Iqbal Abdullah’s Keynote at PyCon APAC 2022

· geraldo

Our CEO Iqbal Abdullah will give a keynote at the upcoming PyCon APAC 2022 happening in Taiwan.

He will be speaking about the past, present and his hopes for the future of the community, from a people mover and organizer point of view. There will be nostalgic pictures, thoughts on diversity, inclusion, generational change, burnout and hopefully opportunities to reflect during this talk.

What is PyCon APAC

PyCon APAC is a worldwide gathering of the Python community. In addition to diverse speech topics, the annual meeting also serves as a platform for Python professionals along with enthusiasts to exchange ideas, experiences, and the latest developments.

PyCon will be held online

The conference is held on multiple virtual platforms. All speeches are live streamed on YouTube while attendees are encouraged to join our Gather Town and Discord space.

You will be able to watch Iqbal’s keynote online, and tickets are still available here.

If you want to follow his talk or is unable to secure tickets, we’ll provide the scrip of the whole keynote. Keep reading below.

The videos for the keynotes are now online! You can watch this and other keynotes from the PyCon APAC 2022 keynotes playlist online too.

 

     Table of Contents

    1. Introductions
    2. Today’s talk
    3. My first PyCon (or How It Was)
    4. Bringing PyCon to the region
    5. 12 years after our first PyCon (or How It’s Going)
    6. Making it our own
    7. Local language tracks
    8. Young inspirers
    9. Python Bootcamp and PyLadies Caravan
    10. Charity Talks
    11. Tie up with the local groups
    12. The PSF Elections
    13. Lessons learned
    14. On to a brighter future (or How It Can Be)
    15. A Pan Asia Python Society
    16. Changing the world with THIS PyCon
    17. Thank you
  • Introduction

    Hello everyone! I hope that all of us are in the best of health and may peace be upon you wherever you are.

    About myself

    Before we go into my keynote in more detail, I believe it will be helpful to give more context to you by giving a short introduction about myself and where I am coming from.

    Who am I

    My name is Iqbal Abdullah. I am a Malaysian and resident of Japan.

    I have been using Python since 2002, and in many ways it has given me the intellectual challenge I craved, allowed me the freedom to bring my imagination to life, and through PyCon, has allowed me to meet wonderful people that has shaped my career and also to the current person that I am.

    I am a managing member of the Python Software Foundation (PSF) and have been involved with the community and PyCons around the APAC region since 2010. I helped found PyCon JP in 2011 and PyCon MY in 2014.

    I am also a member of the Trademarks Work Group and the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Work Group of the PSF.

    What do I do

    In my day job, I am currently the CEO of LaLoka Labs, where we have three main products called GetOTP, Kafkai and LaLoka Layouts. Through our products, our aim is simple: Help our customers save time, money and become happier human beings.

    So in order for me to call my keynote today as part of my “work”, allow me to quickly introduce you to these 3 products.

    If you’re building something on the web these are two of the things which we have built that might be of interest to you:
    To the left is GetOTP, a simple web API service to package the mundane task of creating and verifying one time passwords for your websites or apps, while to the right is a collection of libraries which I believe will be useful to you if you’re using Tailwind CSS, called LaLoka Layouts for Tailwind.

    GetOTP comes with an API that simplifies the generation, sending and verification of one time passwords. It also includes a user interface for your end customers to easily verify the OTPs they received.

    LaLoka Layouts is not a product per se, but a collection of widgets which we’ve put up online for anyone to use. It definately helped us when our developers wanted to design websites, and we hope it will help you too.

    Our third product is called Kafkai. Kafkai is an AI content generator. It automatically and quickly generates text which can be used for contents in blog posts or social media. It is mostly used by marketeers to quickly and automatically produce contents for SEO purposes. I also use it when I need more contents for my posts.

    I am happy to report that we use a lot of Python in our products. Other than using Python, we make it a point to give back, by engaging and being present in the community such as giving talks, doing free workshops and sponsoring conferences.

    In another company that I run called Xoxzo, we also donate a portion of our profits to the PSF and Python related projects. We did this through what we call our Annual Open Source Grants program. We donated around USD1500 to USD2000 a year to the PSF, various open source projects that we use, and we publish these on our blog to give exposure to these projects with the hope other people will also know about them and follow our lead.

    Today’s talk

    This will be a talk, basically based on a blog I wrote in June 2017, titled “Changing the world, one PyCon at a time“.
    That blog post was a meant to be lead material before the PyCon APAC 2017 team was interviewed for a local radio station in Kuala Lumpur.

    When I was invited to give the keynote for PyCon APAC 2022 by the PyCon TW team, the expectation was that I would talk about topics that concerned PyCon in APAC and the community surrounding it.

    I found the general theme that the blog post had at that time is still relevant, so I decided to update the version for PyCon APAC 2022.

    So I am pleased today to present my keynote for PyCon APAC 2022, titled “Changing the world, one PyCon at a time (Ver. 2022)”

    The script of this talk is also online

    I come from a family of writers, and throughout my personal and professional journey, I have discovered that other than building things, I also enjoy and perhaps produce my best work through writing long form.

    Feel free to follow me through the script I have uploaded online just before this talk. You can access it from the QR code here.

    My first PyCon (or How It Was)

    Programming languages are only as good as the people that use it

    In the spirit of inclusion, I will not assume that everyone listening in today knows what PyCon is, so I will briefly introduce you to PyCon.

    PyCon is in essence a conference centered around the Python programming language. It’s roots started with the first PyCon in Washington D.C in 2003 and has expanded to many parts of the world, from Asia to Europe.
    Within this region of ours, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and within our neighboring regions, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand have had their own country PyCons.

    Once a year, one country within our region will host the regional PyCon APAC, which we have had since 2010.

    Although it’s a long list, I’ve purposely named each individual countries which have joined us within this larger PyCon APAC umbrella for two reasons:

    1. To acknowledge them, and
    2. To underscore the diversity of people, culture, languages and background that we have among us.

    I will come back to this very important topic later on during my talk.

    The first PyCon APAC was held in 2010 in Singapore. It was the idea of Dr. Liew Beng Keat and his “committee” which later on became the Python User Group of Singapore.

    By chance, I saw the PyCon APAC flyer at that time on the internet, and decided to participate. My initial intentions was to go to the conference, understand how Python was being used, maybe learn a few things, leave and that was it.
    I didn’t know it then, but in hidsight, that was a fateful decision that has now throttled me towards one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.

    I believe that there are also some of you today or in the past that came to PyCon, expecting something similar but ended up staying. We should have a support group, you know, like PyCon Anonymous.

    But I guess that’s what PyCons are, in fact for.

    Bringing PyCon to the region

    With Beng Keat and Ivan from SG during PyCon APAC 2017 in Kuala Lumpur

    While I was in Singapore during the first PyCon APAC, I met up with Beng Keat, who is coincidently also Malaysian. We had that in common, so we started to talk and I found out his motivations and reasons of trying to start PyCon APAC. In essence, it was because

    1. Singapore was too small
    2. Making it affordable
    3. Making it accessible

    The first reason was a practical one: Singapore’s community was too small: Having a local PyCon SG conference doesn’t make sense because that will mean only the same folks coming, so they leapfrogged that problem by just having a regional conference from the start. A regional conference will also have a greater name-brand value (Singapore is notorious at being ruthless in marketing) that will help them to attract big-name keynote speakers, who happen to be concentrated in the United States and Europe. The reasoning was that international speakers are more willing to take an 18-hour flight across continents to attend a regional conference where they can expect to meet as many people as possible instead of a single country conference.

    Now, the second and third reasons, although sounding direct and simple, serve a well defined and profound purpose:

    We understand that nearly all of the advances made in technology by the programming language, new concepts and philosophy in thinking about the language and even how communities are organized towards a greater good for everyone at large originate mostly in the United States and Europe.

    Unfortunately, the monetary and time costs for our community members in this part of the world to travel to the US or Europe is too prohibitive and is a huge constraint.

    If we cannot be in the United States to meet and listen to the great minds that shape the programming language, its community and its future, lets have them here instead. Having a PyCon which is nearer to it’s intended audience will make it accessible and also affordable. In hindsight, I think this was the first work towards a more inclusive community for our region, even before we had diversity and inclusion as keywords like we have right now.

    Here are some of the keynote speakers that we have had since 2010 for our PyCon APAC. I have to apologize, because I’m pretty sure I’ve missed to include some of our keynotes here, because I wanted to keep this to a single slide, but I wanted to impress to you to the quality, diversity and support that we have had from the great minds of of our community. It was a wonderful thing to have the opportunity to get all of our keynotes to come to us and share with us their thoughts and knowledge.

    I call these 2 reasons, 1) Making it affordable and 2) Making it accessible as the main ingredients for our PyCons in this region.

    For a more deeper history lessons on the history of PyCon APAC and the past PyCons up until 2019, I suggest that you watch Beng Keat’s excellent keynote for PyCon 2019 in Makati.

    12 years after our first PyCon (or How It’s Going)

    Come for the language, stay for the community

    Brett Cannon first said that during PyCon 2014. And true enough, I came for the language in 2010 and stayed on for the community.

    Representatives from many different country communities after a meeting in PyCon APAC 2016 in Seoul. Ewa from the PSF was also there

    Making it our own

    A general theme that goes around in each of our PyCon APAC conferences is that the conferences are focused for the benefit of the local Pythonistas. We have grown to realize that our PyCon APAC conferences are in fact for the local community of that particular country more than anything else. When we had our in-person PyCons before COVID19 happened, other than Singapore, out of country attendees do not make more than 20% of all attendees.

    The local community from the city that hosts PyCon APAC will be the strongest supporters of the conference in their city. With that in mind, other than making PyCons affordable and accessible, I propose to name a third ingredient for our PyCon in this region, which is Making It Our Own.

    These are initiatives carried out by the various local communities which started during or was initiated through their local PyCons. These initiaitives aims to lower the barrier of opportunities that these communities think they have. I would like to introduce you to some of these initiatives. They are of course not exhaustive.

    Local language tracks

    In nearly every PyCon APAC, there was at least one track that focuses on the local language. Being an international conference, we do acknowledge the need for our international attendees to be able to enjoy the contents so a majority of the tracks are in English. But the fact is that none of our communities in East and South East Asia have English as a first language, and that poses a hurdle for the local community.

    We don’t deny or try to change the fact that English is the de-facto language within our industry. Having said that, giving a talk in a language that you’re not proficient in is a terrifying thing and poses a very high hurdle to overcome. This is something which might not be apparent to people like myself or those of you who by chance had the opportunity to learn and be proficient in English from a young age and because of that we tend to overlook and take this for granted.

    We cannot call ourselves inclusive if we do not give opportunities to community members to speak just because of their lack of command in English, so we have at least one local language track for members of our community who are more comfortable communicating with their local language.

    Young inspirers

    PyCon Taiwan have this unique program in the PyCons which they organize, including the PyCon APAC this year which promotes inclusion across age groups: A program called Young Inspirers: The program allows students to showcase and share their experience using Python in their projects. The students get to mingle around, learn from the experience and in return to also inspire those around them.

    Python Bootcamp and PyLadies Caravan

    The difference in the opportunities available to you if you’re in a central city like Tokyo and the other prefectures can be big.

    PyCon JP, using the money they have raised from organizing PyCons, sponsored teaching staff and mentors to travel to different cities in Japan to carry out “Python Bootcamp” and “PyLadies Caravan”, a one-day beginner Python bootcamp or events for the communities there. This allows the PyCon JP team, which are mostly based in Tokyo to share their knowledge and also opening up chances for communities in other prefectures to get involved in community work and leveling themselves up.

    Charity Talks

    This is a program which was done by the PyCon JP team answering the call for financial contribution from the PSF following the aftermath of the canceled PyCon US in 2020. PyCon JP leveraged their strong connections to their sponsors and community, and did one-day paid talk events with the proceeds being given to the PSF. The Charity Talks raised more than USD25,000 and have earned the PyCon JP team the 2021 Q4 Community Service Award from the PSF.

    Tie up with the local groups

    PyCon MY, after hosting APAC in 2017 and with new leadership has been focusing on moving away from focusing on Kuala Lumpur. They worked to tie up with the local Kinabalu Coders community in Kota Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia. Too much focus has been done within Kuala Lumpur, and bringing opportunities and connections to other parts of Malaysia were high on their priority list. I am personally very happy with this, as this is another example of “making it our own”.

    I am definitely missing stuff here, so if you are listening in, and know that your community in connection with PyCon has done work to address issues that your community deem as important, and as such “making it your own”, please contact me and I would like to add your work to the list of examples above.

    The PSF Elections

    So, after all these years since the first PyCon APAC in 2010, the community has grown by leaps and bounds, with many, many people involved in so many ways to make the communities within APAC a thriving, growing and an inclusive one. (APAC is by default diverse, so I left that one on purpose). On the other hand, it is pretty clear to me that there is a disconnect of the good things we’re doing in our region with the rest of the bigger world.

    Specifically, I am talking about the Python Software Foundation, or the PSF.

    If you read through PSF’s website, the PSF’s mandate is as follows:

    The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.

    While we can expect that the PSF has policies, formal or otherwise, giving priority to the needs and wants of the community in the US by the virtue that the PSF is a United States based non-profit organization, with Python being used by 10 million people all over the planet, the data is glaring that the PSF is lacking in the part of its mandate to grow a diverse and international community.

    • First, the number of core developers that we have are mostly United States and European based. Out of the 170 or so people on the list, I think we might have only one person from APAC.
    • The PSF has a membership type called PSF Fellow. This is a type of membership which can only be achieved by nomination, and PSF Fellows are in a nutshell are examples of what we should aspire to be in the Python community. Out of the 384 members which were appointed as a PSF Fellow member worldwide, only 5 are from our community.
    • The PSF also has awards to recognize the work done by members of it’s community. One of them is the PSF Community Service Award which are considered by nomination, similar to the PSF Fellow. Since March 2008, there was only 2 instances of members of our community being awarded the PSF Community Service Award.
    • Finally, as a proxy to show representation and leadership within the Python community itself, out of the 13 board directors that we have in the PSF, only 2 of them are non-US or European based, while there are none from our community here

    Without different people from different backgrounds and knowledge about the globally diverse community that we have within the leadership of the PSF, it is difficult to actually say that the PSF represents all of us within the community.

    Due to this disconnect that I see, every year since 2020 I have stood up to run for a seat on the PSF board of directors. Unfortunately, I have failed to be elected, and up until 2021 I was the only person from our APAC region to run for the elections.

    I am happy to report though, that for the recently concluded 2022 PSF board elections, two of our compatriots from the APAC regions, Kwon-Han and Georgi Ker also ran with me. Unfortunately, none of us were elected either.

    There have been many comments, thoughts and discussions on election reform which stemmed from these election results. These discussions are not only originating from our region, but from many other parts of the world which are underrepresented within the leadership of the PSF. I will not comment or summarize them in my keynote today, other than say that nearly all of them mean well and try to find a solution to balance our the leadership in the PSF to better represent the global community that we are. I invite you to go through them if you’re interested in this topic.

    After my experience these past years I believe though that we cannot wait or expect the PSF to move to increase inclusion and diversity for us in this region. We need to take an active part and move towards it ourselves. To be brutally honest, I believe it is beyond the PSF to do this; Not from any deliberate decision or design, but it is just beyond their means in terms of resources, knowledge or will.

    Lessons learned

    Now comes the part in my talk which I hope to add value: This is where I add my own personal perspectives and lessons learned which I hope to share with you.

    I hope to make this part most beneficial to the current or would be organizers and volunteers of our future.

    Values are central to diversity and inclusion

    Jessica McKellar giving her keynote during PyCon APAC 2017 in Kuala Lumpur

    The East Asia, South East Asia, South Asia and to the extend to include the Oceania region is arguably the most diverse region on earth. For the current members that have hosted PyCon APAC, none of our countries have English as the native first language. By default, the moment your community decides to particpate in PyCon APAC, we already know you’re different in background, language and culture.

    We did not add diversity as an afterthought when we realized we needed it: It was something already there and is built-in. We never assumed that other communities do things or are “like us”

    Being different is not the problem: It is in fact our strength. But it also not without problems: How do we get cohesian so that we get everyone to work together? It’s through common values that we believe will benefit the community as a whole. Asians have similar values which we mutually understand and respect, and we express these values through what the community can do as they rally around the programming language.

    I’ve mentioned the three ingredients that we have for our PyCons in the first half of my talk, but lets iterate through them again.

    • Make it affordable
    • Make it accessible
    • Make it our own

    The first two were the original ideas which was envisioned by Beng Keat when he started the first PyCon in Singapore in 2010 and I believe still holds true today. The third one is a result of the organizers listening to the community and evolved over the years.

    Every community tries to promote issues which are deemed important to them. Our PyCons are in essence built for the local community and presenting the world to them, and not the other way around.

    I believe this is what glues us together, in spite of our diversity: We focus on the values that we want to promote because we believe they are important to our community, such as openness and access to opportunities. This inclusivity within diversity is what I hope other communities in other parts of this world can learn from us.

    Un (運), En (縁), Kan (勘)

    During an interview by Python Philippines for an episode of their WFH Phythonista program, I was asked a question on how and why I stay motivated and worked with the community for all this time. This might be a question that some of you might be asking yourselves, if you’ve spent some years writing open-source code, or organizing meetups and conferences.

    After that interview, I sat down and spent some time to try to crystallize my thoughts. To be honest, I have never spent serious thought on an answer to that question, so perhaps it will be a good opportunity to think about it.

    I would like to quote the silver medalist for curling of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Yoshida Chinami. Yoshida-san, when asked during an interview about her journey as a sportsperson said:

    私、運と縁と勘で生きてるんです

    Like typical Japanese, there are nuances within this expression which I can’t fully unpack for you, but it basically translates to “I live by chance, relationships and gut feeling”.

    When I first read about this quote, I just realized that basically wraps up my the reasons I am here doing what I do and my journey as a volunteer.

    By chance I was introduced to Python, my gut feeling brought me to follow this path and the relationships that community has graciously offered me made me stay.

    The experiences working with the community has tremendously shaped my views on how and why we need to be present and actively participate within the community with ideas, effort and money. It also has shown me how the rest of us are lacking the opportunities that some of us have. Opening those opportunities to more people has and still is a constant personal mission that I have.

    After all, we are living off the goodwill which the people before us have left us with, and replacing that goodwill is the least we can do.

    Perhaps when the day comes that I lose sight of any of these three, that will be the day for me to leave and do other things.

    On to a brighter future (or How It Can Be)

    This keynote will not be complete if I do not offer my version of the hopes that I have for our future, and what we need more within our community.

    Going further

    We have gone fast, and the next thing we need is to go further. Someone wise in the past did say that “if you want to go far, you go together“.

    So: going together we must. This means getting as much people involved with the community. This also means making space for them.

    Patah tumbuh, hilang berganti

    This is a Malay proverb our friends in Malaysia and Indonesia will probably know very well. It literally means “the broken will grow, the lost will be replaced“. Stepping aside for our new members to come in and find their place is an important topic but something that we seldom talk about: How do we move away from the current community leaders and make way for newer people to participate, contribute and feel welcomed and needed? For some reason, the notion of leaving seems to have negative connotations tied to it.

    You’re not a leader until you have a succession plan – Naomi Cedar

    We need to embrace change. We do this by making our doors open as wide and as welcoming as possible to accept new members in, while also allowing people to leave. Of course, this represents challenges like trying to keep knowledge institutionalized.

    Paraphrasing Shimizukawa-san during his keynote for PyCon Kyushu 2022 in Kumamoto: A community is like a bus. You take take the bus if you feel it’s going in the direction that you want to go, but feel free to get down and take another bus to another direction when you feel differently.

    Having as much bus stops and buses is what we as the community need to provide. People can get on or get off at different bus stops to go different directions to where their heart desires. Different routes, different sceneries and different people.

    Some of the communities within our region have shown that they have been built robust and healthy with new community leaders turning up every year to lead their PyCons, while others have not. I understand each community will have their own challenges to face, in order to keep people interested and motivated and wanting to do more. I hope these community can figure it out for themselves. Perhaps referring to other communities within our region can give them hints.

    On a similar vein, we need to be careful not to push the same group of people into thinking that “it’s them or no one else” because the rest of us take their presence for granted. Voluntary work, similar to contributing in open-source, tends to push people in this direction, which is unhealthy. If you’re a contributor and volunteering, you need to realize that although we owe the world many things, burning out because you want to pay those debt through community work does no good for anyone.

    I hope we will always reflect on and do not take for granted our volunteers and people working for the community. Please, always say thank you to them, be actively involved and always remind them that they can always take a break if they need to. Things will always work out, somehow. Kita akan terus patah tumbuh, hilang berganti.

    A Pan Asia Python Society

    Using the opportunity given to me for a keynote during PyCon APAC, I would also like to propose to my fellow community organizers a pan-Asian Python Society or APS, similar in concept in what they have in Europe, the Europe Python Society (EPS).

    The APS will consist of representative from each member country-community which has previously had PyCon APAC.

    Within the context of organizing and executing a regional Python conference, just like the EPS, the APS will be the main organizer. Furthermore, with a single centralized unit for organizing the regional conference, we can cultivate institutional knowledge and can carry on certain fixed aspects of the conference that will be repeated every single year, such as fixed programs like developer outreach to code contests. Having fixed programs with pre-determined work flows will help organizers by reducing repetitive loads and creating contents from scratch.

    We can also consider using a fixed ticketing and call for proposal platform which are always required for every conference.

    Outside of the conference, the APS can be an umbrella society that will promote the participation of our Asian Python community within the European and United States counterparts.

    Because we know ourselves best, the APS will be a point of contact for other Asian Python community members to approach to submit nominations for PSF Fellows or the PSF Community Service Award. The APS might also help with translations of local languages to English to be presented to the PSF regarding these nominations.

    There are of course many logistics, organizational and financial issues which we need to figure out. This will require cooperation from all our member communities, but I am sure with our track record of working together in the past, we can find a way forward together.

    Changing the world with THIS PyCon

    On a final note, let us change the world with THIS PyCon!

    Join the PSF

    I would like to invite everyone of you to join the PSF. Joining the PSF as a regular member is a simple process as filing an online form here.

    If you’re already managing a community or maintain an open-source Python package and spend more than 5 hours a month, you’re eligible to become a managing or contributing member, and is also eligible to vote in the PSF board elections.

    Do so and show the world that we’re here and that we care.

    Nominate extraodinary people around you

    As I mentioned previously, the PSF have programs that aim to bring forth extraordinary contributors and acknowledge their efforts to empower and further the Python cause. I would like to once again introduce you to two of these programs:

    The significance of these two programs is that they work on a nomination basis. Anyone can nominate anyone else. Of course, the PSF will verify the nomination and move forward with them based on merits, so not everyone that is nominated will be granted a Fellow membership or a Community Service Award.

    Having more people acknowledged for their efforts and hard work is never a bad thing, and it will at least change the world for that person even if by just a little, when we say to them “thank you”.

    Help the PSF out

    The PSF has many different Work Groups that focuses on specific aspects of the Python ecosystem and community. Examples of the Work Groups that the PSF currently has are the Trademarks and Diversity & Inclusion Work Group, which I am currently part of. Each of the mandate for the Work Group is different: For example, the Trademarks Work Group mandate is

    to assess trademarks for compliance with the current PSF Trademark Usage Policy and advise the PSF Board on what action, if any, to take.

    while the Diversity & Inclusion Work Group’s mandate is to

    to actively further the PSF’s mission to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers’.

    There might be Work Groups which align to your interests and skills. If you would like to learn more and gain experience helping out an international non-profit while making an impact worldwide, helping out in one fo the Work Groups might be something worthwhile to do.

    Organize something for your community

    Organize something within your local area! Do a meetup, show and tell or a local Python class for beginners. It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t matter if only 5 people come, as long as you enjoy doing it.

    Most importantly though, remember that you can always stop anytime if you think you’re not getting enough interest and think it’s not worth your enjoyment anymore. No right minded person will think the lesser of you. At the very least, organizing for your community will give you insights on the pulse of what is needed and also connect you to the people that care which will, I assure you, an experience which you will treasure.

    Organize a PyCon

    You can also organize a PyCon! It doesn’t have to be the regional PyCon APAC or even a country PyCon like PyCon HK or PyCon ID. If you want to organize a PyCon, the only requirement is that it is a public event: It can be a free event or anyone can purchase a ticket and attend, and the are not prohibitive elements such as a relatively expensive ticket pricing or gender limits.

    You can even have a so-called “mini-PyCon”: Maybe a one track, one-day event, 5 to 6 speakers with catering and food. Getting people together, sharing knowledge and ideas and having fun while doing it.

    I remember when I founded PyCon MY in 2014: I was in Japan and Swee Meng is a long time friend who has his feet on the ground in Kuala Lumpur. I asked him what he thinks if we started PyCon MY, based on my experiences with PyCon JP. He said “no one will come”. I responded by saying, “well, if only 10 people come, that’s good enough. We don’t have to do another one. But lets just do one and see what happens.”

    Long story short, we succesfully had yearly PyCon from 2014 and hosted PyCon APAC in 2017, before we passed on the leadership to a new set of people.

    Join pycon-apac-organizers group

    If you’re thinking of organizing a PyCon, I invite you to join us in the pycon-apac-organizers mailing list. You will have access to a breadth of knowledge on organizing conferences, and can ask help to source out for sponsors and speakers. We would also be happy to have you, and very much welcome your thoughts and new ideas on how to further make our group more inclusive and have better the experiences for other organizers.

    Thank you

    Last but certainly not the least, I would like to be explicit and say thanks to all the groups of people and the persons that have

    • PyCon TW for hosting the conference this year
    • PyCon SG for having the first conference in 2010PyCon JP
    • PyCon KR
    • PyCon PH
    • PyCon MY
    • PyCon ID
    • PyCon HK
    • PyCon TH
    • The many, many PyCon sponsors in our region that helped make it possible
    • The PSF
    • Steve Holden
    • All of you, the attendees that without you, this will not be possible
    • and last but not least, Beng Keat for his vision