Last month I (Angus) travelled from Melbourne to Auckland, New Zealand for Kiwi PyCon. I spoke about OpenTechSchool and also organised a workshop.
The emphasis on beginner outreach throughout the conference was really strong. Before the main two days of the conference there was a dedicated tutorial day. A range of free tutorials were open to all interested participants - not just conference attendees.
I was very excited to have over sixty people sign up for the OpenTechSchool workshop Introduction to Data Processing with Python as a tutorial session. A pool of keen coaches from the Python community also volunteered themselves! The workshop went very well, lots of positive feedback from participants and coaches alike.
Jessica McKellar’s conference keynote (available on youtube) was of particular interest. She talked quite a bit about the challenges of teaching Python to beginner programmers and ways the Python community can help. Jessica has a lot of experience in this field, being convener of the Boston Python Workshop, and it was great to talk to her about her experience teaching Python.
I also gave a talk about my experiences with OpenTechSchool - Encouraging New Programmers: The OpenTechSchool Model
It was great to speak to people who were interested in either starting OpenTechSchool chapters in New Zealand or simply running some beginner programmer workshops. Hopefully some of them will surface over the next few months!
A big thanks to Kiwi PyCon and the New Zealand Python User Group for inviting me to come and participate in the conference.