Of all the decisions we’ve made regarding our fabulous conference come the second weekend in October, the easiest one yet was the decision to not include alcohol. Surely, a sponsor would cover it, the permits are accessible, and further - all tech conferences are overflowing with booze, so why not ours?
First and foremost, the focus of PyDX is Python, specifically the Cascadian Python community. We’re so excited to show you our take on a Python conference and to create a fast-paced but accessible environment for everyone at every level to come and learn something. Let’s touch base with the larger community and see what peers and luminaries alike are working on. The focus is Python, not the after-party.
We love all of Portland’s conferences, but we feel that the booze distracts from the message and alienates all but a very homogeneous set.
In the interests of actionable inclusion, we want to welcome:
- Parents who aren’t going to stay out late drinking
- Folks who don’t drink to excess
This industry is booming right now, and it’s our duty to introduce diverse talent, and we’ll never get there if we maintain the status quo of this rather alcoholic industry.
You may suspect that we are heavily influenced and excited by Kara Sowles’ Alcohol and Inclusivity piece that she wrote for Model View Culture. Please give that a read if you have not seen it before; this blog post will be here when you’re done, and it’s a terrific picture of what we aspire toward. Those who don’t drink are often left out of the conversation once the kegs start flowing, and we want to pull those attendees back in for enlightening, fabulous engagement with other community members.
And on the less weighty side, it's a significantly easier event to plan if we don't need to get the 47,000 (underestimate) permissions necessary to have alcohol, to serve alcohol on a University campus as an outside group, to pay someone often $150/h or more (seriously), and finally, to account for the boozey needs of more than a hundred people.
Please note, this doesn't mean we think drinking is wrong; we just don't want it to be a focus of our culture. At our Birds of a Feather dinners we'll be hosting for you, there will definitely be alcohol available for purchase (we'll be buying you dinner - more to come later on that!), but we'd like to think that it's just not mandatory to provide beer and cocktails to talk about code!
Please stay tuned for more info on some of the guiding principals behind the creation of this conf!