Moments from PyCon India 2013

Posted on Sep 8, 2013

And just like that, PyCon India 2013 is over. A lot of hard work and dedications comes to an end for another year. Yet extremely happy because all those hard works yielded really awesome feedback. People have enjoyed those 3 days. That’s all we needed to make sure would happen. :)

I reached B’lore on 28th, changed from the original plan of going on 29th. I thought it’d better to reach with two days of time in hand so that I can help prepare for the event.

On 29th evening, went to CIS to help pack the equipments to bring to the event venue. Did some good amount of counting and packing. Then got a car and brought everything to the venue and started preparing for the next day. Unlike the last time, this year we had a lot of volunteers on the day before the event to help us with the preparation. And that really helped.

On 30th morning, I had to go to HasGeek’s workshop office to pick up few more equipments, that made me late to reach the venue. By the time I was there, the registration had already started. I, along with Iliyas and Haseeb, had to take care of setting up the registration and sponsor booth systems. Whole day went testing and setting the systems up. And the first day went smoothly. Participants liked the workshops. I couldn’t attend any of them. At the end of the day, we needed one of the Asus Eee PCs to be configured so that it can be used for registration the next day, so brought it home with me. Installed Ubuntu and learned that Unity does not play well on netbooks. So install gnome-classic. Then it started working smoothly.

On 31st morning, it was raining well, that caused some good amount of traffic jam on road and I guess thanks to that there was not much crowd on the registration desk. There were a lot of running around to get registration kits from inventory to the registration desk. And it was done well enough to not have a huge queue waiting to be registered. We had about 1000 registered participants. The registration was done really smoothly even despite that. That went really well.

In the meantime, the food was arranged and it got some really good feedback from participants. In all that mess, missed the keynote by @jackerhack on paradox of code. :( Anyway, watched it right after the video was uploaded on Youtube. Good one. :)

Then we had to start running to sponsor booths to set up the Contact point system. It in a software developed by team @hasgeek(mostly) for making it possible to exchange contacts betweek event participants and sponsors without much hassles. Although, there were some glitches here and there, the systems worked. Had to hunt down rogue WiFi access points running around the venue. That was fun. And the lunch was great. Met a lot of old friends from last and last last PyCons. Some of them, like @bhauvrat were wearing the PyCon 2011 t-shirt. Sadly I’ve outgrown that t-shirt. Still cherish it though.

The second day went great. Konark did a great job managing the volunteers. Althought there were few rough spots. Some of them could not be found throughout the event. But we took on the tasks and completed it. Tried to make sure that the participants don’t face any trouble. From the tweets I saw, it seemed we succeeded. :)

The third day started slow. As most of the participants registered the day before, the rush was less, so I got to attend the keynote on second day by @kennethreitz. He shared his experience on running an open source project. Some good lessons. Maybe I can use them someday.

Almost around the lunch time we wrapped up the registration and started preparing for distributing the t-shirts. On the time of registration, each person was given a RFID card which they could use to share their contacts, and we needed them back. So what we did was we gave out the t-shirts only in exchange of the RFID cards. And that worked really well. We got back more than 95% cards I think. And people were really happy with the t-shirts. The volunteers also got a bottle from Bluejeans, one of the sponsors. That also made them extra happy for all the effort they put in those 3 days.

Then the sun went down. The end of the event was near. And we attended the IPSS AGM. Konark was chosen to be the Vise President of IPSS. It was a great move. :) Happy that it happened. We also got a lot of new members for IPSS.

Then everyone started heading home, and we started packing everything up. 3 long days of efforts came to an end. Most of the volunteers were gone at that point. Only handful of us were left. We packed everything up and said good bye. It was 3 days of awesomeness working with these people.

After everything was packed, it seemed that I was the only one left to bring everything back to CIS. We rented a car, loaded everything on it and I rode with the driver in front seat. After dropping everything at the CIS with the help from the driver, just when I was going to leave, it started raining. I asked that car driver to give me a lift at least till the main road so that I could get an auto. The driver was kind enough to give me a lift almost to my home. :) Really grateful to him.

Then I decided to treat myself in completing all the tasks for PyCon India 2013. Went to Mani’s Biryani and had some. Satisfactory food. I was just really glad that everything went well. Checked the twitter timeline for the hashtag #pyconindia2013. It was full with positive feedback. As a volunteer, could not ask for anything more.

Thanks to everyone who attended. I hope we could make it comfortable for you to attend the event. And hope to see you next year. Thank you. :)

Oh, I can’t end the blog post without mentioning Anand Chitipothu. He’s the one who made the event possible. :)

PS: The videos are being uploaded at Python India YouTube channel.

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