Just sayin', it might be better if you planned to attend the conference.
It's not that I like harming innocent small furry creatures, it's just that there are still thousands of Python users and potential Python users who still don't know what excellent value for money the conference is, or how much fun you can have there.
PyCon is in Atlanta this year, and despite the parlous state of the world economy there's a chance that it will be the biggest Python event ever. But hey, we all know that size isn't everything.
Although I was notionally on the program committee, and did at least register my opinions of the talks I was allocated by the submissions scheme, I (yet again) didn't manage to make a single meeting due to pressure of other business. I'm actually not too unhappy about that, given the incredibly difficult task that the committee had to perform in order to ... well, I was going to say "sort the wheat from the chaff", but in fact there was so little chaff that wouldn't really be an appropriate analogy.
A number of people have blogged already about Five PyCon Talks You Must Not Miss, but since there's still a few hours to get in at the early bird rate I thought I'd throw out my list of unmissables from the extensive list of talks. How's that for arrogance?
A Short Pinax Tutorial, Danny Greenfeld. I have heard Danny speak at local Python user groups. If I had time I would be attending the half day Pinax tutorial that he and James Tauber are giving, but this is the second best way to find out how to get started with Pinax.
What Every Developer Should Know About Database Scalability, Jonathan Ellis. This one will be straight from the horse's mouth - it's always worth hearing Jonathan's summaries of his immense practical experience.
IronPython Tooling, Dino E Viehland. As a Windows user who has hardly touched IronPython so far I am interested in finding out what my options are. Nobody is likely to know better than Dino, who is probably the most prominent member of the Microsoft development team.
Scaling Python Webapps from Zero to 50 Million Users - A Top-Down Approach, Jinal Jhaveri. Although I haven't heard Jinal speak before I can't resist the lure of hearing what someone with really high-volume Python web experience has to say.
Why Not Run All Your Tests All the Time? A Study of Continuous Integration Systems, Titus C Brown. Ever since I hear Titus' tutorial (with Grig Gheorghiu) on testing a couple of year's ago I've wanted to hear what he has to say about CI. This is my chance.
Alas, five talks isn't anywhere near enough to encompass everything I want to hear, and I am also keenly anticipating Turtles All The Way Down: Demystifying Deferreds, Decorators, and Declarations, Pay Only for What You Eat: A Tour of the Repoze.BFG Repository and Philosophy, On The Subject Of Source Code, Python's Dusty Corners, Debating 'til Dawn: Topics to Keep You Up All Night, Powerful Pythonic Patterns and Tests and Testability. This is going to be a knockout conference even before you consider all the amazing things that will be happening in Open Space.
You really have to be there. And you'll be helping to save a poor kitten that never did anyone any harm in its life!