Building on the ideals of the Foundation's Community Service Award, the Distinguished Service Award is an offer of recognition for sustained exemplary contributions to the Python community. The Foundation's highest award is given for actions which carry significant impact that shapes the Python world, whether through contributions of code, efforts in community action, or otherwise. As with the Community Service Award, the intention is to demonstrate that such service to the community does lead to recognition and reward, rather than to provide a direct incentive to contributors.
Awards will be made periodically as deserving candidates are identified. Any PSF member is entitled to propose an award at any time, stating the reasons for which the award is merited. Proposals should be made confidentially to the Board by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The minutes of award considerations will not name the individuals concerned unless an award is made. The Board will contact proposers to keep them informed of the status of their proposals (such as when the proposal will receive Board consideration).
Recognition will take the form of an award certificate plus a cash award of $5000 USD.
The 2021 Distinguished Service Award was presented to to Jesse Noller for his significant contributions to Python as a core developer, PyCon US Chair, and PSF board member.
2018 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Marc-Andre Lemberg for his significant contributions to Python as a core developer, EuroPython chair, PSF board member, and board member of the EuroPython Society.
The 2017 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Tim Peters. Tim's technical contributions to Python are immense as he implemented several modules into the standard library. Some examples include timsort, doctest, and the timeit module. Furthermore, Tim contributed to the Python Cookbook by writing the chapter on algorithms.
Tim also has contributed to the Python community. He wrote the Zen of Python via PEP20 in 2015. He reached approximately one million people via his answers on Stack Over Flow. Moreover, Tim was an active PSF Board Director from 2001 to 2014 meaning that he volunteered on the board for 13 years! Additionally, Tim has contributed to many Python mailing lists and has been known to always contribute in a friendly, funny, and helpful way.
The Python Software Foundation thanks Tim Peters for his contributions to the CPython project and the greater Python community.
The 2015 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mark Hammond. Mark's contributions to the Python community, particularly around the Windows platform, have been so influential to the livelihood of Python on Windows that he received a special thanks in the installer throughout several releases. His contributions have been seen in a number of areas around CPython and in the standard library, from Windows specific behaviors in the libraries, to the PEP 397 launcher for Windows.
Mark's creation and maintenance of the pywin32 package has enabled scores of developers on Windows to leverage the power of Python while integrating with lower-level Win32 APIs, as well as integrate with other Microsoft applications such as the Office suite of tools via COM.
The Python Software Foundation thanks Mark Hammond for his contributions to the CPython project and the greater Python community, especially those on the Windows platform.
The 2014 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Raymond Hettinger at PyCon 2014 in Montréal. Raymond has been a prolific contributor to the CPython project for over a decade, having implemented and maintained many of Python's great features. He has been instrumental in modules like bisect, collections, decimal, functools, itertools, math, random, with types like namedtuple, sets, dictionaries, and many other places around the codebase. He has contributed to the modification of nearly 90,000 lines of code in the CPython repository, and has made over 160 changes in the PEP repository.
Raymond has also served as a director of the Python Software Foundation, and has mentored many people over the years on their contributions to the python-dev community. He's also well known for his contributions to the Python Cookbook, and shares many pieces of Python wisdom on Twitter.
The Python Software Foundation thanks Raymond Hettinger for his contributions to the CPython project and the greater Python community.
The 2012 Distinguished Service Award was given posthumously to John Hunter, creator of matplotlib. John began the matplotlib project in 2002 while studying epilepsy seizure data in a postdoctoral program at the University of Chicago. Unhappy with the state of proprietary solutions needed for his studies, John chose Python to build an open solution to his problem.
"Matplotlib is both an amazing technical achievement and a shining example of open source community building, as John not only created its backbone but also fostered the development of a very strong development team, ensuring that the talent of many others could also contribute to this project," said Fernando Perez.
The Python Software Foundation thanks John Hunter for his invaluable contributions to not just the Python community but to the numeric and scientific communities he impacted throughout his time.