Snakes and Planets

As I get ready to step back from being a Director of the Python Software Foundation, I’m taking a moment to reflect back on the past two years on the PSF Board and open source. I enjoy coding in Python for its flexibility and rich ecosystem of libraries. Yet, it’s the Python community that I truly cherish.

For two years, I’ve been able to serve the Python community by putting my non-profit experience and management skills to work. We’ve increased transparency and openness, grown the non-profit’s governance toward best practices for an organization of the PSF’s size, and spread the adoption of Python globally and across industries and academia. The Board and the PSF staff, under Ewa’s leadership, have worked together to make Python a stronger language and community than two years ago.

There’s still work (especially with open source sustainability) to do; yet, I’ll save those thoughts for another post. Instead, I wish to share a few words of thanks to the Python and Jupyter communities. Although I grumble about slow changes when it comes to inclusion at times, I’m so, so grateful for all that I have learned from you.

I’ve learned some of the following:

  • oboes, mazes, and motorcycles blend together nicely (thanks Lars)
  • selecting talks and tutorials is hard work but worth the effort (thanks PyCon)
  • giving a diversity keynote at SciPy is scary and then doing it again as a videotaped PyData Carolinas keynote was overwhelming, but I’m glad that I risked being vulnerable to share my story and the profound impact my mentor had on me (thanks Margot)
  • learning and temporary setbacks when coding is much more fun and encouraging when there are others to cheer you on (thanks San Diego Python and PyLadies)
  • building and using Jupyter has allowed me to work on a lifelong passion, spreading learning to more people and empowering them to improve the world (thanks Jupyter team and all those that use Jupyter for teaching)
  • acts of kindness have a big impact on others, even if you never hear thanks from them (thanks Code Newbies and Write/Speak/Code)
  • stepping back is a great alternative to giving up or burning out (thanks to all who have shared their stories with me and listened when I needed a safe place to share)
  • communities and people need nurturing and “simple is better than complex” (thanks for the Zen of Python)

What’s wonderful is that this journey isn’t over but rather entering a new phase. As I step away as a PSF Director, I’m confident that the next Board will continue to improve and grow Python and its community. I’m excited to see what the next year brings. I hope to see you at the next CPython or Jupyter sprint and listen to what you are working on.

Thanks friends!