Pycon AU 2015 with Matt Austin, our man on the Inside.

Pycon 2015

Having missed 2014, our Senior Developer Matt was delighted by the opportunity to return to Brisvegas.

Day 1 - Djangocon

Djangocon was organised by Russell Keith-Magee, President of Django Software Foundation (and a proud Perth local, just like us).

The focus of Djangocon is to discuss past feature developments in Django and the release process; the highlight being talk of upcoming features in the newest Django releases. Discussion this year centred around the first realise of the new release process. In short this means there’ll now be long term support releases every two years - success! 

Fun fact - our very own Saj designed the t-shirts purchased by attendees.  

Days 2 & 3 - Pycon

Pycon is a chance for the coding community to meet and share ideas and developments and engage in talks from a range of experts. Highlights this year were both the keynote speeches, but more on those in a minute. 

Both conferences focus on security development methodology and new development tools using Containerisation. Containerisation is similar to virtualisation but with far fewer resource requirements, making it faster and easier. It allows you to set up a self contained development environment so anything on your computer (and those of others working on a project) don’t interfere with the target you’re developing on. A developer's dream you might say. 

Keynote talks

Day 1 of Pycon delivered Carrie Anne Philbin's keynote speech, Design for Edutcation; a Python solution

A member of the Raspberry Pi foundation, she touched on issues with children being IT from a consumer perspective, rather than a creator’s perspective, the importance of teaching computer science from a young age and how best to teach it. 

Her reasons for encouraging computer science from a young age were poignant and provided great food for thought; computer science is a vehicle for social mobility, it empowers the younger generation to solve every day problems, encourages diversity in the tech industry, and let's face it, children aren't afraid of failure like us grown ups. 

Reasons for teaching Pycon echoed our own thoughts on the programme - it's used all over the world, utilises a very simple syntax and is powerful enough to be used for real development. 

Day 2 of Pycon delivered Carina C. Zona's keynote speech, Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm 

The highlight of all 5 days, this was a highly engaging speech that still has us talking. Her standard of delivery was so impressive and her points were incredibly thought provoking; even our non-developers have been glued to it on YouTube. 

Extremely topical for the time we live in, her speech focused on respecting people's privacy and how the terminology and tools developers use and the data we ask for has the potential to offend a lot of people. So many great points, it's hard to condense it into one paragraph so why not check it out for yourself here

Saturday night offered attendees a conference dinner and the opportunity to socialise with fellow “Pythonistas”. 

Days 4 & 5 - Coding ‘Sprints’

This is free time for attendees to work on various open source projects among other keen developers once the conference itself is over. 

Matt’s sprint days mainly focused on projects revolving around Amazing S3 storage and a testing framework for it. This is Matt’s own project but sprint days are an opportunity to provoke conversation and pose questions with other people about whatever they’re working on. 

Everyone has the chance to talk to those who share similar knowledge and discuss their approaches, share ideas and ask one another for advice. These last two days are very much about give and take.

Hosted in two year cycles, next year will see Melbourne’s inaugural Pycon and we’ll bet Matt’s already blocked out our calendar. In fact look out! Scott's just put his hand up too.