PyCon Australia 2016 News

Let's talk about...our Code of Conduct!

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PyCon Australia 2016 has a code of conduct, as the conference has had since 2011 (the second year). The aim of the Code of Conduct is to lay out our expectations for behaviour to facilitate an environment that is safe, welcoming and inclusive.

We recognise that a Code of Conduct is not a silver bullet and the mere presence of one does not guarantee that everyone does in fact have a good time. Therefore, we have spent some time formulating our incident response plan. It's outlined below so that if you have to report something, you can know what to expect.

Reports made to one of the conference’s Code of Conduct representatives (the response team) will be documented in a paper form. If there is an immediate threat to safety we will contact venue security and/or police. In other cases, we will meet with the rest of the response team and decide on what actions if any to take (aiming within half a day for reports during the conference days). We will follow up with the person who reported to communicate our actions.

Data retention policy: Reports will be kept for the same organising team (PyCon AU 2017/Melbourne) and will not be passed on to successive teams.

The Code of Conduct response team consists of:

  • Katie McLaughlin
  • Greg Turner
  • Craige McWhirter
  • Brianna Laugher
  • Chris Neugebauer

Brianna and Chris are part of the core organising team but Katie, Greg and Craige are not.

You can reach out to one of these people in person, and you can also report problems via email to This goes to a ticketing system which these 5 people have access to.

The Code of Conduct applies not only to the formal days of the conference itself, but also social events such as the conference dinner, and online channels such as mailing lists, Twitter and the Slack group.

Our plans here are gratefully informed by a huge amount of prior work done, in particular we have drawn from:

Announcing miniconf keynotes

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We've already announced that the main conference keynotes are Damien George and Dr Russell Keith-Magee, with Solange Cunin speaking at the dinner. Now it's time to find out who will be keynoting our Friday miniconfs!

First up at the DjangoConAU will be Donna Benjamin! An absolute legend of the Australian open source scene, and sitting on the board for the Drupal Association, Donna will take us through Django & Drupal: A tale of two cities. This knowledgeable comparison between the two projects (something of a tradition at DjangoCon AU) will explore the common challenges and highlight where approaches diverge, providing an opportunity to reflect on how each project can grow stronger separately, and maybe even together. Donna is also speaking on Sunday on Turning user stories into websites.

Secondly at the Internet of Things miniconf, if you can't wait until Saturday to hear Damien George, luckily you can get a sneak peek on Friday! Damien will talk about high-level languages that have been adapted for use in microcontrollers including Lua, JavaScript, Ruby, and of course, Python. Lachlan Blackhall, organiser of the Internet of Things miniconf, said, "The inaugural IoT miniconf at PyconAU will be an exciting opportunity to learn about and discuss everything from Python on embedded devices, to how Python is powering IoT enabling cloud services and everything in between."

Thirdly, at the popular Science and Data miniconf, we will hear from Juan Nunez-Iglesias, on Python's bright future in science. Juan is a core developer for the scikit-image library and a research scientist at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative, in the University of Melbourne. He has taught scipy workshops around the world and co-authored the "Elegant SciPy" book, putting him in a prime position to comment on Python's status in the scientific programming community.

Finally, at the Education Seminar, we're excited to hear from Roland Gesthuizen, from Digital Learning & Teaching Victoria, speaking on Smart City: Connecting the dots and digital kids. Roland's current mission is to challenge students to design, build a smart city consisting of intelligent vehicles and infrastructure. To do this they need to program a navigation algorithm to autonomously navigate vehicles through a series of traffic challenges that test collision avoidance and road safety. Roland has an active interest in the development of online learning communities, open education and software freedom, and is a recipient of the 2010 ACCE Educator of the year Award and 2012 ISTE Making IT Happen Award.

With four amazing options, the hardest part of Friday morning will be choosing which one to attend! Conference check-in opens from 8am on Friday our venue, Level 1 of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. You can also check in on Thursday afternoon, from 4:30pm to 6:00pm, so if you are around the CBD on Thursday, we encourage you to beat the rush and collect your badge then.

Related events: Data Carpentry workshop, MelbDjango birthday, PyLadies breakfast, Running group

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It's PyCon Australia week! We trust you are as excited as we are! 😁

There are a few events happening this week in close association with PyCon AU. Check out the details below:

On Wednesday and Thursday, there will be a Data Carpentry Workshop at VLSCI (University of Melbourne). This is a hands-on workshop teaching basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data. It's well suited to researchers and scientists, but open to anyone (including people not attending the conference). Topics covered will include spreadsheet analysis, SQL, basic Python and Pandas. It's free to attend but see the web page to register.

Data Carpentry is a sibling organization of Software Carpentry. Where Software Carpentry teaches best practices in software development, the Data Carpentry focus is on the introductory computational skills needed for data management and analysis in all domains of research.

We are big fans of Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry at PyCon Australia; last year a Software Carpentry workshop was held alongside PyCon AU in Brisbane, so we are happy to see this tradition continue. Let's pythonify ALL the scientists!

On Thursday evening, there will be the MelbDjango birthday party to celebrate MelbDjango turning three! That's a huge achievement for any meetup to sustain, let alone the other things they have also done - organising MelbDjango Camp, and MelbDjango Schools to share their knowledge and love for Django to new audiences. Congratulations to Brenton and the Common Code crew -- here's to another three years. 🎂

Finally, on Saturday morning, the PyLadies breakfast will be happening at Left Bank Melbourne, just up the road on Southbank. This is also a free event, but please register by Friday for catering.

The PyLadies Melbourne chapter just formed this year, and it's an exciting and rare chance for women and genderqueer/non-binary Pythonistas from around the country to meet in person and make connections. We are looking for a sponsor for this event. As the conference is sold out we unfortunately can't offer any free tickets, but we would be heartened to see financial support forthcoming for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. If you or your company is interested, please contact us.

On the days of the conference, there will be a Running group. There are some great runs planned and it's the best way to prepare for a day of sitting down watching presentations, so pack your sneakers!

PyConAU 2016 sells out!

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We are thrilled to announce that PyCon Australia 2016 has SOLD OUT!

Not in the bad way, of course -- we still have our principles, that beautiful is better than ugly, and explicit is better than implicit, and the rest. Just in the way that 500 of our best Pythonista mates will be joining us in Melbourne in a mere two weeks for a huge PyConAU #7!

For would-be attendees who left it a little too late, you can email us with the subject line "waiting list" and we will put you in the queue in case there are cancellations. However, this is not a promising queue. Another option is to purchase a miniconf-only ticket that lets you attend on Friday only. If that interests you, email us with the subject line "miniconf-only ticket". There is a limited number of these tickets available too so don't hesitate any longer.

For attendees who did register and pay in time, if you forgot to buy a dinner ticket, you can still purchase one before 6 August. Or, if you want to upgrade your ticket to become a Contributor✨, we would be thrilled to hear from you. Email away!

Finally, if you are a company feeling a little left out of all this Pythontastic fabulousness, never fear - it is not too late to become a sponsor and we would love to hear from you!

Announcing keynote speaker Damien George

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Damien George

The PyCon Australia team is quietly ecstatic to announce that our second keynote speaker will be Damien George.

Damien is the creator of MicroPython and ran two very fruitful Kickstarter campaigns to build a community around this microcontroller language. He has built a successful company based on MicroPython and the pyboard, brought it to makers, teachers and industry developers around the world, worked with the BBC on the micro:bit project, and embarked on projects with the European Space Agency to bring MicroPython into space.

“Damien’s work, and continuing community efforts, have been an important part of the Python ecosystem,” said Richard Jones, conference chair. “I’m especially excited to hear Damien talk through the journey of dreaming up and implementing a whole new Python just for the smallest possible deployments, on microcontrollers, and where that journey has taken him.”

We are fascinated to hear Damien’s keynote address and hear about MicroPython in our macro universe. Will you be there?

Registrations for PyCon Australia 2016 are already open and tickets are almost sold out. Book your conference ticket today!

Call for volunteers

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Gain a new perspective on PyCon AU 2016, working behind the scenes to make the event happen. The team behind PyCon AU is an all volunteer team and we need your help to make the show run as smoothly as possible, so we’re now calling for on the ground volunteers to complete the team.

We aim to recruit volunteers to assist us with the following:

A/V staff - Run our video recording system (complete training provided). This is a full-time position and not suitable for attendees. It comes with a free pass to the conference.

Session Chairing - Help run a room during talks over one or more sessions (see the wiki below). Strongly recommended for first-time speakers.

Registration Desk - Handle the registration desk. This is a full-time position and not suitable for attendees. It comes with a free pass to the conference. We will also need some non-full-time folks to cover busy times.

Badge Check - Verify attendee ticket validity at the entrance doors.

Volunteers will be provided with a free T-Shirt and full-time volunteers' food and drink requirements will be looked after. This is a great opportunity to experience a Python conference first-hand and to connect with like-minded Python enthusiasts.

There will be a training session in the evening of Thursday 11th at the MCEC for all non-A/V volunteers. The A/V volunteers will have training at a time to be determined.

To sign up:

Non session chairs: just e-mail us indicating how you'd like to help out!

Session Chairs:

  • Go to: SessionChairing on the wiki
  • Sign in with your PyCon account credentials
  • Add your name to your preferred slot(s).
  • Announcing keynote speaker Dr Russell Keith-Magee

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    Russell Keith-Magee

    The PyCon Australia 2016 team is happy to announce that our first keynote speaker will be Dr Russell Keith-Magee.

    We’re familiar with Python as a scripting language, as a web server language, as a data analysis language, and as a teaching language. But is that the limit of where Python can be used? What is the future for Python on other platforms? Is the prospect of using Python on those platforms a novelty, or a viable way to fend off an existential threat to the language? And how does this threat intersect with other threats we have to our community, and to our industry?

    Dr Russell Keith-Magee is a 10 year veteran of the Django core team, and for 5 years, was President of the Django Software Foundation. He's also the founder of the BeeWare project, developing GUI tools to support the development of Python software. When he's not contributing to open source, he's the CTO of TradesCloud, a company providing integrated job management software for tradespeople.

    “Python has long been available on ‘all the platforms’, but it hasn't kept up with the massive increase in mobile devices,” said Richard Jones, conference chair. “Russell has has been an exemplary community leader and his open source projects are doing the important work of addressing that lack of coverage.”

    We are excited to hear Russell’s keynote address and contemplate the multi-platform future of Python. Will you be there?

    Registrations for PyCon Australia 2016 are already open and tickets are two-thirds sold. Book your conference ticket today!

    Announcing invited speaker Solange Cunin

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    Solange Cunin

    The PyCon Australia 2016 team is over the moon to announce that our invited dinner speaker will be Solange Cunin.

    A passionate advocate with a mission to drive student engagement with science and technology, Solange Cunin is the founder and CEO of Australian startup Quberider. Soon to graduate from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelors in Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering, Solange already boasts both space industry and startup experience and has designed satellite systems for major Australian universities. In a few months Quberider will be delivering experiments designed in Australian classrooms to the International Space Station, in an Australian first.

    ”Like Solange, we are passionate about engaging students with science and technology, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to exercise the grey matter than by exploring dark matter,” said Richard Jones, conference chair. “The success of the Python in Education miniconf at PyCon Australia shows that there is a lot of gravity attracting developers and educators in joining forces, and Quberider is a rising star in the constellation of new space startups.”

    We can’t wait to hear Solange’s talk and find out how Quberider is using Python to inspire interest at the intersection of science and space. Will you join us at the launchpad?

    Registrations for PyCon Australia 2016 are already open and tickets are selling fast. Don’t let the conference eclipse you - book your ticket today!

    The 2016 Programme is here!

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    We are proud to unveil the 2016 Programme to you all. While still officially a draft, and exact timings are subject to change, the bulk of the Programme will remain as it is.

    Spread across four rooms at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, running from 9am to 6pm each day, there is a wealth of knowledge and support for you, whatever your background.

    For your convenience, each day's details can be found below.

    In related news, tickets have been selling steadily leading up to this point, after the initial burst. In previous years, many people have left registering until too late, and some unfortunately missed out. Don't leave it too late this time around!

  • Friday 12 August (Internet of Things, Education Seminar, DjangoCon AU, and Science and Data)
  • Saturday 13 August
  • Sunday 14 August

    Should you have submitted a proposal and are currently waitlisted, we will contact you shortly, as the final programme slots are locked in.

    Programme sneak peek

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    With tickets sales having opened just 10 days ago, we are thrilled that already a quarter are sold. Of course, most of these were part of the early bird rush, which flew past in less than 48 hours. Amazing!

    We are now well underway in assembling the programme, which will be jam-packed with more than 70 informative and entertaining talks and tutorials. It will take us another week or so to get the final speaker confirmations and assemble the most painful challenge to quantum mechanics (that thing where there are three talks you want to see at the same time)...but in the mean time... here is a sneak peek of what you can expect. (Some of these may appear in miniconf and specialist events on Friday.)

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