PyConUK 2018: A Fellows' Conference

Posted by s.aragon on 8 November 2018 - 9:16am
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Image courtesy of PyConUK

By Nikoleta Glynatsi, Cardiff University and Tania Allard, The University of Manchester.

The annual PyCon UK took place in Cardiff’s City Hall from Saturday the 15th to Wednesday the 19th of September 2018. The conference included five days of talks, workshops and collaboration.

Fellows of the Software  Sustainability Institute never fail to attend PyCon UK and once again this year the Fellows played a major role at the conference. Tania Allard received the John Pinner Award (an UK Python Association community award) this year and Nikoleta Glynatsi was invited to be one of the four keynote speakers. Both Tania and Nikoleta coached at the Django Girls UK workshop where a total of 53 women were introduced to programming. In addition, and in conjunction with Katjuša Koler the three of them ran  “A newcomer’s introduction for contributing to an open source project”.

Nikoleta's involvement

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Image courtesy of PyConUK

Nikoleta has been using the programming language Python for the past three years and I have been part of the UK Python community ever since. Her very first talk was at PyCon UK 2016 and she cannot describe how honoured she was to be invited to be one of the keynote speakers this year. Her keynote was on complex behaviour and how it can emerge very fast from even the simplest of rules. The talk is now available on YouTube and the slides can be found on Nikoleta’s website.

Nikoleta has been on the organising community of the Django Girls UK workshop for the past two years alongside Ann Barr and Owen Campbell. This was the biggest workshop Django Girls UK have ever run with a total of 53 attendants and 20 coaches! Overall it was a fun day with a lot of stickers, bugs and coffee!

Tania’s involvement

On top of Tania’s  involvement with the the Django Girls and PyLadies workshops, she also ran the workshop “101.1 on Reproducible workflows with Python”. This was an improved version of the same workshop originally developed at PyCon US 2018 (part of the  OpenDreamKit project efforts). The main focus around these workshops is to introduce researchers and data scientists to a “reproducibility and sustainability first approach” for their data intensive projects. Such workshop covers aspects from open source licensing, to data handling, metadata generation, automation, testing, continuous integration, and introduces tools like docker and binder.  The materials for this workshop are licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 and can be found at: https://github.com/trallard/ReproduciblePython .

Nikoleta’s + Tania’s involvement

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Image courtesy of PyConUK

“A newcomer’s introduction for contributing to an open source project” was a workshop put together with the support of PyLadies Northwest UK and aimed at people of underrepresented genders within the Python community. The main objective was to provide a mentored opportunity for the attendees to contribute to an open source project.

We opened the workshop with an introduction to version control and GitHub and some practice around pull requests and effective collaboration. Afterwards everyone was encouraged to find a project they would be interested in contributing to. During the workshop, several of the attendees made code and documentation contributions,  opened pull requests and issues.

We are all very  happy with the success of the workshop, we all received a great amount of positive feedback and we feel that the workshop might turn into a tradition.

As well as us it was nice to see many other Fellows present.


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