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IndyPy: 15 Years of Celebrating Python

IndyPy: 15 Years of Celebrating Python

What a ride it’s been. In May 2007, I founded IndyPy, a Meetup group for the Indianapolis-area Python community to network and discuss the language. The group has grown to over 2,500 members, and it serves the Python community at large by live-streaming the Meetups for members around the globe.

Now, IndyPy is celebrating its 15th anniversary.iCJHCc7s.png

The year-long celebration (from May 2022 - April 2023) will kick off with a hybrid event on May 10, 2022, from 7-9 p.m. ET. The IndyPy tribe will gather both in-person at The District Tap Northside and virtually via Zoom. The event will feature special guests, awesome prizes and lots of love for the Python community. And yes, Pete the Python (the stuffed version) will be making a return appearance. Whether you plan on being there in-person or attending virtually, be sure to check out the event details and RSVP at MeetingPlace.io.

While 15 years is a big milestone, IndyPy’s May 10th event is particularly special as it marks the group’s first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began two years ago. Let’s look back at how we’ve gotten here and where we’re going.

Humble beginnings

If you know me, you know that I love Python. You also know that while I was drawn to Python for the open-source, easy-to-use programming language, I stayed for the amazing Python community. Today, you can network with fellow Pythonistas from around the world with the click of a button, but 15 years ago, finding and growing the IndyPy tribe wasn’t quite as easy.

In the late 1990’s, I moved from Indianapolis to San Francisco to start my career in tech. In 1999, I co-founded Six Feet Up with my wife and Six Feet Up CEO Gabrielle, and in 2003, I moved back to Indiana where we grew Six Feet Up into the Python and cloud expert consulting company it is today. Finally, in May 2007, I teamed up with my brother, Clayton Parker, to host our first IndyPy Meetup at Mellow Mushroom.

Carl Samson was the first attendee aside from my brother and me. He became a regular, just like so many others over the years.

The second IndyPy meeting. Back: Chris Zelenak, Calvin Hendryx-Parker, Front: Lucie Parker, Clayton Parker

Continued growth

What began as small, casual get togethers at Mellow Mushroom continued to grow over the years, just like Python itself. It wasn’t long before we outgrew our table at Mellow Mushroom and the local pubs like Broad Ripple Brewpub.

While we always had IndyPy regulars, we also always had new people show up each month. We began renting space and hosting presentations. At the height of IndyPy, we were hosting 80 people on the second Tuesday of each month. We also recorded the events and shared them on YouTube so that even those who couldn’t attend could still benefit from the content. See some of my favorite IndyPy memories below!

Then, 2020 happened.

Virtual opportunities

For the safety of our tribe, when COVID-19 hit, IndyPy transitioned to a 100% virtual format. For the first few months, attendance remained strong at our virtual events. Then, Zoom fatigue set-in. Average IndyPy attendance went from 70-80 people to 20-30 people, but, simultaneously, something awesome happened.

During the pandemic, we began welcoming IndyPy members, guests, speakers and sponsors from across the nation — and around the globe. From Florida, to California, Canada and Mexico, today, our “regulars” reach far beyond the confines of the greater Indianapolis area.

Moving Forward

As the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, IndyPy is reaching another stage in its growth. With our 15-year celebration on May 10, we’re bringing together our virtual and in-person audiences, and we’re really hoping to do more of that going forward.

It’s just like when we started. We are going to work to include everyone in IndyPy. Whether it’s one person or 50 people, I want to meet that community and make their voices heard.

While based in Indianapolis, IndyPy’s 15th anniversary will be a celebration of the global Python community. Fifteen years is a big milestone, and we’re excited to have our colleagues from across the nation and world here to celebrate with us. We hope you can make it!

Oh, the memories

While there have been a lot of amazing IndyPy meetups over the years, here are five that I consider among the most memorable:

  • “Becoming an Excel Wizard using Python Scripting”: This was the first remote presenter we’ve had and is still one of the most popular IndyPy recordings on our YouTube channel.
  • IndyPy Python Web Shootout: This was our first web framework shootout, and it was a big success! It also laid the groundwork for future Six Feet Up conferences like Python Web Conference.
  • The 10-year Anniversary Celebration: We had a blast celebrating 10-year milestone! Approximately 60 Pythonistas gathered, and we even had a live Pete the Python join us for the celebration.
  • PBJ Exercises: These were fun, simple talks that give you a takeaway right away. Check out the playlist here.
  • Right Brain Talks: These high-level, in-depth code talks are a very valuable resource. See some of the previous talks here.

Today, Six Feet Up’s team of expert developers use Python to implement custom, cutting-edge solutions for a diverse array of clients, including those in the education, life sciences, transportation, fintech and government sectors. Explore Six Feet Up’s Python case studies.

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