The deadlines for the calls for proposals and speakers for PyCon and CodeMash are coming up – October 1st (this Thursday) is the closing date. Have you submitted your talks yet?

If you haven’t submitted your talks yet, why not?

Let me tell you why you should submit to speak at these conferences.

PyCon

Last year was my first year speaking at a Python conference. I was totally nervous – speaking in front of a community that I wasn’t truly familiar with. And I was speaking on a Microsoft-related topic – I wasn’t sure how well it would be received. Speaking on IronPython at PyCon 2009 turned out to be a great experience.

What did I learn from speaking at PyCon 2009? A few things…

1. The Python community isn’t as anti-Microsoft as some of the other communities that I’ve seen. I’ve heard stories from some of my IronRuby counterparts on how difficult it is to speak on a Microsoft language where the Evil Empire perception is still there. Sure, I get teased every now and then, but overall, they seem to be a little curious about IronPython.

2. The Python community actually has a few implementations under its umbrella. Jython, PyPy, CPython, IronPython, Unladen Swallow… just to name a few implementations of Python. This conference is about all things Pythonesque – including the various implementations. So if you know a little about any of them, check this conference out. And if you’ve got something to talk about – be it some package you’ve been working on, how to get started learning about one of the implementations, or other Python-related topics – then submit your talk today!

3. The Python community has an unique sense of humor. With a language named for something as fun as Monty Python, the silly humor continues throughout their community. I mean, c’mon… the Django pony? Beards of Python? You never know what to expect with them!

4. The Python community that comes together programs together. They have Open Spaces and tutorials, which I’ve seen at other conferences. They also have these things called sprints – where Pythonistas get together and work on contributing to projects – be it fixing bugs or adding features. Although I couldn’t stay for the sprints, it was interesting to hear what they are and how they work.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to speak at PyCon 2010 due to schedule conflicts, but I highly recommend you submit talks and take part in a great international conference.

To submit your talks for PyCon, check out their Call for Proposals.

CodeMash

My buddy Russ had mentioned it to me first, and then shortly after meeting him, my friend Jeff mentioned it to me. After almost a year of them giving me a hard time missing CodeMash 2008, I had the experience of attending and speaking at CodeMash 2009. It was then that I finally understood why the guys gave me such a hard time for missing it.

CodeMash is a platform-agnostic conference geared for coders (developers and architects alike), put on by members of various coding communities. To add another degree of awesomeness to it, this is a conference that happens in January at an indoor waterpark – the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. It’s a great time for families to spend time together in the waterpark and for developers to learn about things that we as developers should know and care about, as well as new things to learn about.

What did I learn from speaking at CodeMash 2009? A few things…

1. The list of languages continues to grow. Topics are all over the board, at various levels. I encourage developers to look into languages other than what they’re used to in order to become a well-rounded developer. Some of the languages that have appeared at past CodeMashes include (but are not limited to) IronPython, Python, Jython,IronRuby, Ruby, Javascript, C#, F#, SQL, PHP, Erlang, Scala, Groovy, and Java.

2. It isn’t all about languages – methodologies and practices are talked about as well. Lean, Kanban, thrashing, continuous integration, and Agile are just a few of the topics covered from 2009.

3. Did I ever mention that there’s quite a bit of fun too? I’ve already been told by my husband that I will be dragged to the waterpark at least on the last day of the event. I’ve heard a lot of stories of how fun the rides are – so next year, I will give up the Rock Band for one night to go play. Yes, a couple of the sponsors had Rock Band at their booths, so there was Rock Band to be had. Last year, one of my favorite fun geeky things to play with was the Microsoft Surface. One of the guys had a robot there as well that really struck me as cool. There’s a lot of geek factor and fun – but don’t take my word for it! Come out and experience it for yourself!

You can see the topics covered at last year’s CodeMash here to get a feel for what kind of talks are given. If you’ve got something to talk about that you know other developers can benefit from, submit your talks today!

Conclusion

October 1st is only a few days away. Speaking at these events will get your name out to the community, along with the message you’re trying to convey. It’s a good chance to network with other speakers and talented developers in the community. If you get the opportunity to speak at conferences like these, I highly recommend it.