Latin scholars will tell you that “Ophidia in Urbe,” the tag line for PyLondinium (London, June 8-10), is Latin for “Snakes in the City”.
The snakes, of course, are Pythonic and “the city” is the City, the banking district of London, specifically Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, just across the way from the Bank of England. It’s a beautiful building and it contains the carefully excavated and reconstructed remains of a 3rd century Roman temple to Mithras. Ergo (as those Romans would say) the need for a Latin tagline.
But what’s really distinctive about PyLondinium is the whole idea behind it. PyLondinium was intended to be a small conference that 1) offered great talks, 2) had a very affordable ticket price, and 3) raised a reasonable amount of money for the benefit of the PSF and its programs around the world. And all of this in London, one of the more expensive cities in the world.
With the London and UK Python community at hand, getting great talks was the easy part. Keeping prices low and still raising money for the cause was a harder problem.
Founder and chair of the conference, Mario Corchero, had an answer to that problem. One of several Bloomberg employees also involved in the Python community, Mario was also the chair of last year’s PyCon España (and co-chair of the PyCon Charlas track), and several other Spanish employees of Bloomberg London had been on the PyConES organizing team. The inspiration of Mario and his team was to combine their own organizing experience with Bloomberg’s sponsorship, which provided the venue and the food.
The result was a strong first time conference - selling 270 tickets, with 2 days of talks preceded by a day with a dateutils sprint, a PyLadies tutorial, and a Trans*Code hackday, in the heart of London, all for a standard ticket price of only £35. Even better, to support diversity anyone attending the PyLadies or Trans*Code events (both free) also got a free ticket to the main conference if they wanted. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and PyLondinium looks poised to build on that success in the future.
And what about raising money for the PSF? Yes, PyLondinium did a great job with that as well, sending $14,000 to the PSF to support Pythonic communities and activities around the world.
Thank you from the PSF, and well done, you!