Simon Willison’s Weblog


105 items tagged “speaking”


Announcing our DjangoCon US 2024 Talks! I'm speaking at DjangoCon in Durham, NC in September.

My accepted talk title was How to design and implement extensible software with plugins. Here's my abstract:

Plugins offer a powerful way to extend software packages. Tools that support a plugin architecture include WordPress, Jupyter, VS Code and pytest - each of which benefits from an enormous array of plugins adding all kinds of new features and expanded capabilities.

Adding plugin support to an open source project can greatly reduce the friction involved in attracting new contributors. Users can work independently and even package and publish their work without needing to directly coordinate with the project's core maintainers. As a maintainer this means you can wake up one morning and your software grew new features without you even having to review a pull request!

There's one catch: information on how to design and implement plugin support for a project is scarce.

I now have three major open source projects that support plugins, with over 200 plugins published across those projects. I'll talk about everything I've learned along the way: when and how to use plugins, how to design plugin hooks and how to ensure your plugin authors have as good an experience as possible.

I'm going to be talking about what I've learned integrating Pluggy with Datasette, LLM and sqlite-utils. I've been looking for an excuse to turn this knowledge into a talk for ages, very excited to get to do it at DjangoCon!

# 17th July 2024, 3:20 am / djangocon, python, plugins, django, speaking, sqlite-utils, llm, datasette

Open challenges for AI engineering

Visit Open challenges for AI engineering

I gave the opening keynote at the AI Engineer World’s Fair yesterday. I was a late addition to the schedule: OpenAI pulled out of their slot at the last minute, and I was invited to put together a 20 minute talk with just under 24 hours notice!

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Mastering LLMs: A Conference For Developers & Data Scientists (via) I’m speaking at this 5-week (maybe soon 6-week) long online conference about LLMs, presenting about “LLMs on the command line”.

Other speakers include Jeremy Howard, Sophia Yang from Mistral, Wing Lian of Axolotl, Jason Liu of Instructor, Paige Bailey from Google, my former co-worker John Berryman and a growing number of fascinating LLM practitioners.

It’s been fun watching this grow from a short course on fine-tuning LLMs to a full-blown multi-week conference over the past few days!

# 22nd May 2024, 3:34 am / llms, ai, speaking, generative-ai

The Zen of Python, Unix, and LLMs. Here’s the YouTube recording of my 1.5 hour conversation with Hugo Bowne-Anderson yesterday.

I fed a Whisper transcript to Google Gemini Pro 1.5 and asked it for the themes from our conversation, and it said we talked about “Python’s success and versatility, the rise and potential of LLMs, data sharing and ethics in the age of LLMs, Unix philosophy and its influence on software development and the future of programming and human-computer interaction”.

# 29th February 2024, 9:04 pm / speaking, ai, python, llms, gemini, whisper

The Zen of Python, Unix, and LLMs with Simon Willison (via) I’m participating in a live online fireside chat with Hugo Bowne-Anderson tomorrow afternoon (3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern / 11pm GMT) talking about LLMs, Datasette, my open source process, applying the Unix pipes philosophy to LLMs and a whole lot more. It’s free to register.

# 27th February 2024, 11:11 pm / speaking


Talking Large Language Models with Rooftop Ruby

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I’m on the latest episode of the Rooftop Ruby podcast with Collin Donnell and Joel Drapper, talking all things LLM.

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Making Large Language Models work for you

Visit Making Large Language Models work for you

I gave an invited keynote at WordCamp 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland on Friday.

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How I make annotated presentations

Visit How I make annotated presentations

Giving a talk is a lot of work. I go by a rule of thumb I learned from Damian Conway: a minimum of ten hours of preparation for every one hour spent on stage.

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Latent Space: Code Interpreter == GPT 4.5 (via) I presented as part of this Latent Space episode over the weekend, talking about the newly released ChatGPT Code Interpreter mode with swyx, Alex Volkov, Daniel Wilson and more. swyx did a great job editing our Twitter Spaces conversation into a podcast and writing up a detailed executive summary, posted here along with the transcript. If you’re curious you can listen to the first 15 minutes to get a great high-level explanation of Code Interpreter, or stick around for the full two hours for all of the details.

Apparently our live conversation had 17,000+ listeners!

# 10th July 2023, 10:06 pm / swyx, generative-ai, chatgpt, ai, llms, speaking, podcasts, code-interpreter

Data analysis with SQLite and Python. I turned my 2hr45m workshop from PyCon into the latest official tutorial on the Datasette website. It includes an extensive handout which should be useful independently of the video itself.

# 2nd July 2023, 4:48 pm / speaking, sqlite, datasette, python

Emergency Pod: OpenAI’s new Functions API, 75% Price Drop, 4x Context Length (via) I participated in a Twitter Spaces conversation last night about the new OpenAI functions mechanism. The recording has now been turned into a Latent Space podcast, and swyx has accompanied the recording with a detailed write-up of the different topics we covered.

# 14th June 2023, 7:23 pm / llms, generative-ai, openai, ai, speaking, podcasts

Weeknotes: Parquet in Datasette Lite, various talks, more LLM hacking

I’ve fallen a bit behind on my weeknotes. Here’s a catchup for the last few weeks.

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No Moat: Closed AI gets its Open Source wakeup call — ft. Simon Willison (via) I joined the Latent Space podcast yesterday (on short notice, so I was out and about on my phone) to talk about the leaked Google memo about open source LLMs. This was a Twitter Space, but swyx did an excellent job of cleaning up the audio and turning it into a podcast.

# 5th May 2023, 6:17 pm / homebrew-llms, generative-ai, ai, speaking, llms, podcasts

Weeknotes: Citus Con, PyCon and three new niche museums

I’ve had a busy week in terms of speaking: on Tuesday I gave an online keynote at Citus Con, “Big Opportunities in Small Data”. I then flew to Salt Lake City for PyCon that evening and gave a three hour workshop on Wednesday, “Data analysis with SQLite and Python”.

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Data analysis with SQLite and Python for PyCon 2023

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I’m at PyCon 2023 in Salt Lake City this week.

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The Changelog podcast: LLMs break the internet

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I’m the guest on the latest episode of The Changelog podcast: LLMs break the internet. It’s a follow-up to the episode we recorded six months ago about Stable Diffusion.

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Working in public

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I participated in a panel discussion this week for path to Citus Con, a series of Discord audio events that are happening in the run up to the Citus Con 2023 later this month.

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I talked about Bing and tried to explain language models on live TV!

Visit I talked about Bing and tried to explain language models on live TV!

Yesterday evening I was interviewed by Natasha Zouves on NewsNation, on live TV (over Zoom).

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Don’t Read Off The Screen (via) Stuart Langridge provides a fantastic set of public speaking tips in a five minute lightning talk remix of Sunscreen. Watch with sound.

# 4th November 2022, 4:02 pm / stuart-langridge, speaking

Weeknotes: Datasette Lite, nogil Python, HYTRADBOI

My big project this week was Datasette Lite, a new way to run Datasette directly in a browser, powered by WebAssembly and Pyodide. I also continued my research into running SQL queries in parallel, described last week. Plus I spoke at HYTRADBOI.

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Weeknotes: datasette-indieauth, datasette-graphql, PyCon Argentina

Visit Weeknotes: datasette-indieauth, datasette-graphql, PyCon Argentina

Last week’s weeknotes took the form of my Personal Data Warehouses: Reclaiming Your Data talk write-up, which represented most of what I got done that week. This week I mainly worked on datasette-indieauth, but I also gave a keynote at PyCon Argentina and released a version of datasette-graphql with a small security fix.

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Personal Data Warehouses: Reclaiming Your Data

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I gave a talk yesterday about personal data warehouses for GitHub’s OCTO Speaker Series, focusing on my Datasette and Dogsheep projects. The video of the talk is now available, and I’m presenting that here along with an annotated summary of the talk, including links to demos and further information.

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OCTO Speaker Series: Simon Willison—Personal Data Warehouses: Reclaiming Your Data. I’m giving a talk in the GitHub OCTO (Office of the CTO) speaker series about Datasette and my Dogsheep personal analytics project. You can register for free here—the stream will be on Thursday November 12, 2020 at 8:30am PST (4:30pm GMT).

# 23rd October 2020, 3 am / dogsheep, datasette, speaking, github

Weeknotes: datasette-dump, sqlite-backup, talks

I spent some time this week digging into Python’s sqlite3 internals. I also gave two talks and recorded a third, due to air at PyGotham in October.

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Better presentations through storytelling and STAR moments

Last week I completed GSBGEN 315: Strategic Communication at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Weeknotes: first week of Stanford classes

One of the benefits of the JSK fellowship is that I can take classes and lectures at Stanford, on a somewhat ad-hoc basis (I don’t take exams or earn credits).

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If you're a little shy at conferences, speaking is The Best way to break the ice. Nobody talks to you before the talk. Everybody want's to talk to you afterwards, largely because they have a way in. As such, public speaking is bizarrely good for introverts.

Andy Budd

# 26th September 2019, 3:15 pm / andy-budd, speaking


How I moderated the State of Django panel at DjangoCon US.

On Wednesday last week I moderated the State of Django panel as the closing session for DjangoCon US 2018.

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Notes from my appearance on the Changelog podcast

After I spoke at Zeit Day SF last weekend I sat down with Adam Stacoviak to record a 25 minute segment for episode 296 of the Changelog podcast, talking about Datasette. We covered a lot of ground!

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mendoza-trees-workshop (via) Eventbrite Argentina has an academy program to train new Python/Django developers. I presented a workshop there this morning showing how Django and Jupyter can be used together to iterate on a project. Since the session was primarily about demonstrating Jupyter it was mostly live-coding, but the joy of Jupyter is that at the end of a workshop you can go back and add inline commentary to the notebooks that you used. In putting together the workshop I learned about the django_extensions “/ shell_plus --notebook” command—it’s brilliant! It launches Jupyter in a way that lets you directly import your Django models without having to mess around with DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE.

# 8th May 2018, 5:22 pm / speaking, jupyter, tutorial, django, eventbrite