David PS

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Volunteer at PyData London

25 May 2016 categories: conference   Python  

Today is a strike day! and that means that if I’m striking I’m not going to do anything work related. For example write a blog post. I’ll tell you more about the strike tomorrow.

A few months ago I saw the announcement of PyData London 2016 while being at my first and only time I’ve managed to be in a PyData Meetup. By then I dreamed with giving a talk there about SunPy or Sunspotter. But the time since then flied really fast and I didn’t realised that my dreams were not coming true until a friend told me they were looking for volunteers because for the conference - happening that weekend!

The conference was fully booked and since I like to help organising stuff thought that volunteering is a good thing to do. I then contacted Ruby and then I become the person in charge of one of the rooms at the conference. Ruby was letting us - the volunteers - to choose which sessions we would like to chair based on our interests. This way you were listening to the bits you were interested. The conference was quite fluent, no speakers talking overtime, no presentations problems, no people left without food, and a lot to people to meet and stickers to collect.

As a volunteer I didn’t have much to do more than be there on time and introduce the speakers, sort out the room was neat after each session and help with anything come up. It was quite easy and I had the opportunity at the end to have dinner with the organisers and sponsors! I hadn’t thought about it but this is a great way of networking! while learning stuff like spherical voronoi diagrams or Bayesian statistics and how they are used in Python.

One of the things I enjoyed the most is to see how well organised were the setup for the presentations. It worked in all OS without a problem, and they were recorded the speaker and the slides. And at the end of the day there were all the presentations available in online. The awesome team behind the cameras made look so easy that we may have not noticed it at all… but I did notice and it was awesome. It’s a pity that such level of professionalism hasn’t arrived yet to most of the scientific talks I’ve been.

The keynotes and talks were very enjoyable, I’ve learnt how anaconda become what’s now a day and why! (Travis Oliphant); why python was used of the gravitational waves study (Andreas Freise); How someone asking for help last year knew the right people and solve a problem - and published some papers (Nikolai Nowaczyk); How to mess up with someone mind (James Powell); How important git not understanding of notebooks is affecting our lives beside other cool stuff (lightning talks) - yes, I have also attempted it to do so; and more and more stuff.

It was great to meet again unexpected friends (Neal) and some that are becoming a habit to meet (Olivia).

I hope to be there next year again!!