In June I attended my first SciPy conference. It was in Austin, TX, as usual. I wasn't sure what to expect, this being my first conference about a tool instead of research itself, but I enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity to meet people outside my immediate field and also to meet up with several in my own. I attended tutorials, the conference itself, and the sprints, and throughout, I learned of several new tools to try and about how to best do my research within the framework of open science and reproducibility, both themes of the conference.
There was a plotting competition as part of the conference, the John Hunter Excellence in Plotting competition. I submitted a figure from my research and got second place! A gallery of the entries is available online. As part of being ranked highly in the competition, I got to sit on the stage at the conference and participate in a panel on visualization practices.