The 17th and 18th of february were very special days in the Caribbean because PyCaribbean (the biggest event of python in the Caribbean) was being celebrated in my country, the Dominican Republic. And today I want to share with you my experience as a member of the staff in this event and how I became one.
2 years ago was the first time I attended this event (and any other programming event). I was very lucky to meet people from all around the world, made a lot of friends and that helped me in my first steps into programming and networking.
Fast forward to 2018 on the same days and PyCaribbean was happening again in my country, so I was wondering:
And that's when I ran into a post on their Facebook page in the Dominican Python community. They were actually looking for staff members that would want to volunteer, so I contacted the members of the group and after a few meetings I was chosen!
On the first day my job was simple, I had to help the speakers making sure that all the gadgets and mics were working correctly. The first talk and keynote were about coding with the speaker Luciano Ramalho, author of Fluent in Python, who shared deep thoughts about python and programming in general with us, it was a great experience.
During the day more talks were given in the auditorium I was assigned to until lunch break, everybody was hungry and excited to share experiences about programming, python, make new friends, share about our cultures, etc... It felt really awesome to know that me and other volunteers were part of such a great event.
The rest of the day was filled with more talks that had a mix of both Spanish and English speakers until the final keynote of the day where everybody got together to listen to Carol Willing, another Python veteran, who talked about the growth of the Python community and how Pyladies helps women who want to start their journey in the programming world and without realizing it the keynote had ended and so was the first day of Pycaribbean 2018.
The second day was similar to the first one: we started with a little breakfast for everyone, the volunteers were working in ours assigned jobs and the people were excited about the talks and everyone was more comfortable with the environment and the new friends they made recently.
In the food break, the speakers shared with us stickers about our favorite technologies that everyone wanted for their own collection, you know we cant talk about a programming event without stickers! 🤓
Then last but not least, the talk by Jessica McKellar, another face of the python community, talked about diversity and how the python community is helping the people in prisons in the United States by teaching them about code, something super useful for when they do get out.
The last picture maybe is something we don't see in a lot of programming events, they are the members of the volunteer team the people who contribute so that everything in the works without issues to provide the best experience and assistance. Everyone can be part of the team, you just need be open to help the community needs and they will appreciate it a lot, seeing everyone so excited and happy during and after the event was truly invaluable.
The main reason I wrote this article is to encourage other programmers who are able to help their communities in events like this. Sometimes we focus only on the code, algorithms and the latest technologies, which is good (I like it too), but when you interact with other cultures and people, helping them in their path they will never forget those moments like I did 2 years ago.
I hope you liked this article, feel free to reach to me if you want to know more about the next PyCaribbean or any other programming events in the Dominican Republic.
Hasta la vista!