We have had an intense 2 months (March and April) preparing for and delivering our first ever hands-on hardware and software workshop (PiDoorbell) from CodeChix Bay Area. And to top it off, it was done at a remote location all the way across the continent in Montreal, Canada.
It was a tremendous amount of hard work, planning, logistics, numerous hacking sessions to ramp up 4 awesome volunteer teaching assistants who all flew from the Bay Area to Montreal just to help out CodeChix with the tutorial.
And since it was a hardware workshop (first ever for PyCon, I think) and we were giving away hardware to each registered attendee (HUGE thanks to the PSF for helping us with the funding for these hardware kits), it was not without some upheavals and glitches. Namely, the SD cards that were ordered had a 20% fail rate and so we were scrambling at the end to burn more so we would have enough. And some students signed up at the last minute and we didn’t have enough hardware kits – we were short by 3.
We had originally scoped it for a class size of 20, but 23 attendees showed up. But, all was good – we gave them our own hardware to use in the class and made it work so everyone could have their own setup.
And the reviews are out – we got “Excellent” across the board except for one reviewer who said that they couldn’t give us a good review because they didn’t get their own hardware kit to take home since we had run out. We apologized to her for this and did our best to make it up to her.
All in all, we had a blast, the wifi gods were feeling generous towards us and everyone in the class had really positive comments about the tutorial. We worked our butts off including overcoming hurdles of work-deadlines/kids/home/pneumonia/moving-out-of-state-with-no-internet etc.
To the awesome PyCon 2014 PiDoorbell tutorial team – Hats off – you guys rock !
Photos are up on our Facebook group page.