Is PyCon 2018 your first PyCon? Then you must have had a sleepless night. You must be thinking “I will be lost in the gathering of 3500 people.” There should be a lot of mixed emotions and anticipation. Are you the only one who is thinking this way? Do not worry it is same with everyone. How can I assure that? I had my first PyCon US in 2017 and I too like you and everyone else had gone through the same feeling.
Once you enter the area the first thing you have to do is to register yourself. The people at the registration desk are really helpful so do not hesitate to ask your heart out. If there is a problem ever helpful Jackie will be there to guide you. (If you meet her please say her “hi” for me :) ). And if you are volunteering please welcome first timers specially, it really makes them feel at home.
The registration is done and you have the schedule now. Mark the talks you want to attend and their respective halls too. You might want to set an alarm for that, as you might tend to miss them being busy in the hallway tracks (trust me I have missed a few!).
So now what to do? What are the interesting things to do in PyCon?
Hallway tracks are the best place to find friends. For many people this is the core of the conference. Many people prefer to attend hallway tracks more than actual talks :). People gather on the hallway and discuss not only Python or programming but culture, politics, business, food several non connected topic. Choose a conversation you are comfortable with and join. You might get your next project idea there. The same rule applies to the lunch time also. Do not be shy to talk to the person next to you. You might find the person who wanted to meet. People are welcoming here. Ask them if you can join they would generally love the idea. If you are regular at PyCon please include a new PyCon attendee in your group :)
The sponsors are the people who makes the conference run. So visit them. You might find the new, interesting gig you are looking for. And yes do not forget to collect the cool swags.
If you love to run, you may like to join the 5K run. Ashley, is there at the 5K Fun Run/ Walk booth (turn to the right of registration booth) to help.Please pick up your bib, shirt, and information on getting to the park!
Board game night
Inquire about the board game night, if you are interested.
It is the lunch by and for the PyLadies. A gathering of women who love to code in Python. If you consider yourself a PyLady do attend it, talk about your local PyLadies chapter, your hardels and success. You never know one of your personal story might inspire another PyLady to grow and face her own struggle. You will find similar minded people over there. And never miss to give shout out for the PyLady who in anyway had inspired you. You may always take names instead of a name. If you are there please raise a toast on my behalf for Naomi, Lorena, Ewa, Carol, Betsy,Katie, Lynn,Jackie and yourself too :). So register now.
No photo please
PyCon gives you the space/right to be anonymous, not to be clicked. If you do not want to be clicked please get out of the frame and convey your wish. You can also ask the person to delete the photo which mistakenly has you.
The pronoun you prefer
While registering take the 'The pronoun I prefer' badge.
Saturday night is the PyLadies auction. Be a part of this fun fair (with a good cause). Read about it here.
If you want to work, want to be left alone, need some space in the gathering of 3500 people find the quite room.
First time speaker?
Are you speaking for the first time in PyCon? Nervous? Do not want to leave any room for mistake? Want to rehears your talk? There is a speakers room to practice. Another easy way to rehears is, grab someone (whose opinion you value) and give the talk to her. This will give you a proper third eye view and tentative response of the audience. Last year Naomi helped me to do this. She sat with me for hours and corrected me. Never had a chance to say, “Thank you Naomi”.
Poster Presentation and Open Spaces
Do not forget to visit Poster Presentation and Open Spaces and know what is happening at the current Python world.
Code of Conduct
PyCon as [Peter] says is the “holy gathering of the Python tribe”, we all are the part of a diverse community, please respect that. Follow the Code of Conduct. This is the rule book and at all time, you have to abide by. If you have any issue please do not hesitate to contact the staff. Be rest assured that they will take required measures. Lastly do not hold yourself back form saying “sorry” and “thank you”. These two magically words can solve many problems.
One thing for sure your life after these 3days will be completely different. You will be back wealthy with knowledge, lovely memory and friends.
PS: A huge shout out for the PyCon staff for working relentlessly over the year to put up this great PyCon to you. And thank you for coming a =nd attending PyCon and making it a great event it is.