Our friend Rob Collins26th July 2016
We were dismayed today to hear news of the health of Rob Collins, who is very seriously ill in hospital and is not expected to recover.
Rob has been a familiar and friendly face at PyCon UK and other events for several years. He was active in the Python community, and was behind various initiatives - such as the well-loved EuroPython massages, which continued this year in his absence, organising a card-signing for John Pinner when John was ill - and of course he was also known for his talks, which were always insightful and often hilarious.
Rob's generous spirit was appreciated and valued very much in our community. On behalf of everyone in the Python world, we extend Rob our thanks for his many contributions over the years, and for being a good friend who will be missed.
We're collecting reminiscences and messages of support for Rob. If you have anything you would like to share, please send them to email@example.com by the end of Saturday.
Our thoughts are with Rob and his family and close friends.
Django Girls at PyCon UK13th July 2016
There are still a few places left for the Django Girls workshop at the conference.
Django Girls is a one-day beginner-friendly Python and Django workshop designed to inspire women to fall in love with programming.
If you're interested, you can apply here.
Please share this with any women you think would be interested!
Trans*Code at PyCon UK3rd July 2016
Trans*Code returns to PyCon UK for a day-long hackathon to address issues facing the trans* and nonbinary community on Monday 19th September.
The day is open to all trans* and nonbinary people and allies, and we welcome participants from all skill levels and backgrounds.
Read more about Trans*Code at PyCon UK.
Our keynote speaker, Gail Ollis2nd July 2016
We're delighted to announce our first keynote speaker, Gail Ollis.
Gail is not just a programmer, she's also an observer of programmers - of the way they work, think and behave. So, her interest in programming includes the activity of programming.
Her publications and research work are full of observations and insights into the mind of the programmer, and draw upon a wide range of references to help illuminate what goes on when programmers get to work.
Her talk for us at this year's PyCon UK:
Folklore and fantasy in the information age
Software development is not easy.
As grown-ups we know better than to believe that difficult things can be achieved by a simple wave of a magic wand, yet faith persists that this new idea, that new tool, will make all the difference.
Meanwhile for the hard-bitten cynics it is all the emperor's new clothes. I invite you to join me in a more constructive realm between belief and cynicism, where we can embrace the power of stories, listen with an open mind, but not be bewitched by the expectation of a fairy-tale ending.
This talk is one not to be missed by the reflective programmer.
Open Day1st July 2016
For the first time, PyCon UK will begin with an Open Day: a whole day of of activities especially for the benefit of newcomers to Python.
Entrance is free and open to everyone, but you'll need to tell us you're coming, even if you've already got a ticket for the main conferece.
Read more about the Open Day.
Celebrating KatieConf with an extra £500 financial assistance30th June 2016
Tomorrow, the 31st June is a momentous day: the first-ever KatieConf!
We've received £500 from the Django Society UK to help celebrate this remarkable event. This £500 will be used to help a KatieConf attendee (or attendees) come to PyCon UK in September.
Apply using the financial assistance form. Katies are well-known as fast-movers who get things done and make things happen - applications close on 7th July, so you need to be quick.
These funds are available to anyone who attends KatieConf on the 31st June. KatieConf is free and open to all, and if you are not doing anything else that day then it must mean you are at KatieConf!
Please tell us why you're attending KatieConf.
You don't have to be a Katie to benefit from these funds, but it might help. KatieConf speakers will be given priority in the selection process. Applicants will be notified as early as possible.
Good luck! Have fun at KatieConf, and see you at PyCon.
Closing the CFP29th June 2016
We have now closed the Call for Proposals for talks, and we'll be busy over the next few weeks putting together a programme that will be interesting and enjoyable.
The CFP is still open for proposals for workshops, clinics, sprints, and other activities.
Bring your kids to PyCon UK!22nd June 2016
On Saturday 17th September, we're hosting a fun-packed day of activities and workshops for children to learn all about getting the most out of the world with Python.
We're working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and some of the team who brought Python to the Micro:bit will be coming along to show you how use Python to write games. There'll be a chance to play with robots, and to learn how to program Minecraft with Python!
Tickets for children cost £5, and include lunch.
Click here for more information and tickets!
Help build a supercomputer in a briefcase18th June 2016
Join Russel Winder's project at PyCon UK 2016 to develop a new open-source supercomputer, based on Raspberry Pis in clusters.
The project has a number of aims. One is to come up with a design that others can easily adopt and work with, so it's not a one-off project but something that will have enduring benefit.
Another is to give people a practical hands-on introduction to working in friendly company with the techniques involved.
Finally (this is Russel's hidden agenda , so don't tell anyone) the project aims to create something that can be used in schools to introduce parallelism and concurrency.
Much of the work will cover the software required to set up ad-hoc clusters, but there will be some hardware issues to tackle too.
Everyone's welcome. You don't need to be an expert or an advanced programmer to join in. It's meant to be a fun project and an opportunity to learn. However, if you have an actual briefcase and some skills that would help make the finished project look impressive, you'll be especially warmly welcomed...
You can just turn up and join in, but you can also contact Russel if you'd like to help plan the project.
Don't forget to bring your Rasberry Pis with you.
Do you have an idea for an activity at PyCon UK?
Our Call for proposals will be closing soon - on the 28th June.
Our Call for Proposals - an update16th June 2016
Our Call for Proposals will be closing soon - on the 28th June.
If you're thinking about submitting a proposal for a talk, workshop or other activity - please do! And do please get in touch with us to discuss your proposal if you think that would help.
Don't forget that we have a Speaker mentor programme to help first-time speakers or anyone else who would benefit from some help of that kind.
In order to encourage you, here are five speakers we've chosen as a preview in advance of the final selection:
Cat Lamin, Why do kids need to code and how can we help?
Cat is a maths and computing teacher, with huge enthusiasm for programming and technology, and an awareness of some of the problems in comupting education: "There is a huge disparity between expectations for teaching computing and what teachers actually know how to do".
Thomas Campbell, Using Python for National Cipher Challenge
Thomas is a high-school pupil, for whom Python has already unlocked several doors (almost literally, in cryptography) and presents many more opportunities as a tool for exploring the world.
Yulia Zozulya, From QA to UX - Learning how to accommodate developers
Yulia works at JetBrains, producers of one of the most widely-used of all Python development tools, PyCharm, so she gets some very clear insights into how developers behave when they're users; she'll share these and discuss the challenge of creating tools for this special class of users.
Gusztav Belteki, Python in Medicine: ventilator data
Gusztav is a consultant neonatologist, with expertise in the computer-controlled ventilators that assist the breathing of very ill new-born babies. He's a self-described Python hobbyist, with no programming background, but has been using Python to explore and analyse the vast amounts of useful data these machines produce to improve patient outcomes.
Zara Siddique, Addition - well, that escalated quickly
Zara is a mathematician, and she uses Python as a computing tool of choice to tackle mathematical problems. Maths is filled with apparently simple problems that rapidly turn out to be not simple at all. Addition is one of them. Zara will discuss amongst other things the Scholz Conjecture and how she has used Python to explore it.
What about you?
You too could be speaking at PyCon UK. The last thing you need to be is an expert: all you need is to have something interesting to say.
Upgrading tickets2nd June 2016
If you have already bought a ticket, but would like to upgrade it (perhaps from a 3-day ticket to a 4-day ticket, or from a self-funded ticket to an employer-funded ticket), you can now purchase an upgrade.
Launching the conference27th April 2016
We’re delighted to announce the launch of PyCon UK 2016!
The conference will run from 15th-19th September at Cardiff City Hall, with a programme of talks, workshops, and other events aimed at the whole Python community.
We have worked hard to ensure the conference is more affordable than recent years. Tickets start at £96 for the weekend, and we are offering financial assistance to help people who would struggle to afford a ticket or other expenses.
The website’s code is on GitHub. If you find any problems, please submit an issue or a pull request.
If you run a local user group, please share this email with your members.
We look forward to seeing you in Cardiff in September!