World's Largest Python Conference Sees 70 Percent Jump in Attendance

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Python Conference in Chicago shows massive growth in community.

PyCon 2008, the annual community conference for Python developers, business leaders, and fans showcased the tremendous increase in growth among the community last week in Chicago. Attendance jumped 70 percent from 2007.

Over 1,000 people gathered at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel for PyCon 2008. The influx of proposals was so great this year that organizers could only accept half the proposals received, simply due to lack of space. Demand for tutorials, in particular, rose so high that organizers added an extra timeslot full of new sessions. Twenty-five of the 28 tutorials were sold out and there were 22 open source development sprint projects available for attendees to participate in, up from 13 in 2007. More than 270 people took part in the development sprints, which is more than attended the entire first PyCon in 2003.

"As jam-packed as the week's events were, a number of attendees and speakers remarked to me that they felt the conference this year was the best yet," said PyCon 2008 chair David Goodger. "It's great to see months of work come together and have people really enjoy it."

PyCon 2008 is organized and run entirely by volunteers. A true grassroots movement, it is a community conference put on by the community for the community. Many attendees enjoy the numerous sessions, but more importantly, they believe the real value of the conference is the community all being there together.

"The best part about PyCon is the people you get to meet," said Chris McAvoy, founder and president of the Chicago Python Users Group, which hosted PyCon 2008. "That, coupled with more than 1,000 attendees, compared to the 600 last year, says to me that Python is really building a market here in Chicago and elsewhere. It's an exciting time to be a Python developer."

PyCon 2009 will also be held in Chicago. For more information about PyCon, please visit http://us.pycon.org.

About PyCon
Presented by the Python Software Foundation, the world's largest Python conference brings together a diverse group of developers, enthusiasts, and organizations to explore new challenges, launch new businesses and forge new connections within the Python community. PyCon provides attendees with the opportunity to delve into the dynamic programming language employed by well-known companies such as Google, Cisco, and the New York Times. PyCon helps people learn new tools and techniques, showcase projects, and meet other Python fans.

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Daniel Schneider
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