Do a bit of helping out at EuroPython
Are you a Python geek?
For starters - you should totally be going to EuroPython at the end of June. Python conferences like this attract brilliant presentations from some real community and industry heavyweights. This year we've got Professor Sir Tony Hoare (that's the creator of quicksort to you, amongst a venerable lifetime's worth of other things); Cory Doctorow (everyone's favourite science-fiction author, blogger and all-round geek activist), Bruce Eckel (author and renowned technical communicator); plus Dr Sue Black from code-breaking hothouse Bletchley Park. The veritable horde of over 100 exciting and interesting talks makes up probably the strongest line-up EuroPython has ever had.
Best of all, Python conferences like this one are organised and run at a grass-roots level. By enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, making them quite the most fun, educational and interestingly social conferences I've ever been to. Personally, I love the resultant absence of overriding commercial agendas - everything is done purely for the benefit of the delegates, and is pervaded by the community values that made you love Python in the first place.
One upside of this is that the conference is cheap - only £190 to attend. Interested enthusiasts can easily pay their own way. As a result, this is one of the few technical conferences that still has a robust attendance this year - both of presenters and delegates. Many others have been decimated or even cancelled altogether.
There is a downside though, and here's the rub:
The good folks organising EuroPython in their spare time are desperately short of volunteers to be session chairs.
If you're going to EuroPython, you could help out! Yes, YOU! You could sign up for the sessions you want to watch anyway, so you shouldn't miss anything. Just imagine the warm and fuzzies! The KUDOS of a roomful of eyes. The POWER of cutting off over-running speakers in mid-flow*. The WARMTH of a deftly-cupped microphone.
(*anyone cutting the power on Sir Tony will be duly ejected from the premises)
Responsibilities are described in loving detail here: http://wiki.europython.eu/SessionTeam
Please think about it, and if you fancy it, sign up soon (on the wiki page above) because we're currently all a-flutter wondering how the heck we're going to manage this. :-)