@pyconza (2018): Data Science and Bayes with Python

I’ve just returned from PyConZA (2018), held at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg North (Johannesburg) on 11-12 October. A great conference with a super selection of talks and great catering.

Obviously when the PyCon call for papers came out I was feeling ambitious because I submitted a Workshop and a Talk. They were both accepted, so that put the pressure on a bit.


I gave a full day pre-conference workshop on 10 October entitled “Introduction to Python for Data Science”. In retrospect it would have been a better idea to call it “Introduction to Data Science using Python”.

I covered the following modules:

  • Numpy
  • Pandas
  • Matplotlib and
  • scikit-learn.

This was rather an ambitious undertaking for a 8 hour workshop. I think that I did justice to Numpy and Pandas (possibly spending too much time on the low level details), but ended up running short on time for the last two modules. Despite this the feedback from attendees was good.

The material for the workshop is not yet publicly available: it’s a work in progress.


I also gave a talk entitled “Bayesian Analysis in Python: A Starter Kit” on 12 October. Rather than preparing slides I did the whole talk from a handfull of Jupyter notebooks. This actually worked remarkably well! With the exception of a few instances where my mind was saying one thing but my mouth was saying another, I feel fairly comfortable with the talk. The notebooks are available here.