Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review of DFW Pythoneers Sat Aug 13 Meeting

Jeff Rush stepped through the slides of a David Beazley PyCon UK 2008 presentation titled "Generator Tricks for System Programmers".

It was fantastic; we went though the whole presentation and had a lively discussion to make sure everyone understood each slide. Personally, I gained a whole new perspective on the usefulness of generator functions and coroutines. It gave me a lot of ideas for the ETL stuff I sometimes work on.

Ralph Green also gave a walkthrough of the code he has written to produce secure barcoded raffle tickets for PyTexas prizes. He has put together a program which will allow us to use a barcode reader to quickly look up the name of each person associated with the unique ticket id, and display that on the screen for all to see.

Thanks go to Fish Technologies for generously hosting our meetup.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Python SIG for Healthcare IT

For those seeking to work with Python-based tools in the healthcare IT industry, this new SIG ("special interest group") can provide a forum to discuss challenges and hopefully foster knowledge sharing and tools development. Relevant topics include tools for working with healthcare standard data formats, industry news items, professional development, and success stories about Python and open source in the healthcare industry. Along the way, this SIG page can be updated with links to relevant projects and resources.

If this interests you, please join this discussion on the mailing list. This is a new mailing list so there are no archives yet.

If you're attending PyCon today, please join us in a face to face meeting at 1pm in the Hanover A open space room. As with all open space meetings, all are welcome, including those with no healthcare IT background interested in joining the industry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Expanding Universe contest

Steve Miller and Sharon Lee have a new book coming out. It is not about Python, but their books are fun to read and full of great characters. They are having a contest and you have a bit more time to enter. You can win an electronic copy by posting on Sharon's blog at:
The contest is open only to people who have not had the pleasure of reading one of their novels yet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

PyTexas survey

If you live in the Texas region, please help with PyTexas 2010 planning by filling out the new survey. This will tell us things like whether the planned Aug 28 date works for you, whether you have a user group in your area, and more importantly your t-shirt size :-).

P.S. We need Python teachers for our beginner track!  This same survey is planned to reach a large number of area students, and they will likely be interested in learning Python fundamentals, web development in popular frameworks like Django, BFG, etc. Please watch for the upcoming call for proposals, and feel free to contact me directly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PyTexas 2010 t-shirt

Take a gander at this primo swag item we're planning for PyTexas:
I'd like to put this on a plain white t-shirt with black ink, so that the image is part of the fabric (not stuck on top like some t-shirts). Maybe that will cause it to fade a bit after many washings, but that's ok. Faded t-shirts are kind of cool in their own way.

Credit goes to Kat Metzger of the DFW Python user group, who sketched out several great PyTexas t-shirt ideas when the discussion started last Friday night. We voted on the sketches during the Saturday afternoon DFW Python meeting, and by Saturday night the graphic was done. On Sunday, we tweaked some details about text size and placement, and it was good to go. That was a lot quicker that I had expected, and I'm grateful to Kat for having the idea, and delivering this excellent design on such short notice.

This is not a done deal yet. Since PyTexas has no money, we'll have to brainstorm some ways to pay for the t-shirt manufacture. I've started speaking with one manufacturer, and soon we'll have a cost estimate for 200 shirts.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

PyTexas offers free sponsorships!

An oxymoron, you say?

Maybe, but free sponsorships make sense for PyTexas. After all, none of the organizers have time to mess with money; we just want our attendees to have plenty of swag! We are especially voracious for t-shirts, free books, mugs, and stickers.

This event will consist of a mix of Python veterans, newbies, and university students.

So, if you want your company or organization name advertised at PyTexas, please contact me and I'll provide a shipping address for your boxes of swag.  We'll also post your logo on the wiki if you send swag. You can find my contact info here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

pyTexas 2010 needs volunteers!

Here is a loose set of notes for near term tasks related to pyTexas 2010:

* We need a volunteer promoter for each major Texas city, who will help get the word out to the local user group in that city. I've joined the Meetup mailing lists for DFW, Houston, and Austin, but I don't think people always pay attention to those lists. We need a person who can show up at the user group meetings to plug pyTexas and recruit volunteers.  I haven't heard about user groups in other Texas cities, but it would be great to find contacts in San Antonio, College Station.

* Setup the pyTexas 2010 wiki. This year, I'd like to switch to MoinMoin. The PmWiki of previous years was serviceable enough, but there's nothing wrong with MoinMoin, which is Python-based and I would like to get more experience working with it. I've signed with an account at Webfaction to get this setup. Does anyone want to volunteer to help administer it? We could also use a volunteer to sling some CSS to make it look good.

* We need a volunteer to create pyTexas logo. I've heard a few good ideas: cross-eyed python digesting Texas-shaped lump, or the standard Python logo twisted into a Texas shape. However, any volunteer willing to do the job gets creative license and automatically gets +5 votes.

* Create a flyer and presentation slide to attract students and faculty to the event. I'm planning to draft content for this next weekend, along these lines "Python Programmers Converge Upon Baylor -- This is your chance to learn an excellent programming language! Already know Python? Take our survey so we can make pyTexas fit your brain!"

* Create a survey for potential attendees. I can think of a lot of content but it would be helpful if someone would volunteer to assemble and deploy the survey.

* Recruit speakers. We need a Python 101 for the beginners, and I think a Django tutorial in the afternoon beginner track would probably go over well with college students. For the experienced track, it's wide open; we need to start soliciting for talk proposals. Anyone want to volunteer to coordinate that? Or just volunteer a talk?

* Make contact with the existing Python game development enthusiasts at Bayor. Jeremy mentioned he'll get us the contact info. If there's enough interest, maybe we could add a game development track.

* Write letters about the event to the Baylor faculty members involved in computer science, bioinformatics, library science, and engineering. We should invite them to join, and to encourage students to attend.

* I would like to invite free sponsorships for pyTexas, by offering to give away sponsor swag to attendees. Anyone want to be the sponsor coordinator? I volunteer to have swag mailed to my house for storage until pyTexas, and to host a bag stuffing party.

* After the wiki is set up, the tasks can start getting more solidified. We have a variety of lists to start maintaining, including the list of people needing parking, number of computers needing wifi access, inventory of supplies needed (power strips, gaffer's tape, whiteboard erasers and markers, video cameras).

* We need one or more volunteers to record video, and I would like to follow the same process as PyCon, as explained to my by Carl Karsten. We can use the free DVSwitch app for real time selection between of screen capture and "live action" presenter. (We need about $450 for a Canopus TwinPact 100, which I'll be asking DFW Python members to chip in for). Whether we try to record video in just one room, or both, depends on how much equipment we can afford.