This past Saturday, August 28th, I attended the PyTexas Convention. There have been four PyTexas conventions I know of, but this is the first I have been able to attend. I made Fedora goodies available to all who attended and saved the case badges for those who were interested in a conversation on python's use in the Fedora project.
I learned a lot. There were several Baylor grad students in attendance who accelerated my python learning during the morning's "Python Teach-In". Jeremy Dunck gave me a great lesson on working with ipython which I will use across platforms, but mostly on Fedora. Jeremy Lowery helped me to install and get started with the Python Koans. I highly recommend the Koans for beginning developers and python enthusiasts.
After the Teach-In, there were several great talks delivered by local enthusiasts. I attended the keynote given by Jeff Rush. For you Fedora users, Jeff is the guy who first created the Zope RPM's. Later in the day I attended his fantastic lecture entitled The Deconstruction of an Object. My head was swimming with information from that discussion. Jeff politely broke that talk in to four sections so that there was a break at each topic change. It was very helpful as the hour was PACKED with information on efficiency and inheritance at every step.
I attended two talks by OpenStack Object Storage Architect, Chuck Tier. Chuck's talks were simple and very descriptive of the mechanics of the swift data storage. Both of his talks ended with some very promising looks at the future for the project. He has some great times ahead of him and it was nice to hear his positive attitude towards his employers, RackSpace. He really enjoys working for a company that "gets it". The proverbial "it", in this case, being OpenSource.
I also attended a talk by John Dickinson on Version Control. John did a fantastic job of developing a vision of his topic sans presentation slides when the projector refused to play nice with his laptop.
RackSpace threw a great party afterwards at the Z-Bar on 6th street (in Waco). The beer was great, the 1554 got my vote. They gave away $250 in SouthWest Airlines gift certificates to one lucky winner.
Great job RackSpace!
One thing I now believe very important to have as an Ambassador is a 30-second plug for Fedora. One you can use at the drop of a hat. At the lightening talks 30-second plugs were available. The 30-second vendor plugs were introduced as filler for the prep time involved in the lightening talks. There are so many things to market for the Fedora project that a series of plugs prepared for infrastructure, packaging, ambassadorship, etc. could have easily filled as many available slots as we could take. It's easy to ask to be fit in for 1/2 a minute to talk about your favorite distro, but it is easy to get a second slot when you use your time well for the first one.
The hope for next year is to hold this event in College Station, TX at Texas A&M. The conference or unconference this year exceeded 100 participants from as far away as Kansas City, KS. I think this is a great event and could use more participation in the future from the Fedora ambassadors.
- PyTexas in Waco was a huge success.