Starting MinnePy, a Python Users Group


Over the past year and a half, I have been learning and using Python. I found that I really love Python, but was bemoaning the fact that there is no Python Users Group in the Twin Cities. There had been a Zope/Python group back in 2003/2004, but they are not active and the server with the mailing is down.

Then a couple months ago on Twitter, I saw Ian Bicking is planning to move to Minneapolis. We chatted some about him moving to the area, and he asked about the Zope group. This started gears turning in my head. Maybe, just maybe, I could start up a Python Users Group here in the Twin Cities. I mean, how hard can it be? Get a bunch of people together to talk about the same thing, should be easy.

Then fast forward to early this month at MinneDemo. I talked to Luke Francl who helped organize MinneDemo hoping to get pointers on starting an users group. He then introduced me to Scott Vlaminck who organized GUM. Luke and Scott both gave me great advice. First of all, just get together regularly every month and talk about Python. Even if it is just 3 of us. Then get a mailing list going, Google Groups is the easiest. Third, advertise.

I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it. I want this. I want to be part of an active community, and I don’t want to learn Ruby or Groovy (sorry Luke and Scott:). My distaste of Java is rising (after enterprise legacy app that is as agile as a…um…really un-agile thing, I prefer more dynamic languages). So that meant I need to follow through.

The Group

So on February 17, 2009, I created the MinnePy Google Group. Then I invited a few people I know and tweeted it. The response was good. There is now 19 members, plus someone said they started another group last month, but they haven’t met yet. Looks like we will be merging because the more the merrier.

My idea is that the group is open to all Python topics. I myself am Django guy, but I hold nothing against TG, web2py, SqlAlchemey, Py3k, or anything else. The more knowledge the better.  Also, feel free to post any Python related topic to the mailing list.


Currently, we are planning to meet the second Thursday of the month, so the first meeting will be March 12 from  7 to 8 PM. For the first meeting, Luke suggested just having everyone introduce themselves talk about what we like and would want from MinnePy. The Sierra Bravo office has been offered for the meetup, but I want to talk off-line with the kind folks there before making that official.


  • Have first meetup
  • Choose a name (some like PyMNtos, others like MinnePy)
  • Get a website
  • Get a domain
  • Have fun

If you or anyone you know is interested in Python and in the Twin Cities area (or care to come to the Twin Cities area once a month), please join and spread the word!

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4 Responses to “Starting MinnePy, a Python Users Group”

  1. DeanG Says:

    Joined the mailing list as a lurker. Stuck here in Central WI I lurk the Chicago and Twin Cities python lists (used to be the TCZPUG zope/python group, right? – ) for moral (mine mostly) support. :-) I’m about 90 minutes from Madison and 3 hours from Milwaukee, so I have a slim excuse for not kicking off a WI group. :-} May put up an Open Space sign at PyCon to see if there’s interest.

  2. varikin Says:

    @DeanG Wisconsinites welcome:) You are partially correct about the TCZPUG group. It did exist, but I don’t know anyone from that group. The server with the mailing list looks to be gone. I would say TCZPUG is dead. If you ever are in the area for a meetup, please stop in. But I understand not showing. But the mailing list is open to any Python questions you might want to ask. No reason not to be involved electronically. And enjoy PyCon, I won’t make it this year because I am heading to Japan for vacation at the same time.

  3. Andy Atkinson Says:

    Have wanted to go, to dip my toes in the Python pool, but it is the same night as Cocoaheads MN!

  4. Larry Henrie Says:

    This is great! Thanks for this blog. I am just starting django and this is a big help.