The Culture of PyCon AU

If you haven't joined us for a PyCon AU before, attending PyConline AU may seem a bit different to other conferences.

For those who have joined us before, we're still the same conference with the same values and culture from our in person events.

Given we're an online event, you may not be able to see many visual indicators of this, so we're outlining some of the important parts here.

We have an enforced code of conduct.

It's not taken lightly. It provides a framework in which our event operates, and all attendees must observe and adhere to it. Read our code of conduct.

Everyone is welcome 🏳️‍🌈

All members of society are welcome at our event. We respect pronouns and preferred names. We use gender-neutral greetings. We appreciate all backgrounds, and understand that not everyone is a Python programmer. This conference is still for you.

We are a programming conference, not a hackercon.

For multiple years we have hosted the Security and Privacy specialist track. While we host content and speakers that may also be at home at a 'hackercon', we are not a hacker conference.

Speakers and attendees are reminded not to attack or pentest the conference networks, conference infrastructure, conference processes, or the conference attendees in any way.

We have some unusual references.

If you're new to Python or PyCon AU, here's some things we will probably mention without specifically stating their origin.

The may include, but are not limited to:


The music used between presentations was by cTrix, one of our AV crew. Check out their soundcloud!


2021's conference logo on our shirts is based on the Python Packaging Platypus, as seen on Our artist is Tania Walker

"I have a question"

"I HAVE A QUESTION" is a meme started at Kiwi PyCon, in an era where audience interactions were trying to be kindly directed to asking questions of speakers, and not statements. This started a meme of starting questions with "I have a question", and actually asking a question. This also spawned anonymous quoting of people who did not ask questions with "I have a question. (statement). I have no question.")

PyCon AU appreciates this effort, and kindly asks that all questions to questions are in the form of a question, and not to use questions as statements. You are free to make comments in the chat, and interact with speakers, but questions to speakers as part of talks should be in the form of a question.


A meme started during organiser meetings in 2020, and followed on in 2021, we would end our calls by 'screaming into the void', a cathatric release at the end of a meeting.

Closing addresses in both 2020 and 2021 ended with the core organisers screaming into the void as the stream ended, encouraging the audience to do the same.

Snakeoil Academy

Our speicalist track Snakeoil Academy is now in it's fourth year in 2021, having previously run as the "Security and Privacy track" in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The tinfoil hat snake associated with this track has origins from it's inaugural year.

Lines from the "Zen of Python"

This is an easter egg in Python itself, where if you type "import this" you get "The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters". Read more about PEP 20


curlyboi is our multicoloured snake graphic, lovingly designed by Tania Walker as part of our conference branding redesign in 2018. The name originates from the meme: "Who would win: (computer reference) or one curly boi (a right parenthesis)".


'snek' is a cute name for a snake, as seen in many snek-based memes (example).


In live in-person events, the AV team commonly places a maneki-neko (sometimes known as 'lucky cats' or 'waving cats') on a podium to check that the camera feed is working when a human is not standing at the podium.

C3VOC (whom our AV team collaborate with) started this practice as a cheap way to detect video grabber driver lock-ups. These cats became the mascot of C3VOC, and the practise continued long after the driver bugs were fixed.

Some members of C3VOC visited Sydney for 2018, where these cats ended up on podiums as a joke. They became infamous at the conference -- a number of speakers and attendees started mimicking maneki-neko's arm movement.

Lightning talk references

The lightning talks from 2018 and 2019 yielded many amazing talks that fed into each other during the event. Some notable references:

We don't do that here.

In-jokes create a sense of community, play a part in setting its tone, as well as being a bit of fun.

While there are many in-jokes, there are some that are actively problematic that we do not use.

Belittling other programming languages

This event is designed for developers, users, and practitioners of the Python programming language, but we do not put down other languages to lift ourselves up. This includes putdowns of users of other programming languages purely based on the fact they don't use Python.

DjangoCon AU, a recurring specialist track at PyCon AU, has often invited programmers specifically outside of Python and Django to share insights from their language or framework of choice. Indeed it was one of these very speakers that brought us flipfloperator.

Monty Python

Monty Python has deep roots in the Python programming community, but references to comedy films that are now 37+ years old can leave younger Pythonistas feeling left out.

We also acknowledge that the humour used in this series is not the most inclusive, and so we avoid using such reference where more inclusive and modern references can be made that have the same effect.

If you don't get a reference, ask!

If there's an in-joke or reference you don't get, ask for it to be added to this list!