PyCon talk decisions have been made

[edit: nixed a paragraph by request]
[edit: link to accepted talks and thank Doug]

I want to say three things in this post. One is that the PyCon program committee has finished making there decisions of which 95 talks out of the 179 submissions we received. I should also admit that my talk (#9 in the list) was accepted although I actually missed the part of PC meetings where it was so I didn't officially find out until everyone else did.

Second, I wanted to publicly thank Jesse Noller and the other members of the pycon-pc for their hard work (with special honorable mention to Doug Napoleone for pycon-tech, the software that keeps PyCon running). We had a record number of submissions with an average of only 10 people in IRC to go over them during the culling process. It was grueling, but people stuck in there and helped make it happen (and I admit I did not participate as much as I would have liked due to a conference paper submission I had).

Third, I want to address the negativity that has been popping up about the decisions we had to make (some of which led to hate mail sent personally to Jesse which is completely uncalled for). There seems to be two themes that have popped up as to why people are upset over there rejection.

One is their talk received all positive reviews but was still rejected. Sorry, but that's called time restriction. We honestly had more talks with all positive reviews than we had slots. And just because your talk didn't receive any negative reviews does not mean that it fired anyone up enough to want to stand up for it. We use a Champion voting system where a talk only gets considered if a reviewer is willing to take a stand saying they will fight for the talk to be included. If a talk has a lot of people standing up for it then it will get in without question, but it takes A LOT of people for that to happen (like four or more, and there were not that many talks like that). Otherwise we have to discuss the talk. And if the people fighting for the talk can't convince the PC (or don't make the IRC meeting which is just life since we can't infinitely postpone to make everyone's schedule) then the talk is let go. So if your talk received all positive reviews and you are wondering what it was rejected in the end, it means it unfortunately didn't attract a champion that was either to argue for it in a way to win over the other PC members in IRC.

The second theme has been how the talks are not anonymous to reviewers. This is a conscious decision that we have made from years of experience where it matters whether we know upfront whether someone is a good speaker. We tried anonymous reviewing one year and it turned out badly. PyCon does not have a proceedings like academic computer science conferences where if someone can't present you still have the work in paper form. At PyCon if you are a good speaker that counts for a lot as speaking is how you share your knowledge. And if people think you are not a great speaker that usually means someone won't champion your talk, not that you will get a -0 or -1 (if that does happen it is usually a sign of a bad review, but once again we were short on people and some bad reviews slipped through).