The State of PyCon APAC 2017

Hi everyone!

We’re ramping up to hold the first PyCon APAC in KUL on the 26th and 27th of August this year (with development sprints scheduled on the 28th Monday) so I wanted to drop a note on how things are coming along with preparation.

Sponsorships

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.

Ticket sales

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.

Program

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.

Keynotes

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!

Featured image by Kevin Dooley

Announcing PyCon APAC 2017 Keynote Speaker Luis Miguel Sanchez

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 Sanchez

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.

PyCon APAC is happening this year from 26 August to 27 August 2017 at Connexion@Nexus Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

CfP ticket requirements

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.

PyCon MY tie-up with Women Who Code (WHC)

whc-screenshot

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.

Thank you Che Yim and WHC!

PyCon APAC 2017 dates and venue announced

As initially announced here PyCon APAC 2017 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, organized by PYCON MY PLT.

We are happy and excited to announce that the dates and the venue for this year’s PyCon APAC conference are as follows:

Dates: Aug 26 (Sat) to Aug 27 (Sun) 2017 
Venue: Connexion Conference & Event Centre in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur.

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.

PyCon MY 2016 is a wrap!

From Aug 26th to Aug 28th 2016, we  held our third annual PyCon MY in the International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) City Campus on Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

Aug 26th: Workshop Day.

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.

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Workshop attendees working on making sure their setup is working.

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.

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Tarek Ziade from Mozilla presenting his keynote

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.

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Jonas Obrist from HDE with the sponsored talk session

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.

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PyCon Dinner

The second day of conference was kicked of with the keynote from Steve Holden titled Python As a Positive Influence.

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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.

Wrapping up

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.

Pictures of the conference are released under Creative Commons (CC-BY) license and can be accessed here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskG1kkxW

PyCon APAC 2017

For next year, we will be hosting the Asia Pacific version of PyCon, known as PyCon APAC. Follow us on Twitter @pyconmy, or join us on our Facebook group for updates!

 

 

 

Meeting the volunteers for PyCon MY 2016

Today we met with the 15 volunteers that will help us as part of the staff for PyCon MY 2016.

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Students of IUMW volunteering 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.

PyCon APAC 2017 in Kuala Lumpur

PyCon APAC started in Singapore in 2010 as a way for the regional python users and developers to get together at a place closer to home. By inviting keynote speakers and key python personalities from other parts of the world to the PyCon APAC, it has opened up opportunities for the regional python users and developers to collaborate and learn from one another.

After Singapore in 2010 to 2012, PyCon APAC moved to Tokyo in 2013, and was hosted twice by Taipei until 2015 and is in Seoul for 2016.

On the second day of #pyconapac2016 in Seoul, we have made the announcement that the regional PyCon APAC for 2017 will return to South East Asia and be hosted in Kuala Lumpur.

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Our friends in APAC. KR, HK, PH, TW, VN, JP, SG and MY. With Ewa Jodlowska (3rd from left)  from the PSF.

We are excited for this opportunity and believe it will much benefit the young but growing python community in this part of the world. Looking forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur in 2017!

Another week to PyCon MY 2016

It’s the time of the year again, where the pythonistas (the people who use and develop programs using python) in Malaysia come together for a yearly conference, PyCon MY in Kuala Lumpur.

If you are new to python and it’s conferences, here’s as short description of what a PyCon is:

The Python Conference (PyCon) is an annual convention for the discussion and promotion of the Python programming language. It originated in the United States but is also held in many other countries that have active Python developer communities.

The first PyCon we had in Malaysia was in March 2014, with the support of iTrain by allowing us to have a one track, one day conference at their offices. Over 70 people came, with Eric Holscher of Read The Docs fame as our keynote speaker.

In August 2015, we had our second yearly PyCon MY with over 100 people attending.

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PyCon MY 2015, held in University Malaya’s Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, PyCons are being held in many countries. The APAC community is a group of PyCon organizers and they meet up annually to discuss how to better reach out to their respective locals in particular and the APAC region in general. Once a year, one country will host the PyCon APAC version of the conference.

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The APAC community meeting in Seoul during PyCon APAC 2016. Present are PH, TW, SG, JP, KR, VN and HK with the PSF.

If you’ve never been to a PyCon before, here are some comments from those who were at our 2015 PyCon MY last year:

pycon is one of those event where I manage to learn on different technique on python being used, something that hard for me to do at work. It is a place where I meet different python developer in malaysia, it is pretty awesome

– Swee Meng, co-chair PyCon MY 2015

I attended PyCon last year as a speaker. It was really a great experience to talk to other experienced developers and passionate people in the industry. Expect an overload of knowledge to be gained! And new friends!

– Shulhi Sapli, speaker for PyCon MY 2015

It was great to attend a conference where people share what they have been doing with python. We don’t have many community led technical conferences focused on building stuff in Malaysia but PyCon is one of them. Seeing how the people that came connect to one another, making new friends and the attendees eyes glittered looking at other people’s projects made running the conference worth it!

– Iqbal Abdullah, chair PyCon MY 2015

I joined conference like PyCon primarily to look for alternative solutions that based on open source techologies. Being in public sector, having cheaper alternative with great local community support is important to us. It just after PyconMy last year that I started exploring data science in Python, particularly on using R with Python and building our internal application in Django

– Mohd Razmi, Pusat Pengetahuan, Komunikasi dan Teknologi (PPKT), USM, Kelantan.

PyCon MY’s aim, other than getting our local python users together for a yearly conference to share and celebrate each other, is to give opportunities for overseas python users and developers to meet and interact with our local pythonistas.

We’ll be having our third PyCon this year, this time to be held at the International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) Kuala Lumpur campus. We have 18 talk sessions planned with 18 speakers, including 2 keynotes,  and one PyCon dinner over a period of 2 days. We believe it will be a fun and learning weekend.

Tickets will still be on sale until Friday 8/19 and can be bought here. There will also be a PyCon Dinner Buffet on the first day of the conference, also at the venue and tickets will also be available until Friday 8/19