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.