CEO and founder of Xoxzo Inc (https://info.xoxzo.com/) and have been a resident of Japan since 1997. Originally from Kuala Lumpur. Interests are traveling, technology, communication, science, hospitality, community building and coffee. Also organizes the PyCon MY conference (https://pycon.my/) and PyCon JP (http://www.pycon.jp/).
For more personal posts, head over to http://iqbalabd.me/
Since starting our first (mini) PyCon in Malaysia in 2014, Swee Meng and Iqbal started out with 3 targets:
To start PyCon in Malaysia
To create a base to manage financial resources in a transparent way
To bring APAC to Malaysia
During the time between 2014 to 2019, we’ve managed to hit those targets, and were joined by new people like Rasyadi Rabuan (who left on 4th Sept 2018) and Hilmi Bakhari (who joined us on 4th Sept 2018).
Now with APAC coming back to Malaysia in 2020, we feel strongly that the job that we set out to do have already been done, and the future of PyCon in Malaysia needs to be designed and realized by new people with bigger passion and ideas.
Effective on 31st Dec 2019, Swee Meng and Iqbal has resigned and no longer be partners or members of the PyCon MY PLT board. Swee Meng and Iqbal will no longer take part in the organization or operation of PyCon MY.
The current board members/partners are:
MOHAMAD HILMI BIN MOHAMAD BAKHARI (Chair for PyCon MY 2018)
It’s a wrap! We’ve ended our annual PyCon APAC 2017 which was hosted in Nexus, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur
Special thanks to
All our sponsors and community partners that helped made PyCon APAC 2017 affordable and a success!
A big special thanks to Women Who Code Kuala Lumpur, who helped us to get connected with the women tech community and ramping up interest for the conference.
PyCon APAC 2017 by the numbers
4th PyCon in Malaysia and the 8th PyCon APAC
67 CfP submissions
2 keynote speakers
MYR12,700 given back to the community via
15 financial aid recipients
40 subsidized tickets
201 tickets sold
75% of attendees are here for APAC for the first time
80% of attendees are working people, while 9% are students. The rest are unknown
45% of attendees are from overseas
15% of participants are female
60% of participants are python users for less than 2 years
PyCon APAC 2017 slides and photos
We’re adding links to the speaker’s slide decks to our PyCon APAC 2017 Program Schedule page as we receive them. Speakers, please email us a link to your slides or send them over and we’ll add them to the slides page.
Our photographer is editing the photos and once they are ready, we’ll have them uploaded to our Flickr account. We’ll let you know on Twitter when they are ready!
What’s next for 2018?
The PyCon APAC community is deciding where PyCon APAC 2018 will be held. If you are interested in hosting the next PyCon APAC in your city, please contact the APAC community.
Again, thank you so much for participating in PyCon APAC 2017. See you next year!
As of now, we have 4 paid up Silver Sponsors, and 2 paid up Platinum Sponsors. All except two sponsors are foreign based companies. We’re still behind our sponsorship targets, so hopefully between now and August we can secure more sponsorship to support PyCon APAC 2017.
There are 98 tickets sold so far, with half of these from local participants. 10% of our total participants are females. 80% of the attendees are working people.
We had 10% female participation in the previous PyCon MY 2016, and personally I would like to see a 20% female participation for our conference this year, which will show an improvement from the past. Ideally it should be a 50/50 rate, looking at how the population of Malaysia is structured. Hopefully once we have our last tie-up workshop done with Women Who Code, we’ll see an uptake in interest and participation from female tech practitioners.
If you’re a student, and you want to come but can’t afford to, please apply for our Financial Aid program. Conferences are a great place for students to improve their knowledge and meet people that just might help get you started on your career.
Today we have closed accepting new CfPs and we’re in the process of finalizing it at this point in time, but we’ve received a total of 67 proposals for the originally slated 18 talk slots (not including LTs) for the whole of 2 days. This will be an acceptance rate of 27%. It is amazing and humbling to see many bright people willing to share their knowledge.
A bulk of the CfPs are about machine learning, AI and data processing. Other topics are about web programming, education and project best practices. Most talks tend to be intermediate level, but 30% of the talks are geared towards beginners and the rest on advanced topics. So maybe you can expect a 3:6:1 ratio between beginner, intermediate and advanced topics.
We will definitely try to accommodate by maybe trying to increase talk slots but as much as it pains us there will be many of you that will not be accepted. There is just too little space and too little time. We’ll be contacting the selected speakers within a week or two, and will be publishing the program schedule by 1st of Aug 2017.
Unfortunately Wes McKinney had to cancel his appearance for our keynote but we will have Luis who has extensive experience and knowledge on big data processing coming all the way from New York. Jessica is still scheduled to be our keynote. I believe she will be inspiring us on her story of activism, and using code for the common good, but of course, we don’t know what she will be talking about (yet).
And that’s about it. Remember to follow us on Twitter too to get the latest announcements concerning PyCon APAC 2017!
We have two announcements in this post: The first one is that unfortunately due to personal reasons, Wes McKinney has decided to withdraw from keynoting at our PyCon APAC conference this year. This is unfortunate, as we know many of us are looking forward for Wes’s talk but we hope everything will go fine for Wes.
Nevertheless we still needed to find another keynote speaker to replace Wes, and so that brings us to the second announcement: We are now very much excited to announce that Luis Miguel Sanchez will be keynoting for our PyCon APAC 2017.
Luis is the Founder of SGX Analytics, an NYC based Data Science/Data Strategy advisory firm. As Senior Data Strategist and Data Scientist, Luis specializes in designing and coding machine learning and artificial intelligence systems for business applications, for clients ranging from startups to hedge funds to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to founding SGX, Luis was Founder and CEO of Ttwick, a semantic search startup which was eventually acquired by Elliott Management Associates. Previously, Luis held executive and senior quant positions at Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and AIG, where he launched numerous financial products linked to exotic data sets. As an investment banker, he developed algorithmic trading applications and structured finance products using Python. Luis has been coding since 1983, and is passionate about data science, capital markets, insurance, and AI applied to creativity. He is the organizer of the NYC based Algorithmic Art Composition meetup group. Some of Luis’s original algorithmic music compositions (all coded in Python) can be found on the Amazon and iTunes stores, and Apple streaming. He is featured in the Data Science Handbook as one of the top 25 Data Scientists in the US.
We’re delighted to give him hearty welcome to Kuala Lumpur for PyCon APAC and looking forward to seeing him soon.
Currently as part of the Call For Proposals submission we’re requiring the submitter to purchase a ticket, as a measure to ensure that the submitter will attend PyCon APAC 2017. This measure has received multiple feedbacks, especially from overseas would-be speakers who believes this puts an extra financial burden on them, without the certainty if they will speak or not in the first place.
As it is apparent right now, this measure is discouraging a more active participation for PyCon APAC. We will revisit our program selection schedule within the next week and make changes to the CfP process to allow for an easier submission process.
One of the new things we wanted to do for PyCon APAC 2017 is to increase women participation in the conference, with the greater aim to reach out and increase participation of women folk into the technology sector. Up until now we the PyCon MY conferences only had 10% of women participation with no women speakers, and this is also to the fact that we do not have any connections to women-centric technology groups.
On the suggestion of Shawn, we contacted Women Who Code KL (WHCKL), and we met with Chee Yim in Nov 2016 and asked for their help.
The result of the meet was that WHC and PyCon MY will collaborate in working together to bring more workshops and training opportunities for the WHC group. These workshops will be organized by the WHC, but PyCon MY will invite trainers to train participants in python and it’s tools through topics which WHC has found having strong interests. WHC will also promote PyCon APAC 2017 to their group, and hopefully with us both working together, we’ll have more interests from the women technology groups to come and join us in PyCon APAC.
As for now, we have workshops with WHC scheduled for March, May and July. We’ll have more details and will make announcements when we have more details.
We’ll also have a one day sprint event, on Aug 25 (Fri) OR Aug 28 (Mon) 2017, depending on venue availability. This will be a separate event than the conference and we’ll update on the details of the venue nearer to the date.
The overall theme for this year’s PyCon APAC is Taming Python: Being this year’s regional PyCon conference, we hope to showcase how python is being used to solve problems unique to each locale, or how we use python to solve our many different problems.
Aug 26th was Workshop Day. This year we had Boey Pak Cheong from Pytech Resources conduct the training, themed Building with Python. The workshop was geared towards newcomers of python, but have some knowledge of programming in other languages. The training used python3 as a base.
A total of 16 people purchased the tickets for the training, priced at MYR150.
We had a slight confusion on the start time of the workshop because we had made a mistake by announcing the start time was at 8.30AM on the online schedule instead of at 10AM as per the purchased tickets. Fortunately, nearly all of our attendees came based on the time of the Peatix ticket. We apologize for the confusion.
Aug 27th and 28th: Conference Days.
Conference Day started at 9AM with attendees coming in to register as early as 8:50AM. We had a small issue of some attendees getting lost in the campus trying to find the registration desk. We had anticipated this and had placed volunteers to be easily visible at points where we think will be problematic, but unfortunately it didn’t work out very well. This is something we’ll need to work out better in future PyCons.
Tarek Ziade from Mozilla started the first conference day with his keynote: Python, the not-so-secret weapon at Mozilla
Tarek talked about the thousands of ways python is being used in Mozilla, and why python is chosen in those cases.
We had HDE Inc. from Tokyo over as our Platinum Sponsor, and it’s sponsored talk session was by Jonas Obrist who talked about asyncio.
For the 1st conference day, we had a total of 9 talks across 2 tracks and 3 lightning talks at the end.
PyCon MY Dinner on Aug 27th
We had a dinner after the 1st day of conference, to give our speakers and staff an opportunity to get together over food after a day of conference.
The second day of conference was kicked of with the keynote from Steve Holden titled Python As a Positive Influence.
For the 2nd conference day, we had a total of 7 talks across 2 tracks and 3 lightning talks at the end. Unfortunately we had 2 last minute cancellations by our speakers, so we have to move the schedule earlier by around 40 minutes.
Before the second day’s lightning talks, we had a briefing session about next year’s PyCon APAC which MY will be hosting. Many attendees came to listen to the briefing showing great interest in how the organizing will be done, and we even had some people come forward to volunteer themselves to help out.
This year’s PyCon MY talks ranged from topics such as why python is being used in web development, to board game building, to educational uses of python for high school student, to python being used to easily prototype custom protocols, to even community building and diversity.
What we would like to see more in future PyCon MY is more gender diversity for speaker and attendees, on top of more python use cases example in education and scientific or research use cases using python.
We unfortunately had a few last minute cancellations from our slotted speakers and had to move the schedule up and finish slightly early than planned.
Today we met with the 15 volunteers that will help us as part of the staff for PyCon MY 2016.
We spent 2 hours going through the Code Of Conduct, Issues Handling, and conference day Playbook documents before walking around campus making final checks for registration tables, lunch arrangements and other logistics issues.
The students have elected among themselves a volunteer leader to act as a manager assigning the various roles to other volunteers.
Thank you to IUMW for allowing us to work with the students, and thank you to our volunteers for their help to make PyCon MY 2016 a comfortable and successful conference.