Monthly Archives: January 2012

LCA2012: “Android is Not vi – User Experience for Geeks”

Paris Buttfield-Addison and I co-presented a talk at in Ballarat recently. The topic was on designing mobile apps that don’t suck on Android. The talk was pretty well received, the audience attentive and engaged (as evidenced by the fact that they heckled), and it was probably one of the better talks that Paris and I have co-presented.

The video of the talk is available as an ogv movie file, alternatively, the YouTube version is embedded below.

PyCon Australia 2012 – Call for Topics now open

In case you missed the news, PyCon Australia is being held on August 18th and 19th in Hobart, Tasmania. Like the first two PyCon Australia conferences, 2012 hopes to be full of presentations, tutorials and panel sessions from experts and core developers of the Python programming language, as well as the Python libraries and frameworks that you rely on for your work.

It’s time for us to start shaping the conference programme for 2012, and we need your help. We want to know what topics you want to see covered at PyCon Australia, or which presenters you think can help make our conference perfect for you.

If you’re already convinced, pop over to and fill out our Call for Topics form. If not, read on!

Oh, still reading? Let see…

PyCon Australia is running a Call for Topics. This is like the reverse of a traditional Call for Proposals: instead of proposing a presentation, you can propose a topic that you’d like to see a presentation on at the conference, or possibly a presenter that you really want to see present. PyCon US have been doing this for a long time, it helps ensure that their conference attracts the best possible presenters. There’s a couple of reasons why you should help us out:

See the presenters you want to see

We’re planning on putting out our usual call for proposals in February 2012, but we need to make sure that the best possible presenters submit proposals to PyCon Australia. Our delegates, like you, want to enhance their skills in Python with every session that they attend. Our CfP can’t reach everyone, and even then not everyone who sees the CfP will think that they’re good enough to present at a conference — getting an invitation to present can be a pretty good motivator!

Learn about the tools that you want to use

One great reason to come to a Python conference is to increase your skillset in the tools and frameworks that you use in your day-to-day work. Perhaps there’s a new library that you’re considering using? Nominating it as a presentation topic for PyCon Australia will increase the chances it being covered in the conference. If you don’t know of an expert in the field, don’t worry. We can find one.

Heard enough?

Great! We can’t want to hear your suggestions. Just head over to our call for Topics form, and send in your ideas. Every idea can help make this conference perfect for you.

PyCon Australia 2012 starts here

PyCon Australia
So one thing I forgot to mention on this blog is that I’ve taken over the reins of PyCon Australia for the 2012 and 2013 conferences. After spending two formative years in Sydney, under the direction of Tim Ansell, Richard Jones et al., we’re taking the conference south to Hobart, Tasmania. We’ve got a great team, consisting of myself, Joshua Hesketh and Matthew D’Orazio, and our papers committee is being led up once again by Richard Jones.

So, what can you look forward to? Well, here’s what we know so far.

Wrest Point

We’re holding PyCon Australia around the weekend of August 18 and 19 2012. Our venue is the Wrest Point Convention centre in Sandy Bay.  We’re really excited about our choice of venue — as well as offering us perfectly-sized rooms for our conference, the wide variety of spaces in the complex allow us to bring all of the traditional PyCon Australia events — CodeWars, the sprints and the conference itself — under the same roof for the first time.

Wrest Point is situated on the shoreline of the River Derwent, and this not only admits excellent views from the conference venue, but will also enable us to run some truly memorable social events, including the conference dinner, which we hope to share more details about shortly.

Our venue also lets us offer accommodation across a very wide range of budgets (starting around $124/room/night) to our delegates — this is not just a nominated conference hotel, it’s in the same building complex as the conference venue. This means that delegates can stay on-site for the entirety of the conference.  We think this will prove very popular, especially amongst delegates sticking around for the conference sprints.

Hobart & Wrest Point

For students and those travelling on a budget — we plan on keeping the conference affordable: there’ll still be heavily discounted student tickets, and we’ll announce budget accommodation options when registration opens.

Finally, you might be wondering how you can help make PyCon Australia the perfect conference for you? Well, in the coming week, we’ll be opening a Call for Topics.  This is an opportunity for you, as a potential PyCon Australia delegate, to nominate both topics and presenters that you’d like to see at the conference.  By nominating presentations, you can help ensure that PyCon Australia can help you enhance your skills and increase your knowledge of Python.

Of course, if you have something that you could present at PyCon Australia, we’d love to hear from you as well.  We’ll be opening a traditional call for presentations during February.

So, that’s it for now.  I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on our progress as we seek to put on the best Python Conference that Australia can offer. If you’ve got something to ask, feel free to drop a comment, either here, on Twitter, or on our Google+ page — we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!

(Photos: “Wrest Point” by JJ Harrison, CC-BY-SA; “View of Hobart CBD” by Aaroncrick, CC-BY-SA)