A little less than six months ago, we held the first PyCon in Israel. To our dismay, it took us this long to post all the videos from the event, but now they’re finally up, and you can finally catch up on The Track Not Taken.
We’d like to take this opportunity to clear the 2016 table and summarize the conference, to give it some closure.
The conference was a lot of work and fun to organize, and truly wonderful to witness. We’ve had:
- About 350 visitors over the two days
- 3 inspiring keynotes
- 32 talks on different subjects
- 15 foreign speakers
- 12 sponsors
- 2 cinema theaters for the two tracks
Over and beyond the hard data, there was a great feeling of a community coming together.
There’s a few points we want to discuss in more details:
We made a conscious effort to make the conference more welcoming to diverse populations. This included a well-defined Code of Conduct, as well as reaching out to specific communities, which are usually underrepresented in technical conferences. This included, of course, the cooperation with Django Girls Tel Aviv, who were invited to the conference; we did not collect the statistics of visitor gender, but we have reason to believe it was significantly more balanced than usual. We also reached out to some other groups who were less clearly visible. By all the feedback we got, everybody felt very welcome.
To our regret, we could not show the same level of diversity among the speakers. Only 3 of the 32 accepted talks were presented by women, and none of these were Israeli. Further, we did not have a travel-support plan for speakers, and partly as a result of that, we did not have any speaker from the less-privileged parts of the world. We still have some way to go there.
We intend to keep pursuing diversity in future editions of PyCon Israel.
In the spirit of Open Source and transparency, we’re happy to share a summary of our budget (all numbers are thousands of Shekels).
Ticket sales: 54
Venue (incl. food): 134
Conf. party (food+movie): 41
Keynote speakers travel: 30
Speaker’s dinner: 13
Video recording & editing: 20
T-shirts & other swag: 28
Wireless internet: 5
Various other: 3
As you can see, we ended with a positive balance of close to 26K ILS. This is more than we intended, a miss we attribute to over-cautiousness and inexperience. A small part of this surplus will go to support Hamakor, the Israeli F/OSS association which helped make the conference happen, and the rest will go into the budget of the next PyCon Israel.
We’d like to call out three special groups which could use your help — participation as well as sponsorship; groups whose ongoing work enabled this conference and will hopefully enable others like it in the future:
- The Python Software Foundation. They are the good people who take care of the ongoing development of the Python language and the global activities around it. The PSF sponsored PyCon Israel 2016, as it does many such events,
- PyWeb-IL — the mostly informal group of people, with a mailing list and a meetup group, whose continuous activity and monthly mini-conferences are the beating heart of the Israeli Python community,
- And last but not least — Hamakor, the Israeli Free and Open-Source Software NPO, whose main mission is to handle the legal and financial side of activities and conferences like ours.
Since so long has passed, we can also add a look to the future: Preparations for PyCon Israel 2017 have already started! You can join the organizing team, or just keep track of our progress via our different channels -
Twitter: @pyconil, #pyconil
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ApA9ibgkf0XK7lgTVZgEQ
Google group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/pycon-israel (requires registration)
Watching the months of preparations come to full fruition made our hearts burst with joy. We’d like to thank everyone involved — all CFP submission authors, the invited and accepted speakers, the sponsors (and in particular the Diamond sponsors, Red Hat & Cymmetria), the vendors (and in particular the helpful staff of our wonderful venue at Yes Planet), the Israeli Python community in general for making such an event possible, and you, the attendees, for making it a reality.
See you in 2017,
The PyCon Israel organizing team