Brianna Laugher

I'm a software developer who loves free software, linguistics and scientific programming.

see my works

about me

I've been heavily involved in open source and related communities since 2007. I've worked on a Tagalog-English machine translation engine in Prolog (yep, Prolog!) and an automated weather forecast generation program in Python. I've volunteered on many committees and organised many community events, from dinners and meetups to a one-day miniconference. I've spoken dozens of times at events ranging from local user groups and workshops to international conferences.

I spent the year from September 2014 living in Spain, working as an English teaching assistant/improving my Spanish skills. As of August 2015 I'm back in my home town of Melbourne, Australia.

I love solving the problems of real users and bridging the communication gap between domain experts and developers. I'm also fond of testing as a way of doing Future Me a favour - I'm a core contributor to the pytest library.


See or just , or


 Adopt Pytest Month slide
πŸ’¬ Adopt Pytest Month
 Adopt Pytest Month slide
πŸ“‚ Adopt Pytest Month
 Personal portfolio slide
🎨 Personal portfolio
 Crowd-funded free software slide
πŸ’¬ Crowd-funded free software
 Women & super slide
πŸ“‚ Women & super
 Women & Super slide
🎨 Women & Super
 Dynamic visualisation in the IPython Notebook slide
πŸ’¬ Dynamic visualisation in the IPython Notebook
 Funcargs and pytest slide
πŸ’¬ Funcargs and pytest
 RTFM cards slide
πŸ“‚ RTFM cards
 Radio/Revolution slide
🎨 Radio/Revolution
 Zookeepr slide
πŸ’¬ Zookeepr
 Neurosexism slide
πŸ’¬ Neurosexism
 Distributed wikis slide
πŸ’¬ Distributed wikis
 Gender as text field slide
πŸ’¬ Gender as text field
 Clash of the encyclopedias slide
πŸ’¬ Clash of the encyclopedias
 Language sleuthing HOWTO slide
πŸ’¬ Language sleuthing HOWTO
 Mass collaboration slide
πŸ’¬ Mass collaboration
 Copyright in Wikimedia slide
πŸ’¬ Copyright in Wikimedia
 Wikimedia data sources slide
πŸ’¬ Wikimedia data sources
 Wikimedia tech infrastructure slide
πŸ’¬ Wikimedia tech infrastructure
 techiturn slide
🎨 techiturn
 Vote YES! for licensing sanity! slide
🎨 Vote YES! for licensing sanity!
 Frogspotter slide
🎨 Frogspotter
 Inkscape SVG slide
πŸ’¬ Inkscape SVG
 Wikimedia Commons slide
πŸ’¬ Wikimedia Commons
 Free Software & Wikipedia slide
πŸ’¬ Free Software & Wikipedia
 Who's behind Wikipedia? slide
πŸ’¬ Who's behind Wikipedia?
 Hacking MediaWii (for users) slide
πŸ’¬ Hacking MediaWii (for users)
 Safe wiki slide
πŸ’¬ Safe wiki
 Bin the bike ban! slide
πŸ“‚ Bin the bike ban!
 Special:Contributions/newbies slide
πŸ’¬ Special:Contributions/newbies
 daily-image-l script slide
πŸ“‚ daily-image-l script
 All the modern things slide
🎨 All the modern things
 Wikimedia logo mosaic slide
πŸ“‚ Wikimedia logo mosaic
 MASHEO Support slide
🎨 MASHEO Support
 Noromo Values slide
🎨 Noromo Values



Senior IT Officer, Bureau of Meteorology // December 2009 - June 2015

  • Software developer in the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR)
  • Contributed to, and then led, team of developers for β€œtext formatters” in Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), automatic text generation modules that automatically summarise gridded data into a few sentences of text
  • Managed development sprints by prioritising, defining and delegating tasks for team of 2-3
  • Worked on bugs and features to deliver forecasting software specific to the needs of 6 Australian states, including wording for alpine forecasts, severe storms, dangerous surf, heatwaves
  • Led the planning, design and development of major new features, including spatial summarisation ('local effects'), wind phrase, and most recently probabilistic precipitation wording
  • Collaborated with scientists and domain experts on specifying requirements and understanding user feedback
  • Worked with legacy code base of age 10+ years, including finding and fixing bugs, testing, progressive rewriting. Rewrote key modules to more modern, simpler design
  • Delivered lectures for BoM Training Centre, which training staff highlighted as a valuable resource
  • Trained/onboarded new staff members
  • Wrote a web-based front-end to an Oracle database using Django, SQLAlchemy and FlotJS. This tool became regularly used for managerial reports and development decision making
  • Built prototypeand wrote report explaining greater automation potential in generating on-demand forecasts, which was later adopted by the policy branch (Services)
  • Used a variety of development methods including functional programming, object-oriented programming and test-driven development
  • Used Agile methods such as Kanban, sprints, stand-up meetings and retrospectives
  • Used: Python, pytest, numpy, scipy, IPython Notebook (now Jupyter), Subversion/SVN version control, Jenkins CI, Reviewboard, Mantis bugtracker, Linux command-line (Fedora), Eclipe, emacs, Gitlab, JIRA

Senior computational linguist / Assistant project manager, ToggleText // July 2007 - November 2009

  • Computational linguist on Tagalog to English machine translation engine (automatic translation software)
  • From 2008, senior computational linguist and assistant project manager
  • Headed communication with key project stakeholders, authored regular milestone reports and arranged and presented at client meetings
  • Researched grammar of the Tagalog language and implemented rules in Prolog, using test-driven development
  • Used: Prolog, aegis version control system, Python, Linux (CentOS)

Research assistant, National ICT Australia // January 2006 - July 2007

  • Wrote scripts and provided other assistance to researchers for the Interactive Information Discovery and Delivery Project (I2D2) project
  • Used: Python

Internship, University of Melbourne // 2005 - 2006

  • Completed a "summer studentship" project on automatic multi-document summarisation, sponsored by the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and NICTA
  • Used: Python


Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), Instituto Cervantes // 2015

  • Covers reading, listening, written and oral expression. B2 level (intermediate)

Bachelor of Arts (Mandarin, minor linguistics) // 2002 - 2006

Bachelor of Science (mathematics, minor computer science), University of Melbourne

  • Studied Mandarin at Tsinghua University, Beijing for one semester's exchange in 2004
  • Member of the Language Technology group


Python development

  • Core contributor to pytest, a popular testing tool, 2014-present

Web development

  • Maintained own websites (LAMP stack) since 2006. Experience with HTML, CSS, basic JavaScript/jQuery, Docuwiki,, Markdown, Flask
  • Extensive experience with MediaWiki, Wordpress, Textpattern CMSs
  • Member of the web team at 3CR radio station, worked on Drupal port. 2013 - 2014
  • Administrator for several community organisation/small business websites, including Vulcan Tilt Haulage, TESA, Jewell Station Garden, China Labor News Translations
  • Filed over 70 bugs in Bugzilla bug tracker for MediaWiki

Public speaking

  • Invited speaker at SHARISM (Shanghai 2010) and National Library of Australia's Innovative Ideas Forum (2010)
  • Interviewed on Channel 10's '9AM with David and Kim' as press contact for Wikipedia
  • Spoken at 20+ technical and education conferences and events since 2007


  • Adopt Pytest Month, 2014
  • Girl Geek Dinners, 2009 - 2012
  • Software Freedom Day, 2009, 2010
  • GLAM-WIKI, 2009?
  • Panel organiser and moderator on Wikimedia chapters, at Wikimania, 2009
  • Free as in Freedom miniconf, 2009

NFP management

  • Wikimedia Australia secretary and president, 20??

Committees and boards

  • Ada Initiative advisory board, 2011
  • LCA talks selection ctte, 2009-2013
  • PyCon AU talks selection ctte, 2012-2014
  • Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year committee, 2007-2008

Workshop mentoring

  • pytest at EuroPython, 2015
  • DjangoGirls at PyCon AU, 2014
  • OpenTechSchool Melbourne, 2013
  • Wikipedia editing at ACEC, 2010


Below is a selection of writing. I wrote over 200 blog posts for my Wikimedia blog "All the modern things" during 2007-2010 and over 80 entries for "techiturn", a technical blog, during 2009-2014. I was an Australian press contact for Wikipedia related news during 2007-2010 which most notably (for me) led to an interview on Channel 10's morning show 9am with David and Kim.

I didn't invent the acroynym 'GLAM' (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), but I did suggest we use it for the GLAM WIKI conference organsed by Liam Wyatt/Wikimedia Australia in 2009, which marked the beginning of the "GLAM movement" within the worldwide Wikimedia community.


Geek feminism

Wikimedia and free culture

contact me

I use Mailvelope for encrypted email. My PGP public key.

You can also find me usually with the username "pfctdayelise" (pronounced "perfect day elise"), including on Newsblur, Pinboard, Tumblr, Speakerdeck, Wikipedia, Soundcloud and Flickr.

Design based on Ascend/TemplateGarden. Background Kale Salad/The Pattern Library.