On June 15 and 16 2019, just a year after PyCon was first held in Thailand, I returned to show support for Dylan Jay on his second stint as the PyCon TH chairperson.

PyCon Thailand Second Edition

The second PyCon TH in Bangkok was a huge success. They sold out before the conference. This time they had the conference at the brand new True Digital Park, a larger venue than last year's.

This is how the sponsor booths were lined up Sponsor booths at PyCon TH 2019

PyCon Thailand has started to attract people from around the region. I met a fellow Malaysian who has never been to PyCon MY before but is here in Bangkok this year.

We also had the nearly usual group of people from Japan that came.

People I met at PyCon TH 2019

After the first day of the conference, they changed the open space in front of the main hall to a huge party space, complete with a live band: PyCon TH 2019 after party

Since this is a good opportunity to bring out a subject which I think is important for our community but not discussed enough in the region, for the Lightning Talk session on Sunday I talked about how we're not giving back enough to the open-source, despite the many financial successes that we have seen. I also introduced our Annual Open Source Grant program, to give tangible ideas to other attendees so they can bring back to their respective companies and start contributing more to open-source.

These are the hard-working staff that made PyCon Thailand 2019 a success: Staff roll call at closing for PyCon Thai 2018

Interesting statistics

  • Over 400 attendees, including volunteers
  • Nearly 25% of the attendees were people younger than 24 years old
  • 17% of the attendees were female
  • 60% of the attendees are people who have used Python for less than 2 years
  • 82% of the ticket buyers are from within Thailand itself.
  • 32% of the attendees are using Python outside of work.

It's a healthy sign to see many young, local newcomers to the language making the effort to participate in their yearly PyCon in Bangkok. I'm also surprised to learn that a big portion of the participants is not using Python at work: It looks like perhaps enterprise Thailand hasn't warmed up to Python (yet).

An interesting thing they had this year was this sticker system: They had a bunch of different types of small stickers which you can take and stick it to your PyCon badge. These stickers show what topics you're interested in. You can, of course, take more than one sticker if you're interested in more than one topic.

The topics range from machine learning, ops, web, CGI, NLP, crypto and another 6 more (total 12 topics). The organizers were kind enough to share the data with me, and I found out a total of 1504 stickers were taken. Machine learning and data stickers took 30% of all stickers, while the web topic was second place.

Interestingly, regardless that machine learning and data were the top topics, data science was 7th place, while crypto was the least popular of all, only taking 3% of all stickers. It looks like Pythonistas in Thailand, at least, were not really riding the hype of crypto technologies.

At the end of the second day, the foreign attendees and speakers got together for some Thai food and drinks at a nearby restaurant. PyCon TH 2019 after party

They also have a cool recap video on YouTube that sums up the conference nicely.

Summing it up

Congratulations again to Dylan and his PyCon TH 2019 team for a successful conference.

I did notice that PyCon TH tends to have more non-Thai speakers as opposed to other regional conferences like PH, JP or MY. Hopefully, they can get more local Thais as speakers in their next edition of PyCon TH.

Personally, I enjoyed the conference tremendously, not exactly for the talks which I couldn't catch much due to hallway discussions but for the opportunity to meet old and new friends, and discussing ideas and the future among the smartest people I know.

Iqbal Abdullah

CEO

Iqbal came to Japan in 1997, and graduated from the Engineering faculty of Saga University. After working through companies like Yahoo! Japan and Amazon, Iqbal founded MARIMORE Inc. in 2007 which was the previous version of Xoxzo Inc.