Thursday, May 24, 2018

PyCaribbean, Come for the Language, Stay for the Culture

PyCaribbean is more than Python, it is people, culture, and  spending  time together. Lead organizer Leonardo Jimenez wants attendees to feel like they are home when they are at PyCaribbean. “That sense of belonging and creating a bond helps the community members feel that they have a community that will support them and they can share their experience and knowledge with,” Jimenez explains.

After receiving an invite to speak at PyCaribbean 2017, which  I was unable to attend, I intentionally saved the date for 2018  . Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, hosted PyCaribbean this year.   Now, before we continue, let’s kick off this blog post the right way. Hit play, then continue reading.

Welcome to PyCaribbean 2018! Hosting some 280 Pythonistas from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Bermuda, all across the Dominican Republic, and more the conference boasted 50 more attendees than 2017 when it was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. PyCaribbean is one of the earliest Python conferences started in Latin America and has since iinspired other Latin American countries to host their own Python conferences.

“The community is getting bigger and stronger [over] time,” said Jimenez “[Community members] show more interest to learn new things, get more practice and experience.”

The PyCaribbean organizers scheduled a wide  ariety of talks that were aimed at all levels  in both English and Spanish. One of this year’s speakers, Ordanis Sanchez, gave a talk on getting started in Python. As noted by attendee Rebecca Conley, this was Ordains’ first conference talk in English!

Every conference I attend, I like to focus on a handful of take aways to share. One talk that I especially enjoyed was by Felipe Hoffa, a developer advocate from Google. Hoffa’s research concluded that not all text used in submitting an issue to a code repository will lead have the same closure rates. I learned that starting a ticket with the phrase, “I get the following...,” will have the highest probability of closure.

For me, the best part about this year has to be the founding of Pyladies Santo Domingo! Natacha De la Rosa and Samantha Valdez met at PyCaribbean, and they have a slick website and super CUTE logo!!!!! Swoon!!!

PyCaribbean is already making plans for next year. The possible locations sound amazing, but what doesn’t sound amazing in the Caribbean? The organizers are currently waiting on confirmation from the location before announcing. I assure you that when it is announced, it will not disappoint. Their hopes are to firstly have 400 attendees next year, secondly more participants from a variety of Caribbean countries, and lastly to create a board with different members of the Caribbean community. If you are interested, reach out to Jimenez <

Like with most conferences in the Python community, PyCaribbean is volunteer run. Thank you to the 40 volunteers who made PyCaribbean a success and who continue to foster community in their own cities in the Dominican Republic and beyond!

And that’s a wrap, or at least until next year’s PyCaribbean!

Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 Python Software Foundation Board Election: What is it and how can I learn more?

Every year the Python Software Foundation announces an open call for nominations for the PSF Board. Following the 2017 PSF members vote, only a subset of the entire board’s seats are open. This year there are four seats available - three (3) seats each with a three year term and one (1) seat that will finish the last two years of a three year term. Nominations for the board are open through May 25th, 2018 23:59:59 AoE.

Who can vote and how can I vote?

Voting for this year’s PSF Board Directors elections are set to begin on June 1st, 2018. To vote in the elections you must be registered as a voting member of the Python Software Foundation (see the FAQ here). You can register on the Membership page at

What does a board member do?

Expectations for board members are outlined on the Python wiki here. Basic requirements for board members include participation in monthly (remote) meetings as well as participation for the 2 to 3 in-person meetings.

Who can run for the PSF board and how can I nominate myself and/or someone else?

Anyone can run for a board member, as outlined by the PSF bylaws (reference Article V). Candidates can be either self-nominated or be nominated by another party. When nominating another person, the nomination requires consent of the potinental nominee.

To enter a nomination the following steps must be completed:

After nominations close, voting will begin on June 1st, 2018. If you wish to vote see voting details above. Additionally, PSF Director Thomas Wouters shared information about the nomination process on Twitter.

Who are the current board members?

The current directors are listed on the PSF website here.

How can I learn more?

Tomorrow on May 22nd the PSF will have an open Slack channel for 24 hours to discuss the election, the PSF, and the responsibilities of the PSF board. Current and outgoing directors will be monitoring the channel to respond to questions as well as PSF staff. You can join the Slack channel here.