Welcoming Everyone: Five Years of Inclusion and Outreach Programmes at PyCon Australia
People in the Open Source community turn up to events around the world, almost monthly, to talk about the projects they've been working on with like-minded people. Open Source conferences are a lot of fun to attend. (But if you’re reading this abstract, you probably don't need convincing of that).
On the other hand, there's a lot of people out there who'd make excellent contributors to projects. People who'd be an asset to our communities: speakers at conferences, code contributors, people who can write documentation. These are people for whom the events we run for our own community might not seem accessible.
PyCon Australia, one of the larger Open Source conferences in our region, has been running programmes to improve our outreach and inclusion for five years of its six-year existence. Outreach is what we do to invite new people to our events, and inclusion is about making people who come along feel welcome and more likely to participate in the community into the future.
Over those six years we've learned a whole lot of things that have helped us to grow our community, and to bring in, and retain, people that might not have taken part without our help. Our work has introduced our events to people who now actively participate year after year, and has created new contributors to Python projects.
In this talk, we'll look at how our outreach programme has evolved over the years, what success looks like for a programme like ours, and what we're currently working on to make this programme even better into the future.