PyCon UK: statistics, pictures and perennial problems

2007-09-10, , , Comments

I’m delighted to have attended PyCon UK, even if only for a day. It’s given me lots to think about.

The organisers had kept the prices very low, a decision which must have helped encourage a stronger turn out than they’d even hoped for. They had no problem accomodating the excess numbers: everything ran on time without anyone appearing over-stressed.

I liked the venue, even if it suffered the same over-heating problem I recall from more than one ACCU conference. One nice side-effect of the combination of a generous gap in the schedule and proximity to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery was that I could cool off by visiting the Paula Rego exhibition (even if it meant going past a puerile rugby world cup roadshow).

Paula Rego picture

I half wish I’d got my act together a little sooner and put forward a presentation myself. On the other hand, that would have meant missing someone else’s session. In the event, I managed to squeeze in a 5 minute lightning talk, which solved the problem of missing action elsewhere and meant I could reach everyone at once — and I didn’t even have to fret about that other perennial conference problem, of trying to connect a laptop to a projector (no time for that in 5 mins).

I’ve invented some statistics about the conference.

  1. 123% better attended than first predicted
  2. 72% of laptops used were apple macs
  3. 50% of keynote speakers were female
  4. 20% of conference organisers were female
  5. Less than 1% of the remaining delegates were female
  6. Sessions were 99% punctual
  7. Virgin trains to and from Bristol were 68% punctual
  8. Beautiful Code, a book I’d hoped to browse at the book-stand before buying, was 100% sold out just 10% into the conference