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Laís Carvalho
Laís Carvalho

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EuroPython 2020 - my impressions as a first time volunteer

NOTE: This blog post was written 2 years ago, when I first volunteered for EuroPython, back in 2020. I have a bad habit of writing things and never publishing them, diminishing the purpose of having a blog.
I have been meaning to correct such habit, hence the late publication.

EuroPython 2020 is over and I would like to share my experience.

First, a bit of context...

What is EuroPython?

EuroPython is the biggest Python conference in Europe. The 2020 edition was my first time participating.

How did I get into it?

I was invited by Cheuk Ho to help with the entertainment session of the website. The conference was going to happen in Dublin, my homeland for a good while now.
It was February, and I was helping with the organization of the regional PyCon Ireland in Limerick.

I had a full list of places to visit and things to do when COVID lockdown hit us all. After much discussion, it was then decided that although none of us had experience with running online events, EuroPython 2020 would be online.

What happened

I confess, I did not imagine the amount of work that organising an online event would be. You see, when you run a in-person event things like tracks and finding speakers are a little bit more straight-forward.
And after hours and hours of meetings, hundreds of pages of documentation and a lot of stress and setup hours, the conference finally happened. And it was a complete success!


Registration was handled quite nicely by a bot written by our queen Cheuk Ho. The fact that our first keynote speaker of the event was nowhere to be found brought stress levels up but we kept it tight and all else ran as smoothly as it could possibly be.

Me at EuroPython 2020

Throughout the four conference days I signed up to:
1) give a talk on coding best-practices for data scientists;
2) host my first mentored-sprint;
3) act as session chair and room manager, since our setup required 2 volunteers for each speaker.

The stress won the battle on the talk, and I decided to give up on it. I regret not pushing myself further and doing it, but that is a subject for another post.

I was there for the Kedro mentored sprint, which ended up being one of the most significant out of comfort-zone experiments I have ever done. I had participated in mentored sprints before, but never as a mentor.
The experience was challenging and I could have better prepared for it, but all went well. After all, encouraging people to contribute to Open Source and practicing teamwork and discussions are quite heart-filling. I truly recommend it!

Finally, the session's hosting were a lot of fun! All the attendees were exceptionally nice and collaborative. The jokes were fun and I believe we managed to mimic the in-person event pretty well, given the circumstances.

The community

The final highlight goes to the thriving EuroPython Community, and how unbelievably kind and welcoming everyone is. It filled my heart with joy to see how things kind of felt into place and ran smoothly after so much work!

Fun tracks

Another attraction at the online event was the Word Peril game. Designed by our awesome Jason McDonald. The game was similar to Jeopardy only better because it was all Python-related.

We had a mate workshop-session taught by our Argentinian connoisseur Nicolás Demarchi, and a very heated tea discussion.


A few of the faces that contributed to the amazing event!

I am happy to have said yes to another challenge and to having had the opportunity to engage with such impressive and dedicated people. It is an honour to serve the community beside you all, EuroPython folks!

Now, let's all be safe and make sure that 2021 happens here in Dublin (SPOILER ALERT: it did not!). I had a whole entertainment session written (and more to come) on the perks of spending some solid summer days in Dublin.

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