PyCon AU call for proposals has closed
Thank you to everyone who submitted to our CFP!
The Call for Proposals closed on May 15th, 2023.
Reviewing will commence shortly. If you’ve submitted a proposal to us, you can expect to hear about the outcome by June 16th, 2023.
This page will be updated with the conference schedule shortly afterwards.
If you have questions about the CFP process, you can reach us at email@example.com.
This year we have four specialist tracks, in addition to the main conference! Specialist tracks are independently run events held on the first day of the PyCon AU.
After a short break, the ninth DjangoCon AU is running in 2023!
We welcome talks about Django from all experience levels, but as a conference for Django enthusiasts, we also want to hear from those outside Django.
A tradition for DjangoCons has been to invite speakers from other web frameworks and programming languages to share their experience, to help Djangonauts learn and pick up ideas from outside the Django ecosystem. We would like to extend that offer to all our submitters!
Even if the framework in focus of your talk is not Django, or even based in Python, we welcome your submission! Just note that our audience is strongly Django/Python inclined, and may not know a lot about your framework/language.
Learn about learning, teach about teaching, and educate about education!
The Education Track brings together teachers, programmers, educators, creators of education tools, students and folks who are keen to learn and discuss ideas to help the next generation of programmers. Python programming is becoming more common in education settings, whether taught as part of the Digital Technologies classrooms, integrated across the curriculum, or embedded in coding clubs. We want to hear from teachers, education professionals, edutech enthusiasts and more about what’s worked, what hasn’t and everything in-between!
The PyConAU Education Track for 2023 will also have a dedicated Student Showcase for student presentations. We are calling for proposals for short talks from Australian high school students who are using Python in a project, class assignment or who are hacking on something cool. All levels of experience are welcome from complete novices to Python pros. Applications for the Student Showcase will open soon, through a separate process.
Our Connected Universe
Every day, billions and billions of bytes fly around between systems sharing data, and as technologists it’s our job to build and manage these systems. “Our Connected Universe” is a track dedicated to the exploration and celebration of how data drives our world, and the APIs and architectures that make it all possible.
All Things Data!
The data specialist track is all about how we use Python to gain insights from data, as well as the human side of data and its management. This track encompasses topics including data analysis, statistics, machine learning, data engineering, pipeline orchestration, scientific programming, storytelling and visualisation, Whether you work in a large team or a small one, in industry or academia, if you’re processing and understanding data then there’s a plethora of Python based tools available to you. Alongside the shiny tools and techniques, we will also focus on the importance of data management, team collaboration, and the societal impacts that data can have.
NEW: PyCon Fair
Sometimes, there’s something you want to share with the community, but a conference talk isn’t the best format to share it. That’s why this year, we’re trialling a new format: PyCon Fair.
Successful proposals will be shown in an exhibition hall style setup, during a block of talks in the main conference (e.g. between morning tea and lunch, or lunch and afternoon tea—roughly 90-120 minutes). Each stall will be provided with an A0-size poster on a pinboard, and a trestle table; the rest is up to your imagination.
Show off some cool robotics demos, some interesting visualisations, or even better, something we haven’t thought of! The only limitations on what you can do are:
- You must follow our Code of Conduct
- You can’t do anything that’s restricted by our venue, like serve food or set off pyrotechnics, without asking us first (if you’re not sure, ask)
- You can’t use your space to promote a commercial product or recruit potential employees. If you’d like to promote a product or recruit, take a look at our sponsor packages, which offer booths that allow you to have a presence for the entire duration of the conference.
Note: PyCon Fair is an experiment! We don’t know if we’re going to get enough high-quality submissions to run PyCon Fair, so we may not hold the event at all. We’ll let you know as part of the same acceptance process and timeline that talks go through; if you get an acceptance email for your PyCon Fair submission, that means we’re running PyCon Fair!
Talk slots and timing
Talk slots are 30 minutes, with the exception of deep dive talks (as discussed in the next section).
If you choose to take questions, the time allocated for that will be part of your allotted time.
We are open to other formats beyond slide-based talks. If you have an idea for a panel, a live coding exercise, a guided tour of your programming environment, or anything else that you think might interest the Python community, feel free to pitch it!
Sometimes 30 minutes isn’t enough to get into the real meat of something. If you’ve got a topic you feel requires more detail than would fit in our standard talk slot, you can ask for a Deep Dive slot.
Our expectation for these is that presentations in these slots will be highly technical, highly detailed, or both. They should move beyond basic introductions and leave their audience with a much deeper understanding of the topic at hand. They may also assume an audience with an existing familiarity with the subject.
Examples of possible Deep Dive talks include (but are not limited to):
- “What comes after the tutorial?” talks - walkthroughs how to solve complex, real world problems with Python
- “Internals” talks - detailed walkthroughs of the internal architecture of a well known project, describing how it is architected to provide the clean external interface for users
- “Professional skills” talks - taking your skills as a team-based software developer to the next level
- “Theory” talks - explainers of the mathematical or conceptual underpinnings of a subject domain
Proposals for Deep Dive presentations will be very rigorously assessed so please include plenty of information as to what the extra time will be used for.
Presenting your talk online
PyCon AU 2023 is a face to face conference. We are committed to making the event as safe as we can, including measures above and beyond the legally required minimums, and including a mask wearing requirement; please see our Covid-19 information for more detail.
However, if you need to avoid face to face events, for example due to being immunocompromised or unwell, please let us know as part of the submission process. We can provide facilities for delivering your talk via a live video stream or as a pre-recorded video.
Please note that because of the labour involved in ensuring the high A/V quality our attendees expect, our ability to offer remote presentation slots is limited. Because of this, we may prioritise online presenters who live in or near Australia and can’t attend for health or disability reasons, over presenters that live far overseas and are near a more suitable regional PyCon.
Our submission process is anonymous. This means our first-round reviewers will not know anything about your identity while assessing your proposal. Please avoid including identifying information like your name or your pronouns (he/she/they) anywhere in your abstract or description so that our reviewers can assess your talk by itself. If you add such details, please be advised that our CFP curators will edit all identifying information from your submissions before the reviewing process begins.
Make sure to read our anonymity guidelines before your final submission! This FAQ contains important tips on what “anonymous” looks like, and provides information on our review process.
Proposals which are accepted will receive one free ticket to PyCon AU 2023, or, if multiple speakers are listed for an accepted talk, two tickets.
You are welcome to propose a talk with more than two speakers, but please be aware that if it is accepted, only two complementary tickets will be allocated.
If you can’t afford to attend PyCon AU or don’t have an employer that will sponsor your travel, please submit anyway! PyCon AU will have a financial aid program to assist attendees who otherwise couldn’t make it to the conference, and we will prioritise speakers in that process.
All speakers will be expected to have read the conference’s code of conduct and adhere to it.
Speaker slide contents and spoken material should be appropriate for a professional audience, including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate, nor is language or imagery that denigrates or demeans people based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, or body size.
Mentors and feedback
If you’ve never presented at a conference before and think you might like to try it, we want to hear from you!
In order to support speakers, we will offer mentorship and feedback to those who would like it. You can request mentorship by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with a mentor as soon as we can.
CFP review and selection process
Phase one: reviewing of anonymised proposal contents
During this phase, the PyCon AU proposal reviewers will review and score each proposal solely on the merits of its contents, without any identifying information or other knowledge about the speaker(s) proposing the talk.
Proposal reviewers come from the following groups:
- PyCon AU core organisers
- PyCon AU specialist track organisers
- Selected members of the Python, FOSS, and Australian tech community
Any members of the aforementioned groups who are acting as PyCon AU CFP mentors, reviewing CFP submissions for identifying information, or who are answering questions at the program email address are disqualified from reviewing proposals in phase one, as through these activities they are likely to gain knowledge of the personal details of some people who have submitted talk proposals.
Phase two: identity-aware ranking and curation
Once reviewing is finished, all proposals will be de-anonymised.
PyCon AU proposal reviewers are then joined by the remaining members of the PyCon AU core organising team in order to curate the program. This group will use the reviewed proposals, in conjunction with speaker profiles, to rank and organise a program that meets our goals for diversity of speakers and topics.
Once curation is complete, we then start to notify speakers, allowing for speakers to decline if required, until we fill our entire conference schedule, including identifying several backup speakers. Emails are generally sent via Pretalx, and the status of each submission will eventually be updated in Pretalx too.
We anticipate all CFP submitters to hear back about their submissions within one month of the CFP close, and before the schedule is released publicly.
PyCon AU aims to curate a diverse and interesting lineup of talks. In order to review talk proposals with as little bias as is humanly possible, we have made our proposal review process anonymous.
This may be different to the processes you have seen at other conferences, so we have created this FAQ for you. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, you can email email@example.com
Put any and all personally-identifiable information in the “Profile” section of your submission. This is where we want it to be!
If we identify that you have included information that identifies you, the organisers will edit your proposal before the review process begins. We can’t guarantee it will sound exactly how you intended it, so we encourage you to make very sure that you have removed identifying information before you submit your talk proposal to us.
How do I write a proposal that doesn’t identify me?
The basic guiding principle is to give only the information about yourself that is relevant to the talk.
- Don’t include your name, your pronouns (he/she/they), or other references to your gender (“this guy”, “her work”)
- Don’t include links to your website, or videos of you giving the talk
- Don’t mention your affiliation with your employer or your project, unless it directly relates to the talk:
Here’s an example where identifying your affiliations is relevant to the talk:
This talk will explore the ways that the Dog Patting Corp team used Python to make their work patting dogs easier.
Here’s an example where identifying your affiliations is not relevant to the talk:
The speaker, who is a Lead Canine Appreciator for Dog Patting Corp, will explore how to build a home automation system using MicroPython.
How do I tell you about myself and why I am the best person to give this talk… without identifying myself?
There is plenty you can say about your work without including your name, references to your gender, or other links. You can accomplish this even without referring to your employer’s name or affiliation with a project.
Things we want to hear about:
- why you are passionate about this topic
- research or work you have already done on this topic
- research or work you are planning to do on this topic
- what you’re interested in
- what kinds of industries you are (or have been) involved in
- what kind of experience you are bringing to this topic
I have worked in the dog patting industry for several years and am particularly interested in the problems of how to pat extremely fluffy dogs. I have also worked on patting short-haired dogs. This experience gives me a unique perspective on the problem of dog patting, which I am looking forward to sharing with the audience.
I am also passionate about the history of dog patting, and have both attended and run several workshops on the cultural legacy of being nice to our canine companions.”
I started dog patting this year. I have a lot of thoughts about effective ways to teach dog patting to beginners, and I am enthusiastic about making other people’s journeys into the world of patting dogs more enjoyable and accessible.
Can I still identify myself as a [insert gender/minority/attribute here]?
tl;dr: This information belongs in the “Profile” section of your submission.
During the first phase of our review process, the PyCon AU reviewers will not know anything about your identity. Reviewers will use only the talk topic and the details provided in the abstract and notes to rate your talk.
Once all proposals have been rated and reviewed, we will de-anonymise all talks. This means that the information you provided in your “Profile” will become visible to the PyCon AU organisers, and we can begin the work of selecting talks, and putting together the beginnings of the conference schedule. You are welcome to provide demographic information in this section.
Additionally, we provide financial aid to ensure people from a wide variety of backgrounds are able to attend PyCon AU. The financial assistance application process is separate to the CFP review process, and you may provide information about your background and circumstances there as well. See more about financial assistance.
What about my “Profile”?
tl;dr: Put any identifying information in the “Profile” section of your submission! This is where we want it to be.
Our system will hide the information you provide in your “Profile” section from PyCon AU organisers until we choose to de-anonymise it. De-anonymisation is a one-time process that will apply to all submissions at the same time. We will trigger this once the review process has been completed.
This means that the information you provided in your Profile will become visible to the PyCon AU organisers, and we can begin the work of selecting talks, and putting together the beginnings of the conference schedule. You are welcome to provide demographic information in this section.
Information in your Pretalx “Profile” can include:
- Your name
- A free-text biography
- An avatar (or Gravatar)
I didn’t have to do this for [other conference]. Why do I have to do this for PyCon AU?
All conferences will have different processes for reviewing talks based on the needs of their communities. This process is the way that PyCon AU believes is the most likely to reduce bias in the rating and reviewing of talk submissions.
PyCon AU takes our commitment to anonymous reviews very seriously. This means that non-reviewing members of the PyCon AU organising team will check incoming proposals to make sure they do not have identifying information, and remove identifying information before the review process begins if they discover anything that needs changing.
Oh no! I already submitted something that identifies me! What should I do?
tl;dr: Until the CFP closes, you can edit your submissions. You will be able to remove identifying information from your proposal until this time.
You are also welcome to make tweaks and changes to your proposal up until the CFP is closed. This gives you a chance to polish submissions based on feedback, and to remove identifying information if you notice it there.
If you notice we have already edited your proposal to remove identifying information, feel free to make further edits so it reads the way you would like it to. Please note that if you add additional identifying information during an edit, it will be removed again.
I have removed all the identifying info, but my talk title/topic is pretty unique and could identify me. What should I do?
We have reviewers who are both frequent and infrequent conference reviewers and attendees. We will be asking any reviewers who recognise your talk by title or abstract to refrain from reviewing your proposal.
This will give other reviewers the chance to review your proposal without prior knowledge of you or your talk.
I have a different question.
Great! You can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your talk contains content that you think might be sensitive, distressing or traumatic to some people (even if most people will be fine with it) please add a content warning in the dedicated field in Pretalx.
Content warnings aren’t a moral judgement on your talk, and they won’t restrict who is able to watch it. In fact, the opposite is true - for some of your audience members, if they know something they find distressing is coming up, they’ll be better able to handle it than if it’s a surprise. That lets them look after their mental health and better engage with and learn from your talk!
Here are some examples of content warnings:
This talk contains extensive discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout.
This talk contains images and brief mentions of bushfires and other natural disasters.
Content warnings don’t exempt you from the code of conduct. They exist to warn audiences of things that comply with the code of conduct, but might be distressing anyway.