Running for the PSF Board
, Hi, I’m Joannah! I’m currently doing my Ph.D., researching garbage collection and Python. I’m also a Python core developer whose career in open source was kick-started by participating in programs like @outreachy and Rails Girls Summer of code. Outside of contributing code, I’m an active leader and member of several Python community groups. I’ve mentored and organized events for PyLadies, in Kampala and other chapters around the world.
I’ve also spoken at several PyCon’s including PyCon South Africa, PyCon Africa, and PyCon Italia. I joined the Python community as a forced user when I did my first Python course at University in 2010. The professor of the course made it very hard, after failing several assignments, I decided to read my first book (How to think like a computer scientist, Python version) cover-to-cover. Python then became my default language, and I joined the community, which I have never regretted. As a community member, I have grown to be an organizer of events, a speaker at conferences and a mentor to Pyladies communities, and for 1.5 years now, as well as a Python core developer.
I am running for the board this year to accelerate the progress of some initiatives I’ve been wanting to pursue within the Python community. I believe being a board member will help me champion these initiatives in a way I have not been able to outside the board. My promise is to serve for only 3 years, to achieve the following:
- Research: Python has grown to be a popular programming language among scientists of all walks of life, mathematicians, physicists, biologists, etc. I want to push for activities that highlight, encourage and bring together researchers in our community. With the help of the PSF, I plan to start a workshop at Pycon, for scientists in academia and students to discuss their research. The PSF and Pycon are big enough. The goal is to have the presentations published in a prestigious library for example ACM or IEEE. This could be a one-day workshop that results in at least 8–10 published works from our community every year. . We can grow later.
- The Ambassador Program: I started running Pyladies events while I still lived in Uganda, Africa, and did not know about the PSF then. The first time I knew about the work of the PSF was through its ambassadors in East Africa at the time. There has been tremendous work done in the past, but I believe the program has more potential especially for places that are not as well represented in the Python community. f. I want to engage in activities that lead to better execution of the program for a better impact in those communities. I have had discussions with some board members before on this, I believe we can work together for an even better execution model, borrowing from some of my experiences as a beneficiary, on what priorities the model should look at.
- Education: I am not a good teacher, but I love teaching! This was my motivation for joining a PhD program, and focusing on Python as one of the tools. As a board member, I want to collaborate with others on the board and the core developer team to see how we can build a community and language that educators can use to meet their teaching needs.
OSS Projects (Non-trivial contributions)
- CPython (I focus on subinterpreters and the CAPI)
- MicroPython (Documented Internals of the interpreter for a 3 month period)
- SymPy (Reorganizing its documentation for the next 5 months)
- Book, Python 2 and 3 Compatibility, Apress
- Pyladies Kampala (2017 — todate)
- Organizer, Django Girls workshop, at Pycon Kenya, 2018
- Django Girls, Kenya, at Pycon Kenya, 2018
- PyconZA, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Pycon Africa, Keynote, 2020
- Invited speaker, EuRuKo, 2018
- Python Kampala
- Thoughtworks, Kampala
- Python Kenya
- Google developer groups, Kampala