, complete the assigned tasks, and help manage the group.

Finally, volunteers are the most important part of the event. Without volunteers, the event cannot happen. So, even if you are attending PyCon for the first time, we encourage you to volunteer with whatever you can. If you don't want to miss any of your favorite sessions, then volunteer for smaller tasks.

What’s required of you?

All the aspects of the conference are managed by the volunteers. There are a variety of areas where you can help.

  • If you have a passion for social media and love interacting with the masses, you can join our social media team and help us take the conference to a wider audience.

  • If you’ve always had a knack for amazing designs and visuals, and you like to express your ideas in designs, you can join our design team and help make our content beautiful and visually pleasing to our community members.

  • If you love the nuances of a language and words have always helped you express yourself, you can join our content team and help us make our content more expressive and remarkable for all our readers.

  • If you’re great at programming and looking to make some contributions that might help the community, you can join our technology team and help us out with numerous implementations for our platforms. Your frontend skills can help us improve our website and blog. You can also contribute to our CFP platform, Junction, with your Django skills.

We don’t have any specific requirements for our volunteers. Any contributions to any area of the conference which will make the event better are welcome. If you need any help with any kind of work or contribution, feel free to reach out to any of us at our Zulip channel.

All the workgroup leaders and volunteers have a weekly meeting to brief about the progress in their respective workgroup so that everyone's on the same page. Here is a list of our workgroups and their contact persons:

  • Code of Conduct - Sayan Chowdhury
  • Accessibility - Saptak Sengupta
  • CFP (Call For Proposal) - Kumar Anirudha
  • Design - Saptak Sengupta
  • Social Media - Pradhvan Bisht
  • Dev Sprint/Workshops - Ananyo Maiti
  • Mentorship/Editorial - Vipul Siddharth
  • Review Panel - Ritesh Agarwal
  • Content - Vipul Gupta
  • Platform - Chandan Kumar
  • Technology - Nabarun Pal

What’s in it for you?

You might be wondering, what will you get out of helping us make the event better? What will you gain for providing the conference hours of your time? Other than having an insight and say into the decisions and the direction of the conference you will be attending, there are also some other benefits to volunteering too.

You will get to meet many exceptional people, many of whom are recognized experts in their field. Along with the industry leaders and experts, you will also get to meet a plethora of new people who are working in Python and other open source communities. Some of them might even be developers and contributors to the software you use, and you’ll get to interact with them and get some insights into the development process.

You will also get first-hand, practical experience in managing an event, working with a team, and the open-source development ecosystem. You will get to learn how large-scale, real-life projects work, and what is it like being an important component of the massive machinery behind all the community events. You will get the chance to work alongside some amazing people, from whom you can get to learn a lot if you’re willing to learn.

How to get started?

Now that you’re aware of what it takes and what it means to volunteer, if you wish to help us make the conference even better with your contributions, you should start with:

  • Joining the mailing list, there you can stay up to date with all the happenings, discussions, and overall progress of the conference preparations.

  • Join our Zulip channel and follow the workgroups you would like to contribute to. There you can meet all other volunteers, and discuss and share your work with others.

  • You can also pro-actively "Watch" the following repos on GitHub where you can stay up to date with the progress of various tasks and even contribute where you feel you can help. Feel free to actively participate in any discussion, open an issue, or file a Pull Request for any contribution you feel will be helpful to the conference.

If you have any questions, please drop a mail to the mailing list, but make sure to check the mailing list archives, for previous discussions, before posting. You should also check out the PyCon India Handbook, containing the experiences and guidelines from previous organizers, which might be helpful to you in your volunteering journey.

Happy volunteering!

Credits: Parts of the article were inspired from:

Volunteering for PyCon India 2019, PyCon India 2019
Volunteering for PyCon India, PyCon India 2015
Become A Volunteer, PyCon hyderabad 2018
Volunteer at PyCon AU, PyCon AU 2019