DevChix now hosted by Blue Box!


We are proud to announce that Blue Box is donating hosting for the Devchix blog.

The support staff was helpful when answering questions and explained the solution without talking down to me. And thanks to devchix member Ivete for helping with the wordpress configuration.

Established in 2003, Blue Box is a leading cloud hosting and managed services company. Nearly 600 companies use Blue Box’s managed cloud application hosting for infrastructure solutions. Its clients receive white-glove 24/7 support through its industry-leading technical implementation and management expertise. Blue Box leverages an assortment of open source technologies including OpenStack, EMC Razor and Opscode’s Chef alongside Blue Box intellectual property and technologies. With ownership and control of the infrastructure, Blue Box delivers comprehensive, customizable hosting solutions with game-changing uptime to enterprises and applications of any size.

Thanks so much Blue Box!!

Problems setting up ASP.NET 4.0 web on IIS 7


I was attempting to set up a new ASP.NET 4.0 web on my dev machine, running Windows 7 and IIS 7. I ran into several errors, that I suspect others may encounter, and I had to search all over the web to find all the answers. So I’ve written this post in the hopes it saves some other dev the same headache I had!

So, first I created the new website and app pool identity, but when I hit the site for the first time, I got the following error:
HTTP Error 500.19 – Internal Server Error
The requested page cannot be accessed because the related configuration data for the page is invalid.

After searching for solutions, I found most had to do with permissions to the web.config file or actual locking of sections of the web.config file. I confirmed that the app pool identity had permissions to the file, and there were no locking attributes in the file. So something else had to be the issue. Then I found this post:
It turns out that ASP.NET had not been configured fully on my machine. So, according to one of the answers on the post, the solution is to do the following steps:
1. Open control panel
2. Click on “Programs and Features”
3. Click on ”Turn windows features on/off”
4. Locate ”Internet Information services IIS” in the pop up window and expand its node
5. Expand the ”World Wide Web Service” node
6. Expand “Application Development Features” node
7. Check the check box of”ASP.NET”
8. Then click ok button
9. You will need to restart your computer (go get a cup of coffee…)

After restarting, and hitting the site again, I got this new error:
HTTP Error 500.21 – Internal Server Error
Handler “PageHandlerFactory-Integrated” has a bad module “ManagedPipelineHandler” in its module list
Another web search revealed that even though the step above enabled ASP.NET, it was not fully installed. This article shows how to finish the installation:
Basically, just open a command window and enter the command shown below (command is slightly different for 32-bit vs. 64-bit).
%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

32 bit:
%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.21006\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

If you get a permissions error, you need to run the window as an administrator. To do this, go to start |run, and type ‘cmd’, but hit Ctrl-Shift-Enter, instead of just Enter.
After doing that, I hit the site again, and it worked! Hope this has helped!

Brainstorming a Conference Talk Proposal

Tips and Tricks

Taken from Brainstorming: Writing a PyCon Proposal.  While this post is for PyCon, the US-based conference for Python developers, users, educators, and everyone with an interest in Python, this advice can apply to any language-centric conferences, even the topic suggestions themselves.

Hey you! Ever thought about submitting a proposal?
What? oh no, no no no.
Why not?
What would I talk about?  I have nothing to say!

So how about this:

Tell me what talks you went to at previous years’ PyCons that you found were pretty good (regardless of speaker performance)?

What about: what would you like to see at PyCon this year?

Ok.  You want to see those topics?

Why don’t you write the talk you want to see?

Bam, you have an idea.  (cheeky lil’ blogger, aren’t I?)

No seriously: if you want to see a talk, write it yourself.  Or: take what it is that you do with Python (professionally, hobby-wise, side-jobs, whatevs), and write a talk on it.

There is significant interest in the “Python in the Wild” – such as, Python in (non-technical) corporations (product/services or used internally), governmenteducation (CS degrees, high school programs, communities), and science (NASA, robotics).

There is always interest in popular topics, like deployment, big data, python packaging.  Not only do people have short memories, but every year, it will be many people’s first PyCon.

What tends to be popular are talks that compare frameworks/libraries/packages, critique a well-known/used tool/framework, and extreme talks (e.g. we’re getting down to the nitty gritty details of Twisted).  Topics that could do surprisingly well are security/cryptography, event-driven networking, and subjects that people should know about and probably default to industry standard, but don’t really know in depth.  Very interesting subjects include alternatives to giants like Django (e.g. Flask, Pyramid), or where has Python failed.

There are important subject matters like accessibility within Python, and diversity & community building.  Not all talks at PyCon are technical (my head would explode), but are needed and well-respected nonetheless.

When proposing a talk:

Submit early.  You know how many proposals the Program Committee has to read through?  Not too many right now.  There is more time and patience to give feedback, give a second look after the speaker responds/edits.  The committee also is not that tired yet.  Submit on September 27th?  Dead tired.  Not really wanting to give feedback; just wanting this voting process over.

Write an outline.  Yes just do it.  It can be bare bones, but it helps a lot to see where you’re going with this talk, if there is enough meat behind this talk or if it’s too ambitious for the time slot.   Don’t write out your whole talk.  My n00b confession: I wrote a 2-page single-spaced essay for my proposed talk at OSCON. /facepalm

It also significantly helps the reviewer and you to associate length of time per bullet/subpoint/etc.  The reviewer has a sense of where you’re going, if it can actually be a full talk or if it’s too long.  It also helps you frame your actual talk when you come to flesh it out (because no one writes the damn talk before they propose it for the first time).

Nervous about actually speaking? Find a partner.  Either someone that shares your beginner level of speaking (both hold the burden of being nervous for your first talk) or someone that is already a seasoned speaker (you can relax a little!).

Add links to the ‘about you’/bio portion, or more context in general about why you are the person to speak about this topic.  Did a project with Google Summer of Code?  Show the link.  GitHub repo?  Love to see it.  Published a paper on the topic? Well it might not be read, the fact that it’s there would give assurance :D .  Remember though, provide the reviewers with more context on why you should be speaking on this topic (not just some random article you wrote about how lame PHP is (but it is lame).).  Note: it is not important that you haven’t spoke at PyCon or another conference before.  But do prove that why you should now.

Think posters might be a better option for your first time presenting something at PyCon?  With a talk, you have about 30 minutes.  You can plan out what you’re going to say, how your talk might lead to certain questions (pro tip: leave some unanswered/unaddressed items from your talk, and look awesome when you know the answer if they’re asked).  After the talk, for questions you don’t know, you also have the forgiveness of the audience:

“Oh actually, hmm, that’s a very good question.  I’m not sure I can address that here right now, but catch me after the talk.”

(and then sprint away…:D)

With a poster, you are defending your PhD thesis (practically), standing around for hours with some of the audience’s expectation of:

“You know everything about this talk and I’m going to grill you because you’re stuck here.”

It can be pretty demanding.  But it’s why posters are great for in-depth and/or unconventional topics.  There also a second shot at doing something with PyCon if you’re talk doesn’t get accepted since they are due Jan 15th.

I think these Google hangouts that PyLadies did were productive; I got the feedback that they were helpful.  I also got the “zomg such a good idea but I can’t make it tonight.”  I’d like to see more, perhaps from the Program Committee itself (full disclosure, I am a part of the committee).  We have 4 weeks until talk proposals are due.  Let’s help you give it your best shot. 

About Lynn Root

@PyLadiesSF founder, @WomenWhoCode champion, Python/Django developer with a secret crush on databases.

More Posts by Lynn Root - Author Website

Panel on Women in Programming


A panel discussion with

  • Sarah Gray (@fablednet), co-founder of Mercury App
  • Ginny Hendry (@ginnyhendry), organizer of Chicago Ruby Hack nights and RailsBridge Ruby on Rails Women Outreach
  • Francesca Slade, engineer at Google
  • Sue Kim, Resident Apprentice at 8th Light
  • Stephanie Briones, User Experience Craftsman at 8th Light

Hosted by Doug Bradbury

Presented by 8th Light University

Awesome Speakers at Fluent 2012


The Fluent Conference 2012 in San Francisco on May 29th-31st has an incredible line up of speakers.   The conference is generously supporting DexChix and other community projects with booth space.  Come join us!

Lea Verou, will be giving a keynote on “Turning to the client-side” as well as another talk on “Demystifying Regular Expressions.” Sara Chipps, Javascript developer and Founder of Girl Develop It, will be giving an instructional talk on how to build your own Gmail browser extension. Sarah Mei, Pivotal engineer, Disapora contributor, and co-founder of RailsBridge will be sharing her insight on Backbone.js: Basics & Beyond. Independent developer, Nicole Sullivan, also an independent developer, will be giving two talks — “Don’t feed the Trolls” on open source culture and a tech talk on CSS3 animations.

Here’s the schedule for the awesome women developers who will be speaking at Fluent:

Backbone.js: Basics & Beyond, Sarah Mei, 1:45pm Tuesday, 05/29, Continental 5

Build Your own GMail Browser Extension, Sara Chipps, 2:35pm Thursday, 05/31, Continental 4

Don’t Feed The Trolls, Nicole Sullivan, 9:40am Wednesday, 05/30, Continental Ballroom 1-5

Bob, Pulse, Pop, and Shake – 5 ways to replace JavaScript with CSS3 Animations, Nicole Sullivan, 1:45pm Wednesday, 05/30, Continental 2-3

/Reg(exp){2}lained/: Demystifying Regular Expressions, Lea Verou, 2:35pm Wednesday, 05/30, Continental 2-3

Turning to the Client Side, Lea Verou, 9:50am Thursday, 05/31, Continental Ballroom 1-5

You don’t need a Framework for that!, Estelle Weyl, 1:45pm Thursday, 05/31, Continental 5

Speaker Info