PyData is an educational program of NumFOCUS. They are a not-for-profit organisation based in the U.S. and envisions an inclusive scientific and research community that utilises actively supported open-source software to make impactful discoveries for a better world. They run a range of events, conferences, meet-ups, and everything in-between focussed on Python, Data and Engineering. They are an inclusive community where everyone is welcome.
How did PyData Leeds get started?
PyData Leeds was formed after speaking with the Python and Data Community throughout Leeds and realising that they didn’t have a community group of like-minded professionals. The pre-COVID run of events in this space had sadly slowed down, and in many cases, stopped altogether. With the Leeds Technology Scene as big, impactful, and diverse as it is, there was a clear void to be filled with a networking event that put the community at its very core.
What we learned from the first PyData Leeds meetup event.
PyData Leeds’ inaugural event took place on Tuesday 24th January 2023 at Platform in Leeds City Centre. This event was always going to be slightly different from a usual meetup as we wanted to use the first official event to listen to the Leeds Python and Data community to find out what they are interested in hearing about, their needs, and to welcome people into organising, sponsoring, hosting, and speaking at PyData Leeds events throughout 2023 and beyond.
There is a mix of experience with technologies in the community.
The first part of the inaugural event was a fact-finding session to discover what the make-up of the room was like. Excitingly, we had a really interesting mix of experience, technologies people are interested in, and technologies people are using on a day-to-day basis. During the event, we did a poll in real time, and you can view the results below.
This information will prove vital when looking to introduce speakers, lightning talks, panel discussions, mentoring opportunities, and other interactive sessions moving forward.
Using Lean Coffee to discuss the future of PyData Leeds
The second section of the event (following the short quiz on everything Python, Pie, and Monty Python related), was a Lean Coffee session. Lean Coffee is a structured, but agenda-less meeting. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. Conversations are directed and productive because the agenda for the meeting is democratically generated.
The PyData Lean Coffee Session Outcomes & Suggestions
- Diversity in Engineering
- Talks from large companies (AWS / Twitter / Microsoft / Google)
- Problems / War Stories – people can share what wins they have had and how they have overcome problems
- How to start a new piece of technology
- Advise for getting involved in Data / Python
- Ethics in Data
- Data for Sustainability
- What’s new in Python
- Technical Python talks / walkthroughs
Frequency and Layout:
- Monthly was the frequency that most people requested
- In-person was also the strong favourite in terms of style
- Food was preferred
- Soft / hot drinks preferred over alcoholic beverages
- Detailed talks around projects
- Code-a-long evenings
- Workshop style focussed on solving problems
- Hands-on practical sessions
- Lightning talks – 5 talks in 25 minutes
- Mentoring opportunities
We have found that we have so many great suggestions in terms of content, frequency, and format that we hope we will be able to release the 2023 roadmap soon.
What will PyData look like throughout 2023?
This is still very much to be decided. With all the fantastic suggestions from the Lean Coffee session, the organisers of PyData Leeds have lots of planning to do. We have had people reach out who are keen to get involved and deliver talks already, which is great and we’re looking forward to going through all of the ideas and creating a roadmap for 2023.
Some of the key takeaways are above, but watch this space and join the PyData Leeds group on Meetup for announcements.
How to get involved with PyData Leeds and get in touch.
What we would like for PyData Leeds is potentially different from what the Leeds Community wants from PyData in 2023 and beyond. We got so much value from the 1st event with the interactive session and Lean Coffee discussion; however, we would love to continue that dialogue with people.
Whether you’re interested in speaking at events or keen to get involved in organising, sponsoring, hosting an event, or keen to connect and come along to events, then please reach out to us.
Other ways to get in touch
Speaking to everyone who signed up, attended, shared details of, and engaged with the first PyData Leeds event, thank you. We look forward to seeing you all again very soon and welcoming some new faces along too.