Exciting adventures at Pycon UK

Having missed out on the previous n years and had to endure extreme jealousy caused by the exciting tweets, I decided that this was going to be the year I finally went to Pycon. I had heard that there was an education track and that this was the way to meet real live developers! I have never been to a conference before, so all expectations I had for what would happen were entirely based on my attendance at *cough* Anime conventions long long ago. Sadly there was no one dressed up as a Python and a distinct lack of people speaking questionable Japanese, but the following awesome things did happen:

– Everyone was super friendly! Without exception, everyone I spoke to was really positive, warm and welcoming:  the people who helped me in the slack, the organisers in every aspect, especially setting up the AV stuff for my talk, the hilarious waiter at the conference dinner and the people who said hi to me because they’d met me in a previous session.

– There were loads of women! I didn’t realise there was a Django Girls stall on Friday otherwise I would have gone to say hello to them, but in general just looking around there were far more women than I expected to see, which made me forget all about whether it would be weird to be female at a tech conference. Just like in real life™ it wasn’t, no one cared. Bov. Good.

– I got in a queue which I thought was for coffee, only to find out it was to be given a FREE MICROBIT. Seriously this is the best thing to find out when you get to the end of an enormous queue. And, double bonus, there was coffee as well somewhere else!

– Real developers wanted to help ME. Well, US – teachers of the UK, there is goodwill out there. There are lovely people who don’t laugh when you tell them you can’t get on with Tkinter and instead ask how they can make using GUIs better. They didn’t have to do that, they could have been in one of the many other talks which were probably more relevant to their own interests, but instead they chose to spend their valuable time coming to see how they could make education better. Thank you.

– There was free water, and lots of it. This was great, thank you. If I’m allowed one moan, it would be that it would have been nice to have some water available during my talk because by the end my throat felt like I’d just played chubby bunnies with a packet of Ryvita.

– There were loads of loos. I know this is really silly but queueing for ages for the loo at an event is really annoying. Plus, if you give out lots of free water then needing loos is a logical consequence. I’m going to stop talking about loos.

Carrie Anne talking about farts to parents. I’m not joking, capturing parents of kids on the kids track and bundling them off for a talk about digital making, that’s pure genius. Well played.

– My talk! I loved giving a talk, and people actually came to it and listened to it and tweeted about it. YAY. If you’re considering doing a talk, but don’t know if you should do a talk, you should do a talk. Totally.

So, I would highly recommend to teachers that next year you look up PyconUK and try to go on the teachers’ day (this year it was Friday) – they even offer you a bursary of £200 towards supply cover so there is really no excuse for school not to let you out.

I can’t believe I’ve got through a whole post without a rant. OK here’s a rant… I WAS A SPEAKER AND MY BADGE WASN’T BLUE. GAHHH. STUPID PYCON.
(Regular readers will know that this is of course a joke – most of my other blog posts are highly opinionated!)

Oh, and no one laughed at my Overwatch joke. *shakes fist*


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