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People who need to install Python packages get confused a lot. That's not their fault; that's because the volunteers who maintain the packaging tools don't have enough time to get everything organized so that it's clear and easy to use.

In the last few years, the PSF has gotten grants and used that money to massively improve packaging. We overhauled PyPI and we're making pip more consistent, with genuine attention to user experience. With more funding, we can finally make managing packages pleasant as programming in Python.

  • Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset Consulting

CPython Development

I started using Python in my PhD for performing different simulations of rotating black holes, black hole jets and their properties. I quickly fell in love with the language and its community and that led me to become a core dev some years ago. Since I became a core dev I have worked towards making Python faster and more versatile. Although most of my work is in the parser, the compiler pipeline and the garbage collector I like to work all over the place fixing bugs and trying to spot performance improvement opportunities. Hopefully, in the following years, we can push Python forward to the future by improving its general speed, making it more compatible with other implementations and improving the multi-core experience. Although this will be a challenging path and will require drastic changes in Python itself and its C-API, I am very excited about the things to come and what awaits for the Python Language and its community :)

  • Pablo Galindo Salgado, Python Core Developer

Community trainings

A huge turning point in my career was a Python workshop.

I programmed a bit as a kid, and took a single CS class in college, and tried to poke along doing some self-study so I could get better. And then I attended a Boston Python Workshop for Women And Their Friends, led by Jessica McKellar. We worked through well-designed exercises and I got hands-on practice that helped me get through that transition, from painstakingly copying individual lines and functions into the interpreter, to thinking in terms of Python's program flow.

Years later, my Python and software management skills have been invaluable. I run a small business, where I've been able to hire, train, and mentor contract workers who then go on to get full-time programming jobs. We've helped overhaul the Python Package Index, mentored and recruited contributors to Zulip, helped journalists open-source their code, and more. Right now I'm leading pip's work replacing its dependency resolver, which is a game-changer for future work making Python packaging easier to deal with.

People who care about Python invested in running that workshop, and it's paid off very well in my case. Investing in Python events, and the organization that supports them, is a good bet.

  • Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset Consulting

PyCon US

In 2015, as I was figuring out what I wanted to do next with my career, I attended PyCon North America in Montreal. I volunteered with the GNU Mailman team to expedite the release of Mailman 3.0. At the end of the sprint, I thought, "maybe I could charge for this."

Later that year, I started Changeset Consulting, where I expedite long-awaited releases for open source software projects. Through Changeset, I helped the PSF finish and deploy the new PyPI, and I'm working on pip's dependency resolver overhaul and a fresh release of GNU Autoconf.

If it weren't for the PSF, my life would be very different, and probably a lot less interesting.

  • Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset Consulting

An important community event that the PSF produces is PyCon US, where community members get a chance to receive training, share ideas, or even be mentored. At PyCon US 2019, Sumana Harihareswara helped Brian Rutledge make his 1st contribution to Python Packaging. Months later he became a co-maintainer of Twine, the upload utility for PyPI. As of May 2020, he successfully worked with a newer contributor to finish adding PEP 484 type annotations to Twine's codebase. This will make it easier for us to keep this code bug-free in the future, which means open source maintainers can have a smooth experience sharing their code with us on PyPI!

  • Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset Consulting

Grants Program

My name is Iqbal and I have been using Python for 18 years.

On a professional level Python as a programming tool has given me a career, and on a personal level as an ideology has helped me make friends and given me satisfaction by giving me the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself.

As member or lead of the different conference committee and also as conference chair, I have worked hard to make sure anyone can participate and contribute, regardless of personal situation, among others: Grants program were started for those that are financially constrained, quotas were setup for first time speakers, opportunities to present talks were initiated for non-english speakers, partnership with other groups such as Women Who Code and PyLadies to bolster underrepresented women groups in the conferences. Last but not least, in the beginning I also helped introduce a Code Of Conduct based on PSF's CoC to introduce a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. At that time, it wasn't common yet to have CoCs for conferences.

The PSF has done a wonderful job by taking the lead and acting as a standard bearer for us in the rest of the world to follow. Initiatives such as their grants program that helps monetarily and also gives exposure to less known events, knowledge and know-how on how to manage conferences and meetups, and most importantly an access to other people within the community to share and source out ideas have been invaluable to us.

Going forward, with the new normal, supporting virtual events is definitely an important thing which the PSF can help with. A step-by-step guide on how to manage virtual events, how tos for tools and a platform to expose events to the worldwide community would be very helpful.

In a world that is widening in terms of inequality where we tend to take away more and more, I am happy to be part of a community led by the PSF that continues to share and give: through code, through knowledge, through money and through friendship.

  • Iqbal Abdullah, Regional Conference Organizer