Inclusivity and Coding at PyCascades
February 8, 2020 -- CBI's Esti Shay co-chairs this year's PyCascades Conference in Portland, with a strong focus on inclusivity and innovation.


Esti Shay
Software Engineer
541-757- 0687

Follow up to original story (2/25/20):

  • There were 472 attendees at the conference.
  • The conference was live-streamed and is available on  YouTube here.
  • Due to the generosity of the Python community, the conference donated more than $15K in grants that help people attend, who otherwise would not have been able to join. Tickets for DjangoGirls were included in the grants program.
  • There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the attendees.

PyCascade attendees, 2020.

Original story (2/8/20):

Eager anticipation builds with the upcoming 3rd annual PyCascades conference in Portland, OR, February 8 -9. As co-chair (along with Eric Holscher), CBI’s Esti Shay, has worked tirelessly to ensure that the conference inspires and connects as many attendees as possible. Esti was invited to be a 2020 co-chair while attending last year’s conference in Seattle, WA. Esti’s strong work ethic shines through in the lead-up to PyCascades:


“When I see a ball dropping, I either catch it myself or try to find someone else who can.”


The conference - organized by members of the Python communities in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland – seeks to “bring together Python users and developers from both the Pacific Northwest and around the world” (PyCascades Conference website). 

Esti sees a lot of value in attending local conferences in that they provide educational and networking opportunities for community members who are unable to attend big conferences like PyCon. Though affiliated with the Python Software Foundation, PyCascades is run entirely by volunteers and is dedicated to making the conference as accessible as possible to all members of the Pacific Northwest Python community.

This year, Esti’s attention to detail and the team’s dedication to inclusivity shone through with the introduction of new conference practices:

  • As a result of input from last year’s attendee survey, PyCascades Conference added Open Space sessions, intended to allow attendees to have more opportunities to share ideas, network, problem-solve together, and participate in discussions that are difficult to have on the conference’s main stage.
  • Esti took the lead on ensuring that the conference has a mother’s room for nursing mothers.
  • PyCascades donated tickets to Django Girls PDX, who held their workshop shortly before the conference.

The conference is scheduled on a weekend (as it was last year) to facilitate attendance by community members who do not have professional development support through their workplace. The hard work of many volunteers, including Esti, culminates this Friday evening with the Welcome Reception at Revolution Hall. Congratulations to Esti and all PyCascades volunteers for pulling together such a comprehensive and fascinating conference!



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