May 22, 2017

Community Development – ModusBox’s Own Alan Vezina Strives to Bring Python Users Together

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We at ModusBox are proud of the passion that our team has for their chosen vocation. We know it’s more than just a job, and that participation in groups, events, and projects make ModusBox a better team and a great place to work. We’re fortunate to have talented, unique technology leaders amongst our ranks. It’s part of our culture – maybe it’s in the coffee.

One of these technologists is Alan Vezina. Although a more recent addition to the ModusBox family, Alan has been an active advocate of and participant in the Python community in the Pacific Northwest for some time.

Alan’s participation in the Puget Sound Python User Group – affectionately dubbed PuPPy – has given him opportunities to meet, help, learn, and mentor other developers in the area, and even be part of planning the newly announced PyCascades conference.

Joining Up and Meeting Up with PuPPy

Alan attended the user group shortly after its first meeting, after being repeatedly asked by one of the co-founders to attend. Although he admits to initially checking it out for the free food and beer, he rapidly became a champion of the group, and a volunteer, helping set up the event and lending a hand where needed.

By happenstance, Alan’s role grew with the group. When the opportunity to become the event’s MC arose, he volunteered – or at least wasn’t violently opposed to stepping in to do it. Since then, he’s adopted the role of MC and organizing event content.

Mirroring Alan’s increased participation in the group, the membership of PuPPy grew as well. When he first joined in late 2014, the group had a respectable membership of 200 PuPPy-ites. Today, the Meetup page for the group boasts nearly 4,000 members.

The services and events that the group offers have also grown. PuPPy continues their monthly general meetups on the second Wednesday of every month. But thanks to the interest and camaraderie of the group, they have added two weekly programming nights, one in Bellevue, WA – Seattle’s biggest suburb – on Tuesdays and the other in Seattle on Thursdays. There is also a test-driven development group just starting on Monday nights.

Code Help and Career Mentorship

But one of the group’s most popular meetups is the career advice event. A common occurrence for meetups is to get far more RSVPs than attendees.  But not the PuPPy career nights. These events consistently get nearly-100% attendance from their RSVP list.

The career nights provide volunteer mentors for those looking for help, setting them up “speed dating style” to meet with a mentor for 5-7 minutes, getting a lot of advice and some one-on-one coaching time in the course of an evening.

As PyCon Exits, PyCascades Fills the Void

Many from the user group have leveraged the fact that PyCon has been held in Portland for the last two years to meet up with members from the Vancouver and Portland Python user groups to commute by train to the event. But with the nomad nature of PyCon, which moves every two years to a new location, 2017 is the last year for the event in the Pacific Northwest for some time.

Joining forces with the Vancouver and Portland user groups, PuPPy is seizing the opportunity to form the recently announced PyCascades event. This Pacific Northwest focused Python conference was just announced, with the first event happening January 22-23, 2018, in Vancouver, BC. As the “home conference” of the area, they are currently looking for both corporate sponsors and volunteers. If you’re looking to volunteer or would like to sign up for ticket and event information, visit the website at www.pycascades.com.

ModusBox – All About the People

ModusBox is a great place to work because of the diverse group intelligent, thoughtful technologist and leaders that make up our team. If you’re looking for information on joining the ModusBox team, visit our Careers page or email us at hr@modusbox.com.


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