PyCon US 2013 – Python Conference in Santa Clara, Californa

[Photo by Eloy Zuniga Jr.][audience-link]

### You’d like it

For those of you who love to tinker with things or reverse engineer them (destroy them) to figure out how they work, [this is your place][pycon-url].

It’s always great to see the latest and greatest being invented by **2500** of your closest friends. When services and features are extremely undervalued and success is at it’s infancy.

Have doubts about the size of this annual event? [Check out the sponsors][sponsors].

I’ve been a programmer now for more than 10 years and a Python developer for over 3 and I can sincerely say I may never grow old of this stuff. It keeps me young, can I say that? Just did.

### What you’ll see and maybe learn

What to expect when your “[Excepting][exceptions],” little bit of nerd humour there, don’t mind if I do. But seriously, what should you expect if you come on down?

[Photo by Ed Schipul][guido]

1. Well we have lightning talks with rapping programmers. [Listen to this intro][lightning-talks].

2. We have the benevolent dictator which only [speaks genius][keynote]. One of these days I’ll be able to understand his entire talk. AKA the creator of Python.

3. [The creator][keynote2] of the [Raspberry Pi][raspberry-pi]. A less-expensive computer that’s providing for those on the other side of the digital divide.

4. People sporting the latest technology such as [Teslas][tesla] and [Google Glasses][glass]. Maybe the car had more to do with the fact we were in California.

[Photo by Ed Schipul][tesla]

### Tell me more about these “Lightning Talks”
Anyone attending PyCon can have 5 minutes to talk about anything that is *remotely* associated to Python. Bright minds are sitting in the audience, they could be sitting next to you … you could be one. So why not let them speak.

For 5 minutes you can talk to one of the widest Python audiences you’ll probably ever encounter. Talk about a pet project, do a little venting, bring a community together and promote your conference.

Just be careful, developers tend to be highly sensitive to the ole sales-pitch.

### See you next year

We had a great time — I hope this is obvious — we did a lot of learning, and we hope to see you next year.

[Photo by Ed Schipul][group]

### References

1. [Full List of PyCon US 2013 Videos][pycon-videos]
2. [Photos taken by Ed Schipul][pycon-photos]
3. [PyCon 2011 Blog Post][pycon-2011-blogpost]

[pycon-videos]: “PyCon US 2013 Videos”
[pycon-photos]: “PyCon US 2013 Photos”
[pycon-2011-blogpost]: “Pycon US 2011 Blogpost”
[lightning-talks]: “Lightning Talks”
[exceptions]: “Errors and Exceptions”
[keynote]: “Keynote Guid Van Rossum”
[keynote2]: “Keynote Eben Upton”
[raspberry-pi]: “Raspberry Pi”
[audience]: “PyCon US 2013 Audience”

NetSquared Connects Techies and DoGooders in San Francisco Bay Area

While Silicon Valley and the Bay Area can at times be a whole world apart from Houston, there are still many things the two areas have in common – tech, geeks, startups, non-profits, and people passionate about changing the world through technology. If you’re in the Houston area, hopefully you’ve made it out to one of the Houston NetSquared meetings that Schipul hosts. They’re always fun and informative – a great way to bounce ideas of others working at the intersection of technology and do-gooding. Ed & Katie started the Houston group back in 2006, and have kept it going strong since.

I was excited to check out the San Francisco NetSquared group when I moved to this part of the world, but unfortunately couldn’t make the meeting that took place right after my move. And then summer hit, which those of us in the Bay Area know, is traditionally a quiet time for groups and activities. At the end of summer, the NetSquared community managers sent out word to group members that the previous organizer was no longer able to run the group, and asked if there was any interest in taking over those duties. Being a NetSquared fan girl, I threw my hat in the ring and offered to take the reins. I was lucky enough to have a very enthusiastic community that offered support, and fortunately two awesome folks – Regina Walton and Dave Theriault – stepped up to serve as co-organizers too. Together, the three of us are totally awesome. And no, I’m not biased at all!

I am super excited to get things kicked off with the November Meetup. Young Han from GoVoluntr will be speaking to the group about how he got started in the technology startup space, and what challenges non-profits have today and how technology can help solve them. Young is an amazing guy; I first met him at a Mountain View Chamber event hosted by our friends at Westminster Promotions. Bonus points went to me for immediately understanding what he was trying to go with GoVoluntr; we hit it off from there and have since had several great conversations surrounding do-gooding in technology. Young’s philosophy with GoVoluntr matched the Schipul Core Values so well; it was clear we’d be friends!

GoVoluntr has had an exciting fall, being asked to join the 500 Startups class. They’ve moved in to the group’s space in Mountain View (bonus to being just down the road from us in Sunnyvale – closer for coffee!) and Young and his team are getting their brains crammed with all sorts of amazing training and knowledge. Check out the recent post about their class from TechCrunch, and if you’re a Bay Area non-profit or do-gooder (yes, that’s totally a word) be sure to check out GoVoluntr!! Young and his team have built an amazing tool for connecting volunteers with those who need them, and giving volunteers a way to share and track their activity.

If you’re in San Francisco or the Silicon Valley area, we’d love to see you at a NetSquared event! If you can’t join us on November 8th, no worries – we’ve got speakers lined up for December and January, so join us then! And if you’d be interested in presenting to the group, or know someone who might be, please do let me know! We’re always on the look out for new ways to geek out over tech.

How to Grow A Profitable Association – real examples from California & Houston

I was lucky enough to be the panel leader for SchipulCon’s “How to Grow A Profitable Association” presentation, with Tony Brock of (Schipul client) ThinkLA and April Guzik of AIGA Houston. These two organizations have been able to grow memberships and sell-out events despite a rocky economy. It was amazing to be able to pick the brains of these two leaders for some tips on what has made their organizations thrive!

ThinkLA is the Los Angeles ad club and interactive marketing association all in one – as many of the groups in the Los Angeles area found that they were appealing to the same members and competing for the same event dollars, they decided to join forces and combine to form ThinkLA. Today it’s one of the most respected associations in California. One of my big questions for Tony was what he attributed ThinkLA’s event success to – what was the magic that could lead to sold-out events again and again? The two big tips from Tony were “Consistency is key” and “Right-size your venue”. When you start out with a new event for your group, listen to the feedback you get from members. Do they like the event? If so, keep it going. Make it consistent for them, so they always have something they know they can look forward to, and refer friends to. Right-sizing the venue was my favorite tip, and one that seems a bit counterintuitive at first. We all hope that we’ll get a huge crowd for an event – but that doesn’t mean you book a venue for that huge crowd. Unless you’re sure you can fill the space, don’t pick a giant venue. It makes the crowd look small and less exciting. On the other hand, if you have a venue that’s smaller, you may sell out tickets. That’s not a bad thing!! Selling out is actually great because it means that people will be sure to buy tickets early for the next event. By right-sizing your venue, you can create the premium experience you want your members to have.

Not surprising for someone having such an awesome name, April Guzik was really interesting to hear from regarding member involvement. It’s easy to say you’re going to be consistent with events, but harder to do so sometimes – board members get busy, life happens, and things can get pushed back. One thing April has done successfully at AIGA Houston is to welcome anyone who wants to take part in the organization – member or not. She values the help that is offered, and will gladly take help from enthusiastic community members. Both Tony and April pointed to the importance of viewing your association goals and missions to benefit the community at large, not just those who are paying dues. Especially as the economy forces many companies to cut back on corporate memberships, associations who continue to welcome these non-members will only thrive. And to thank those who have continued to support the organization through membership, having member-only events or benefits is a great way to say “thanks”.

If you’re on the board of an association or non-profit organization, I would strongly encourage you to check out out video from the SchipulCon presentation. Tony and April both have a lot of great experience with associations; in places as diverse and complex as California and Texas. They shared a lot of great tips that board leaders can take away and put in to place.

How to grow a profitable association (and be a bad ass member) from Schipul – The Web Marketing Co. on Vimeo.

Kicking off the new Silicon Valley office with IABC!

The Schipul Silicon Valley web design office officially opens today, but in true Schipulite fashion, we just couldn’t pass up the chance for a party! Last Thursday we were proud to sponsor the IABC Silicon Valley March Madness Mixer, which was held at the gorgeous new Brocade Executive Briefing Center.

Despite the rain (yes, it rains in California, and in fact has been doing so since I arrived 2 weeks ago!) the mixer was attended by a large crowd excited to see old friends and make new connections. As an added bonus, local photographer Anne Knudsen was on hand to take new headshots for IABC members! Given that I was wearing the same dress my last headshots were taken in, I passed on this opportunity but kicked myself for it.

For two hours, folks mingled with the crowd, sampled a delicious assortment of snacks and tried a variety of Destino Wines. There were giveaways galore plus a tour of the new Brocade center and a look at all the hi-tech screen technology that went in to it. We’re talking about serious screens here folks – the kind that would put your neighbor’s Super Bowl party to shame!

An example of just one of the awesome new screens at Brocade

It was a great night and we couldn’t be happier to kick off our new expansion with a group like IABC. We’ve long enjoyed working with the Houston chapter and are excited about getting involved with the Silicon Valley and San Francisco groups as well. Much thanks to the entire IABC Silicon Valley board for welcoming us to the area, and to the wonderful folks at Brocade for hosting the event and being awesome in general. All these great folks making us feel right at home. 🙂

Check out more event photos online over at the SV IABC Facebook and Brocade Facebook pages!