Monday, September 25, 2017

The PyLady Behind PyLadies: Lynn Root, Community Service Award 2nd Quarter 2017 Recipient

PyLadies is an international mentorship community for women that use Python. Started with a grant in 2011, PyLadies has continued to bring women into the Python community through a variety of methods, including hosting events in local PyLadies chapters as well as offering a grant opportunity to attend PyCon. One woman in particular has contributed to PyLadies' success, for which the PSF recognized her as a Community Service Award recipient for the 2nd Quarter of 2017:
RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation Q2 2017 Community Service Award to Lynn Root for her work as the founder of the San Francisco Chapter of PyLadies, a member of the Django Software Foundation, and as a tireless volunteer at PyCon.
PyLadies in the early days, the Start of the San Francisco Chapter

If you can name one person associated with PyLadies, it is Lynn Root. Lynn’s relentless support, organizing, and evangelizing on behalf of PyLadies is known by many. “Lynn’s enthusiasm and passion for bringing more women into tech are well complemented by her organizational skills, which were especially needed at pivotal moment in early PyLadies history. Lynn helped grow PyLadies into, what is now, a global organization that’s had a huge impact on the Python community,” PyLady Esther Nam, one of the founders of the PyLadies Los Angeles chapter, explains.

In late 2011, Lynn began learning to program, as some of graduate programs she was considering required her to have some programming expertise. “I reached out to San Francisco’s Women Who Code to organize a Python study group,” Lynn recalls, trying to find like-minded women to join. She had used Python in a weekend hackathon and found it to be a beginner friendly language. The following year, in 2012, PyCon was held in Santa Clara.  “Lynn reached out and organized a carpool of Bay Area Pythonistas to attend the conference”, Esther remembers. PyLadies from the first chapter in Los Angeles attended, where Lynn met with them to learn more about PyLadies.  The next month, she founded the San Francisco chapter. Lynn continued to act as a principal organizer for PyLadies San Francisco for the next four years.

Growing PyLadies in the Global Community

Overlapping with her time as PyLadies San Francisco lead organizer, Lynn championed other significant projects including the creation of `pip install pyladies`, the PyLadies open source kit for new organizers. The development of open source tools for PyLadies has been instrumental in getting the word out about PyLadies. Lynn was able to use these tools to help start international PyLadies communities in Stockholm, Zagreb, and Brno.

Lynn also took an active role in bringing PyLadies content to PyCon. During Lynn’s first term on the Python Software Foundation Board of Directors in 2013 to 2014, Lynn helped plan and run the first PyLadies Charity Auction at PyCon. Months of work go into organizing the charity auction; it requires donations to be procured beforehand, besides auctioneering on-site. The inaugural PyLadies Charity Auction raised $10,000.00 USD for PyLadies. Commenting in a 2013 press release about the auction, Atlanta PyLadies founder Laura Cassell explains, “we're all so resourceful already that I suspect this money is going to go a long way towards helping women who want to get into the industry. I'm still a little misty-eyed at the whole thing, to be honest."

Besides her PyLadies work, Lynn has been a speaker at PyCon four times, PyCon Lightning Talk Chair since 2014, frequent session runner, and recurring PyCon volunteer.

PyLadies Benevolent Dictator for Life?
I asked Lynn if she has ever been called the PyLadies Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL).  Lynn shook her head, she does not see herself in that fashion. But it is hard to refute the strong footprint she has left on the PyLadies community. Lynn has written several Python open source tutorials, like the web scraping with scrapy and postgres, that are often used in PyLadies workshops and are highly visited (over 65,000 times to date this year!), and has spoken at PyCons around the world: EuroPython, PyCon Finland, and PyCon Brasil. Lynn was the original PyLady I consulted with when starting the PyLadies Chicago chapter in 2014.

From founding her local PyLadies chapter, to volunteering at PyCon, to catalyzing other initiatives like the Django Software Foundation, Lynn has been an unwavering advocate for women in the Python community and for the broader Python community itself. The thing that Lynn says has been most satisfying for her as a Python community organizer and advocate has been the rise of women in Python. “In 2012 only 8% of speakers at PyCon were women now in 2017 we have approximately 33%”.

With the rise of PyLadies at PyCon and throughout the world, it’ll be exciting to see what comes next for the PyLadies community and for those that have helped make PyLadies such a tremendous success.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Improving Python and Expanding Access: How the PSF Uses Your Donation

The PSF is excited to announce its first ever membership drive beginning on September 18th!  Our goal for this inaugural drive is to raise $4,000.00 USD in donations and sign up 3,000 new members in 30 days.

If you’ve never donated to the PSF,  you've let your membership lapse, or you've thought about becoming a Supporting Member - here is your chance to make a difference.

Join the PSF as a Supporting Member or Donate to the PSF

You can donate as an individual or join the PSF as a Supporting Member. Supporting members pay $99.00 USD per year to help sustain the Foundation and support the Python community. Supporting members are also eligible to vote for candidates for the PSF Board of Directors, changes in the PSF bylaws, and other matters related to the infrastructure of the foundation.

To become a supporting member or to make a donation, click on the widget here and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.

We know many of you already make a great effort to support us; you volunteer your time to help us keep our website going, you join working groups to help with marketing, sponsorship, grant requests, trademarks, Python education, and packaging. Even more, you help the PSF put on PyCon US, a conference we couldn’t do without the help of our volunteers. The collective efforts and contributions of our volunteers help drive our work. We will forever be grateful to the people who step forward and ask, “What can I do to help advance open source technology related to Python?”

We understand that not everyone has the time to volunteer, but perhaps you’re in a position to help financially.

We’re asking those who are able, to donate money to support sprints, meet ups, and community events. Donations support Python documentation, fiscal sponsorships, software development, and community projects. They help fund the critical tools programmers use every day.

If you're not in a position to contribute financially, that's ok. Basic membership is free and we welcome anyone who would like to join at this level. Register here to create your member account, log back in, then complete the form to become a basic member.

What does the PSF do?

  • We fund great projects. So far this year we have approved over $200,000.00 USD in grants to over 140 events worldwide. We’re on track to surpass last year’s total of $265,000.00 USD in grants to 137 events in 45 different countries.

  • We organize and host PyCon US. This year’s event brought together 3,389 attendees from 41 countries, a new record for PyCon! Our sponsors’ support enabled us to award $89,000.00 USD in financial aid to 194 attendees.

  • We celebrate awesome Python contributors. Community Service Awards are given out quarterly, honoring individuals who support our mission. 

  • We implemented a trial Python Ambassador program that we hope to expand in the next year. This program provides funding for a dedicated Pythonista to travel locally to perform Python outreach. 

  • We provide fiscal sponsorship support for Python projects, where the PSF collects targeted donations and reimburses expenses on that projects' behalf.

  • We support Python programmers worldwide by funding sprints and workshops that enable people to work on Python-related projects that advance the mission of the PSF. 

Here is what one of our sponsors has to say about why they contribute to the PSF:

“Work on stuff that matters is one of O’Reilly’s core principles, and we know how very much open source matters. The open source community spurs innovation, shares knowledge, encourages growth, and creates industries. The Python Software Foundation is a prime example of the power of open source, showing how focused, thoughtful, and consistent efforts can create a community whose impact extends far beyond meetups and lines of code. O’Reilly is proud to continue to sponsor this great foundation.”
-- Rachel Roumeliotis, Vice President at O’Reilly Media and Chair of OSCON

Lastly, if you’d like to share the news about the PSF’s Membership drive, please share a tweet via the tweet button here:

Or share a tweet with the following text:

Donation & Membership Drive @ThePSF. Help us raise $4K and register 3K new members in 30 days! #idonatedtothepsf

We at the PSF want to thank you for all that you do. Your support is what makes the PSF possible.