PyConES 2015: DjangoGirls Postmortem

In this post you can read about the DjangoGirls workshop in last PyConES. I would also like to share some thoughts about the organizing process, which maybe can be useful for potential DjangoGirls organizers.

TL;DR: organizing this workshop took some time, but the amount of resources already made by the DjangoGirls community is just huge and very well prepared. If you’re thinking in organizing a DjangoGirls workshop, don’t hesitate: existing resources and the active community will help you anytime.

This year I participated as a coach in DjangoGirls Bilbao where I knew Mikey Ariel and other great DjangoGirls. So when Raúl asked me to help in the organization of DjangoGirls PyConES 2015, I didn’t hesitate.

Available resources

We started with lots of available resources, which solved some main issues:

  • Web site. DjangoGirls has a web with an impressive django admin, ready to build new chapters with two clicks.
  • Forms and email system as well.
  • Trello. DjangoGirls has a Trello board with all the tasks that each chapter may copy to organize. A must.
  • Organizers manual with all the information to prepare the workshop.
  • And of course the tutorial!!!

What was left?

With all those resources, what did we do as organizers? For me, organizing a DjangoGirls workshop had these main issues:

  • Get coaches
  • Get students
  • Get sponsors to afford the cost

Coaches

Part of the DjangoGirls experience consists on meeting new people and opening our own horizons. It was important that coaches were also attendees in PyConES so the students (most of them new to the Python community) had known faces in the conference.

All the coaches were volunteers, they helped with the installation party of their team and assisted the students during the workshop.To participate as a coach it’s not necessary to be a top-notch Django developer: some skills are required, but more important is wanting to teach new stuff (the stuff you probably know by heart) to beginners.

Students

We were expecting 15 students at most, but we had finally 20 students. With an extra effort, we could find enough coaches for all students so all applications were accepted. All of them were just wonderful.

Sponsors and funding

In Spain it’s said that grants from companies have to be requested at the beginning of the year, because at the end of it they have given all the budget allocated to communities. We started to organize it on September and we had few expectations about the sponsorships. What happened is that a bunch of companies stepped forward to help us and we could afford an amazing workshop.

As DjangoGirls doesn’t have bank account, all the money was managed thanks to the [Python Spanish Association](). This is a summary of entries and costs for the workshop:

Entries

  • 1832€ (+IVA)
  • tickets for students
  • custom t-shirts for the welcome pack

Expenses

  • Decoration: 74€
  • Welcome pack: 513€
  • Catering: 367€
  • Grants (travel & accomodation): 300€

Total: 1254€

Now we have 578€ left. It’s a big amount, and I can give more detail about the management if needed. But first, we told to all the sponsors that their money would go to DjangoGirls initiative, so we plan to give it to new chapters of DjangoGirls. Probably a part of it will go to DjangoGirls Barcelona, and the rest to other chapters. We believe this is the most sensible way to manage the sponsorships.

Last, but not least, I’d like to acknowledge the support of PyConES 2015 organization, who found a location for us and were always available to help.

If you want to organize a workshop and have questions, you can use the comments, find me in twitter or you can get in touch directly with DjangoGirls initiative.

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