Back in Febraury, I attended my first Python conference with my professor and classmates. We met a lot of people in the field and attended talks regarding Python. You might not know, but Python is a programming language that I've studied and used in the past two years. Anyways, during this conference, PyTN, I met this German programmer named Anna, and she expressed her love for teaching women how to code. She also runs a weekly blog that highlights a "DjangoGirl" of the week. To be a DjangoGirl, you must identify as a woman, and you use Django in one way or another. She said she was looking for more ladies to interview, so I gave her my information.
About a month later, I receive an email from Anna for the interview. I filled it out and talked about my group project on UngMap. About a month after that, another programmer, Lacey, emailed me saying that she was interested in the work that I do and to present it at DjangoCon US. At first, I wasn't sure, but I put in an application anyway. My talk was approved as well as some financial aid!
Before I knew it, DjangoCon was around the corner, and I was finishing up my presentation. I booked a morning flight out of Phoenix to enjoy my time in Austin. In Arizona, they have this nifty "Arizona shuttle" that runs all over the state. I booked the 2am shuttle from Flagstaff to Phoenix. The drive is about 2 hours and 30 minutes, but if I took the 3:30am shuttle, I was pushing it for my 7 am flight. I got on the shuttle and slept the whole way. I arrived at the airport at 4:30, and it was dead! No one was there. The TSA were having a meeting so only two people were running the security checkpoint. No one was at my wing except for the Starbucks people and the custodians. I took a seat and tried to fall back asleep, but I just couldn't. The plan was ready to board at 6:50am. There were only 40ish people on the flight, so everyone was able to get a row to themselves. I slept about an hour on the flight. We arrived in Austin a little early. I got off and ate lunch at a sandwich joint and walked around the airport. I was thinking "do I want to get a taxi or try Uber for my ride to my AirBnB?" I finally decided to try Uber since I've only heard good things from it. My Uber driver told me all about Austin and some cool places to check out. I arrived at my AirBnB and took a 3 hour nap.
After my nap, I decided to go over to the conference center to met some people and hang out before the speaker's dinner. I forgot how hot it was and only brought pants with me...oops! It was 100 degrees! I arrived at the conference center and signed in. From my AirBnB to the center, it was a 25 minute walk. I walked around and said hi, then walked back outside and explored the campus. It was finally 6:30pm and we met up for the speaker dinner. We ate at the Iron Cactus. I enjoyed myself and met some cool people. After dinner was over, I was a little unsure about walking back to the AirBnb because I was downtown. I got an Uber back to my AirBnB and hit the hay!
Monday marks the first day of DjangoCon Us talks. I wasn't presenting until 4:30pm, so I had time to go to other talks and enjoy my day. I learned a lot in those 5 hours. The conference was well organized and the food was really good. It was finally my turn to present, and I had a better crowd than I thought I would have. I talked about GeoDjango and had some great questions afterwards. There were several people that wanted me to help them start their projects, but I didn't have a laptop with me, and I also wanted to see the other talks that were going on.
After the day of talks were over, they had an opening reception at a German Beergarden. They had beer and snacks, and it was good. After that, Anna, Adam, and I walked towards the capital and admired its beauty. We then went to the Texas Chili Parlor and ate dinner. The chili was pretty good! I walked back to my airbnb and crashed.
Tuesday marks day two of talks, and my final day in Austin. I had a great time learning new applications and meeting some cool people. I received good feedback for my talk, so that makes me want to present again! My flight left at 7pm, so I left the conference around 5 due to traffic. The flight was full, and I sat in the emergency exit row. My phone had a good charge, and I was able to use Southwest's free live TV option. I watched two episodes of Chopped, and I was in Phoenix. I caught the shuttle back to Flagstaff and fell asleep. Brandon picked me up at 11:45pm.
Overall, I had a great time at DjangoCon US and definitely want to go to other conferences in the future. Austin was cool, but really hot! Next week, I am going to a GIS conference in Prescott, AZ. I will update you all on that soon! :)