Looking back at Pycon UK

One thing I certainly wasn’t expecting from Pycon UK was music. Not only is PyconUK the only conference I know to that had its own conference song (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan), the theme continued to having personalised mugs made for every delegate:

Pycon UK mugs

Pycon UK mugs

Even the lightning talks were introduced by a hip-hopping compere and rounded off by a duo playing their tubas! It was a surreal, but very entertaining!

Pycon UK was particularly special this year as a bunch of ICT and computing teachers had come along for an “Education Jam”- this turned out to be more eye opening (and hopefully useful!) than I could have imagined. Teaching ICT to students is a hot topic, and as someone who’s suffered under such systems, I’ve had a strong interest in it for a long long time. For the Jam, we separated into groups and with guidance from one of the teachers there, we helped put together a “scheme of work” – essentially a series of lesson plans for a specific class. One of the things we had to bear in mind were the “differentiation” – how we could push and challenge the gifted students whilst simultaneously supporting the other end of the bell curve – this is a lot more tricky than it may seem at first glance.

The group I worked in, focused on teaching basic HTML+CSS – hand coding a static website to a year 9 group of about 30 students. It was a lot more challenging than I expected, but with the teachers, what made it really rewarding was that you could tell that they were finding this pricelessly rewarding. I’m very glad to have been able to help!

The Education Jam at Pycon UK

The Education Jam at Pycon UK

During lunch, I met someone using Bigv.io to build a Luzme is an eBook price comparison website. Essentially, you can use it to see the price and availabity of Ebooks across the different eBook vendors and whether you can get it on your device – it can even let you know if the price drops. For me, actually being able to sit down and talk with someone who was so well acquainted with our platform was reminder of the creative things that can be built, once you give someone the resources!

I’m very grateful to John Pinner and all the organisers and helpers who helped make this year’s event so memorable – hopefully next year will be even better!