Pycon Namibia 2018

Noah Alorwu
Jul 21, 2018 · 4 min read

Pycon Namibia is an annual Python programming conference for professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, academicians and students.
This was the 4th conference since its inception. The conference was held from 20th to 22nd February at NIPAM in Windhoek.

Conference materials

Day 1 started with an opening ceremony by Jessica Upani, welcoming all attendees and then the Dean of UNAM took over to talk about how institutions are introducing Python as an introductory programming language for undergraduates.

Afterwards, we kick-started the conference with three sessions tutorials, talks and Django Girls Windhoek workshop.

Django Girls is a global, non-profit organization that helps women to get involved with technology and teach them about programming.
I was at Django Girls workshop to mentor aspiring developers who were interested in learning how to code. It was nice to see how curious the ladies were to learn programming.

Django Girls Participants

After coaching/mentoring at Django Girls, I proceeded to Daniele Procida session on Take your Pycon to the next level. This session was one of the best I’ve been too. It was very practical and informative.

Things learnt includes:

1. What goes into planning a conference.

2. Do’s and Don’ts in organizing a conference

3. How to prepare a budget.

4. Sponsorship packages

5. Pricing a ticket

6. Companies to approach for funding etc.

Takeaways
1. If you are planning to organize an event and don’t want to be remembered as that idiot who tried to organize a conference? This handbook should be your guide: www.conference-handbook.readthedocs.io

2. Interested in learning how to build a simple Django blog? This should be of help. Well detailed instructions on how to: www.tutorial.djangogirls.org/en

Day 2 commenced with a keynote talk from Aisha Bello on how they started Python Community in Nigeria, and Queen Namene also took over to talk about How PyNam Scholars has been rising from Championships. PyNam Scholars are team of enthusiastic high school Python programmers. One interesting fact about them is that, they use their 30 min break time to learn coding a sacrifice to change the world with their coding skills.

Queen Namene delivering her talk

Thirteen-year-old Berhane also developed a guessing game. Not only did he develop the game but also explained what each line of codes does to his audience.

Berhane Wheeler developer

Apps exhibited by @PyNamScholars:
1. Python yeah
2. Guessing Game
3. Block Drop

GUI of Block game developed by Godwin Nekongo

One thing I noticed is how ardent the students are to learn coding. I also love the fact that a lot of students have been encourage to make use of technology. In few years to come exceptional developers from Namibia will hit the market.

Day 3 was on a different level with lot of mind blowing talks, tutorials and lightning talks fully packed.

Books
Invent your own computer games with Python(4e) by AI Sweigart
Python Data Science handbook by Jake VanderPlas
Think Python by Allen Downey

Hosting
pythonanywhere.com
divio.com

Some of the resources/tools for Data Science + AI shared:
1. Jupiter notebook
2. Sklearn
3. Anaconda
4. academictorrent.com
5. Dialogflow.com
6. Wit.ai
7. fast.ai

Tendai Marengereke — An introduction to Data Analysis with Jupyter session

PyCon NA brought programmers and software experts from all over the world to Namibia. Attendees came from Brazil, Britain, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, the USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

I am very grateful for the opportunity given and also my special thanks to Django Society UK for funding my trip to Namibia to experience this awesome conference.

Through PyCon Namibia and its impact on the developers community. Pycon events has spread it wings to other parts of Africa and Ghana is no exception as we prepare to host our very first Pycon coming August 10–11, 2018.

To all sponsors who made this a success. I say Ayekoo (Well done).

Sponsors of PyCon Namibia

>>>Report of the event can be found via https://na.pycon.org/en/2018/

Pictures of the CONFERENCE:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/SgHCOFjk52fAAK4R2

You can also read about my host in Namibia: https://medium.com/@PlasmaDray/my-charming-and-exceptional-hosts-d0ec9f9282db

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