Pyladies Kampala : 2018 in Review — The journey that started!!

At the start of 2018, I was super excited about open source reflecting on how it has changed my career for the good as an individual. I wanted to start a community where we would build the culture of open source given that it is a virgin area in Kampala and Uganda.

I started Pyladies Kampala!!. Special Thanks to the Python Software Foundation for being the only support we have had so far inkind and financially.

In the first year of Pyladies Kampala Operation, We have seen;

  • ~200 members for all the activities we ran.
  • ~40 active members on slack and whatsap.
  • More than 20 first time open source contributor pull requests in and after the open source sprint we had.
  • A team of 8 members now mentoring and organizing the community. These were participants that graduated to mentoring others. Clap for this before you continue…!!!
Photo taken at the Pyladies Kampala Open source Sprint

The community growth took on a concord speed with surprising growth rates. Growth came from the activities we had. We got more retention from the open source sprint which was the launch activity.

The Open Source Sprint

Our flagship event this year and the first pyladies Kampala event was a 5 day open source sprint where the participants hacked on python open source projects including Qutebrowser, pytest, coala, BeeWare and pyladies.org.

Again special thanks to the @PSF for funding the sprint.

Some of the pull requests from the Sprint

Starting from Scratch: Python and Data science (7 weeks Meetup)

Sighting the technical capacity need in the community, we had a 7 weeks zero to hero program on introduction to Data Science with Python.

The participants were trained with hands on skills in topics from Introduction to Python and how to work with data sets. Broken down in these topics;

  • Python basics
  • Python lists, functions and packages
  • Numerical python(numpy) and data manipulation using pandas
  • Data visualization using matplotlib and seaborn.
  • Brief intro to regression, project and Wrap Up with suggestion for next steps for participants.

Where the real Community is at…

Meetups are just but one way we exist but the real community engagements happen after the meetups. Real work is done in our community Whatsap and slack channels.

Some days, we discuss what code means;

Screen shot of one of the community slack discussions.

Other days, members share bugs and the debugging starts!

Screen shot of one of the community Whatsap discussions.

What the Members are saying…

The feedback from the participants from the different activities has been great. There is great improvement in the skills of the attendees. One of the participants is using the Data science skills for an Engineering School Project. She will share a blog in a few weeks.

Winnie Okuta
Phyllis Joy Nabangi

What about 2019

We are excited as a community this year. We will do more activities. This is a quick peep at some of them.

  • Monthly meetups. We already came up with a calendar for the year. The always kind Outbox hub in Kampala is hosting us this whole year. Our first meetup will take place on 26th, January.
  • PyladiesFest. We will also feature an open source sprint as a major part of this event.
  • 5 weeks zero to hero workshop. We will do two parallel tracks on web development (Django) and Data Science . Participants will choose what track they want.
  • Give back to community by writing a small beginner python book containing topics that we feel beginners need to know when starting out of about 100 pages. The developments of the book will be on github. Contributions from community members will be through pull requests. We will distribute a downloadable version in kindle, pdf etc.

How you can help

  • Follow Pyladies Kampala on twitter (pyladieskla) and retweet our events for more reach.
  • If you are a company, plan to donate to some of our activities, a snack, swagg etc.
  • If you are an experienced engineer, volunteer to mentor remotely or in person. Remotely on slack and whatsap as we get a couple of questions and bugs to help with. In person, be present to help around during the meetups and workshops

Conclusion

This is a busy and exciting year already for us as we grow into better engineers and pythonistas. We want to grow more, level up our skills, share what we learn more and open more pull requests!!

For any feed back and support, please emails kampala.pyladies.com.

Christian, I choose results over reasons, proud aviator, show me the code