Simeon Franklin

Blog :: Welcoming Beginners in the San Francisco Community

30 June 2013

I enjoy the regular SF Python Meetup nights. We feature awesome speakers deep-diving cool Python technologies (seriously: next up is Thomas Hatch talking Salt Stack on July 10th). Lately, however, Grace, Hy and I have been trying to figure out how to be more welcoming to the beginners in the Bay Area's Python community.

Last Monday we tried something - our inaugural Project Night. We had a great space and food and drink (thanks to gracious hosts AdRoll) and invited the Python community in to mentor, learn, or just hang out and hack.

We had a very generous turnout from volunteers who were happy to mentor in various areas: basic Python syntax and concepts, web frameworks, testing, even a core Python contributor happy to lend expertise in installation or CPython!

We put signs with general content areas (installation, web, testing, learning Python, etc) on the tables and in the conference rooms and let the volunteer mentors find the beginners in need of a helping hand. The results were awesome! The night was a tremendous success judging by the many delighted comments from Python beginners who got questions answered or hands-on help with installation! We had approximately 70 people turn out for the night - and I didn't see any dissatisfied faces leaving - and check out the many happy comments!

We'll be doing this again. If you're in the Bay Area and looking for a place to get some hands-on help with your learning adventure come join us! Or if you would like to volunteer to answer questions or teach a 2 hour mini-seminar on a beginner friendly topic to a small group please join our Meetup Group and contact myself or one of the other organizers.

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