pyArkansas

pyArkansas was started by Greg Lindstrom and Chad Cooper in the summer of 2008. Greg conceived the idea of pyArkansas, and Chad jumped on board to help. The following is an attempt to provide a history of sorts for pyArkansas and comes from a combination of emails, documents, and a dump of Chad Cooper’s brain (scary).

2008

The inaugural pyArkansas of 2008 (October 4th) was pretty low-key; Jeff Rush from the Texas Python group was kind enough to set us up with a wiki that they were using to run PyTexas on. Greg contacted the Computer Science Department at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway about them participating and possibly hosting our event. They immediately responded and very graciously offered to host our event, provide wireless internet access, and even provide laptops and teach two Introduction to Python courses. UCA has been behind us and supported us ever since then.

Location

UCA Computer Science Department, Conway, AR

Attendance

55

Tutorials

  • Python 101 - Bernard Chen, UCA
  • Python 201 - Jeff Rush
  • Python for Systems Administration - Noah Gift

Talks

  • PyGame - Greg Lindstrom
  • Python Standard Library - Noah Gift
  • Text/file processing with Python - Chad Cooper
  • OLPC - Chad Files
  • Python eggs - Jeff Rush

Sponsors

With the help of O’Reilly Publishing, we were able to bring in Noah Gift as a speaker. Noah drove from Atlanta right after a major hurricane and gas was pretty hard to find in areas of the southeast. Jeff Rush and several others came from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as well. We had about 55-60 attendees total that day. Everyone had a great time and we received positive feedback from the event:

Funding

The PSF gave us $300 that first year and we raised another $800 from Novasys Health and Southwestern Energy Company. The Conway Chamber of Commerce also provided us with $750 to be used toward brining speakers in.

Swag

Swag was pretty modest this first year:

  • Python stickers courtesy of the PSF
  • A copy of the September 2008 issue of Python Magazine, courtesy of Doug Hellman at Python Magazine
  • A copy of a recent ArcUser magazine, courtesy of Esri
  • Ink pen from Novasys Health

2009

pyArkansas 2009 occurred on November 14 at the Computer Science Department of the Univerity of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Attendance was 78 people.

Location

UCA Computer Science Department, Conway, AR

Attendance

78

Tutorials

These morning (roughly 2.5 hours) classes were taught:

  • Introduction to Python (beginners) - Dr. Bernard Chen, UCA
  • Introduction to Python (programmers) - Dr. Carl Burch, Hendrix College
  • Intermediate Python - Gloria Jacobs
  • Introduction to the Django Web Framework - Chad Files, Novasys Health
  • Introduction to Jython and Image Processing - Dr. Chenyi Hu, UCA
  • Advanced Django - Jacob Kapan-Moss
  • Using Blender I and II, Gordon Fisher

Talks

  • An overview of the Twisted framework - Derek Horton
  • Programming Python with Blender 3D - Gordon Fisher

Funding

Swag

Prizes

2010

pyArkansas 2010 took place on October 16th.

Location

UCA Computer Science Department, Conway, AR

Attendance

80

Tutorials

  • Introduction to Python - Dr. Carl Burch
  • Python Teach-In - Brad Allen
  • Data Visulization with Python - W. Emeneker
  • Intro to the Google App Engine - Chris Harris
  • Introduction to GUI Programming, - Wayne Werner

Talks

  • Simple Game Design - Dr. Bernard Chen
  • Blender I - Gordon Fisher
  • Web Framework Overview - Gloria W. Jacobs
  • Scientific Computing - W. Emeneker
  • Freeseer - A Live Presentation Recording Application - L.J. Estorninos
  • Blender II - Gordon Fisher
  • MongoDB - Gloria W. Jacobs
  • Python Meets 3-D CAD - Nicholas Seward
  • Real-time Image Processing - Dr. Gabriel Ferrer
  • What Does This Code Do? - Jeff Rush
  • Concurrency - Gloria W. Jacobs
  • Web Security and Django - Chad Files
  • Programming Mindstorm Robots - Greg Lindstrom

Sponsors

Funding

Swag

Prizes

2011

pyArkansas 2011 was on October 11th. We continued to grow. We had a very simple print program with blank pages for note taking put together for a minimal cost of around $100.

Location

UCA Computer Science Department, Conway, AR

Attendance

85

Tutorials

  • Introduction to Python I - Bernard Chen
  • Using Python with Blender I - Gordon Fisher
  • Sphinx I - Brandon Craig Rhodes
  • Data visualization - Brian English
  • Introduction to Python II - Bernard Chen
  • Sphinx II - Brandon Craig Rhodes
  • Using Python with Blender II - Gordon Fisher
  • Python on Heroku - Craig Kerstiens

Talks

  • Introduction to Django - Wade Austin
  • SQLite - the database you didn’t know you had - Greg Lindstrom
  • Introduction to Blender 3D - Gordon Fisher
  • Translating time - Josh Hanna
  • Python on Android - Steve Cohen
  • Designing a simple SQL processor for text files - Dr. Carl Burch
  • Heart your database - Brandon Craig Rhodes
  • Encryption and group theory - Michael J. Hinds

Sponsors

Funding

All funding for pyArkansas 2011 came from Novasys Health.

Swag

  • Python stickers from the PSF
  • Wingware pens, gliders, Wing 50% off coupon
  • O’Reilly free e-book certificate
  • Buttons and stickers from No Starch Press, pens and postcards too
  • No Starch Press 30% off coupon

Prizes

2012

2012 was a true banner year for pyArkansas. Attendance jumped to over 100, with approximately 110 people in attendance. pyArkansas 2012 was on October 27th. After the 2011 conference, we decided we needed a larger venue that had a room that could fit over 100 people in; this would allow us to have opening and closing sessions along with a keynote. We chose Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center on the campus of UCA, and it worked out great. We raised more funds than ever before from more sponsors than ever before, which allowed us to (finally) have a t-shirt, rent the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, and provide our attendees with afternoon beverages. We intended to have all tutorials and talks video recorded, but the arrangements for that literally fell through the week before the conference.

Location

Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, UCA, Conway, AR

Attendance

110

Tutorials

  • Getting started with GeoDjango - Adam Fast
  • Using Python within Blender 3D - Gordon Fisher
  • Introduction to Blender 3D - Gordon Fisher
  • Notable Features of Python - V James Powell
  • Introduction to Python - Chenyi Hu
  • What is Python and Why is it Cool? - Jeff Rush

Talks

  • Python Neogeography, teaching your code about where - Adam Fast
  • An introduction to Test Driven Development in Python - Wayne Werner
  • UI Design with Balsamiq Mockups - Wayne Werner
  • REST-ful APIs with Flask and MongoDB - Douglas Starnes
  • Python for Humans - Kenneth Reitz
  • Flasky Goodness - Kenneth Reitz
  • Heroku 101 - Kenneth Reitz
  • wxPython - Creating Beautiful GUIs - Greg Lindstrom
  • Mozilla Web Development with Python: Best Practices - Luke Crouch
  • Salt: Manage Your Infrastructure - Jeff Bauer
  • Data Networking for Developers - Jason Myers
  • Debugging Strategies: A Guided Discussion - Jeff Rush
  • A Talk of Lightning Talks - Jeff Rush
  • Python in a GIS Lab - Jason Tullis
  • Distributed, Real-time Web Apps with Stack.io - Gabriel Grant
  • Building Rich Applications with Django and Ember.js - Gabriel Grant
  • Building full-stack scientific applications in Python - Luke Lee
  • Dunder What? The power of Python’s Data Model - Luke Lee

Sponsors

We pushed hard for funding in 2012. We defined funding levels and put together a sponsorship prospectus and believe those helped tremendously in acquiring funds.

Funding

We raised our most funds to date in 2012 with funding sponsors of Novasys Health, New Relic, the PSF, Google, Heroku, Work for Pie, Mozilla, Enthought, the Django Software Foundation, and 10gen|MongoDB.

Swag

Our swag was pretty awesome in 2012. Who doesn’t love stickers?

Prizes

Most. Prizes. Ever.