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Nominee for 2020 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Dustin Ingram

  • Previous Board Service: New board member
  • Employer: Google
  • Other Affiliations: Python Packaging Authority, Python Packaging Working Group, Python Package Index, PyTexas Foundation, Philly Python Users Group, Austin Python Users Group
  • Nominee Statement:

      Introduction

      I’m Dustin, and I have been a Python community member for more than 14 years. I have experience:

      • advocating for the Python community
      • working with Python organizations and working groups
      • maintaining and contributing to Python projects
      • organizing and participating in Python events
      • operating non-profits

      As a PSF board member, my priorities would include:

      • diversification of funding
      • investment in staff and infrastructure
      • community advocacy

      Together, I believe my experience and goals make me a valuable member of the PSF board.

      Background & experience

      For the last two years, I’ve worked at Google as a Developer Advocate, representing and supporting the Python community at Google. In that role, I do the following:

      • Advocate for the Python community: When we build tools that people in the Python community will use, I help make sure those tools are right for those users
      • Set general strategy for engaging with the Python community
      • Create content for Python developers
      • Serve as a general source of expertise at Google about Python and the community
      • Lead a team of people who also work on Python advocacy at Google

      This means that part of my job is to be deeply involved in the Python community, which I have been for a number of years, and continue to be.

      I’m involved with the following Python organizations:

      • Director of the PyTexas Foundation since 2019
      • Conference chair of PyTexas in 2019 and 2020
      • Member of the Python Packaging Working Group since 2016
      • Member of the Python Packaging Authority since 2016
      • Member of the Philly Python Users Group from 2014-2018
      • Member of the the Austin Python Users Group since 2018

      I’m involved with various Python projects, mostly related to Python Packaging:

      I’ve authored three PEPs:

      I’ve spoken at a number of Python conferences:

      • PyCon US (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
      • PyGotham (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
      • FLPY (2017)
      • PyTexas (2017)
      • PyOhio (2018, 2019)
      • SciPy (2018)
      • PyCon Canada (2018)
      • PyCarribbean (2019)
      • PyCascades (2019)
      • PyCon Taiwan (2019)
      • PyCon Australia (2019)
      • PyBay (2019)
      • PyCon Latam (2019)
      • PyCon Japan (2019)
      • PyColorado (2019)
      • PyCon UK (2019)
      • DjangoCon US (2019)
      • EuroPython (2019)
      • PyCon DE (2019)
      • PyBeach (2020)

      Goals

      I'm excited for the opportunity to bring my experience and dedication to the Python community to the PSF board. Below are the goals that I’d focus on as a board member of the PSF.

      Diversification of funding

      In 2019, I wrote:

      "The PSF has one massive source of revenue (@pycon). In tech we call that "a single point of failure", and improving that would not only increase financial stability, but would also allow the PSF to direct more funding to more working groups, more events, etc." (Jun 7, 2019)

      This year, we unfortunately experienced firsthand this single point of failure when PyCon 2020 was cancelled as a result of COVID-19. While the PSF staff and board have worked hard to reduce our dependence on PyCon, it still represents more than 60% of the PSF’s yearly income.

      As a board member of the PSF, I’d work with the Finance Committee and the rest of the board to explore ways that the PSF can diversify its funding sources even further, such as:

      • creating additional revenue-generating activities for the PSF, including educational activities, content and certification programs
      • increasing the number of supporting (i.e. dues-paying) PSF members by increasing recognition of PSF members and benefits for members
      • adding additional benefits to a PSF sponsorship that go beyond PyCon-focused benefits
      • identifying how the various services that the PSF offers for free could produce revenue, within the bounds of our non-profit status

      I have direct experience with non-profit fundraising, financial organization and planning as a board member of the PyTexas Foundation. I have experience finding funding from diverse sources, and directing that funding towards projects that will benefit the most from it as a member of the Packaging Working Group. I also have firsthand knowledge of what attracts sponsors to the PSF as a representative of one of its largest sponsors.

      Investment in staff and infrastructure

      I've seen first-hand how targeted investments in infrastructure can go a long way. For example, a relatively small but extremely focused investment of time and funding in PyPI led to a revitalization and relaunch of this piece of critical core infrastructure. As a result, PyPI has become far more reliable and usable by the wider community, and also more available for continued investment.

      I believe that hiring dedicated staff, like our new accounting team, and creating new staff roles, such as the Director of Infrastructure, have helped the PSF grow, adapt to new challenges, and become more agile and more focused.

      I also believe that the PSF can continue to improve how it serves its responsibilities to the community by adding additional staff to areas currently served by volunteers, contractors, or spread among existing PSF staff. These areas of responsibility include:

      • Information experience, education, technical writing and documentation
      • User experience, accessibility and product design
      • Community management, marketing and communications
      • Program management and product management

      As a board member of the PSF, I would focus on adding staff that can improve how the PSF engages, educates and communicates with its community, as well as staff which allow the PSF to increase the number of potentially revenue-generating programs and activities it can pursue, and ensure that these activities are well-managed.

      Overall, I’d ensure that these investments in staff and infrastructure continue and grow (dependent on the success of goals to diversify and increase funding), in order to make Python, the ecosystem around it and the organization behind it better for all Pythonistas: from core developers all the way down to the newest developers who just installed Python for the first time.

      Community advocacy

      As a developer advocate, my day-to-day job is to identify and empathize with the needs of the Python community. My experience in this role has given me the ability to connect with a wide and diverse group of users, advocate on their behalf with their best interests in mind, and work with my wider team to find a way to solve their problems and bring about an improvement for those individuals. As a board member of the PSF, I’d do the same, collaborating with other board members to determine the best path forward.

      As an advocate, I am tasked not just with understanding what my community needs, but also understanding what to do next with that information. As a board member of the PSF, this means that in addition to identifying a problem, I will also find solutions to that problem, and then turn those solutions into a result.

      As a board member of the PSF, I’d also use this experience to increase advocacy on behalf of the Python community, ensuring that the actions of the board and the PSF as a whole are aligned with the community's needs. I’d do this by creating additional avenues for Python community members to interact with the PSF board members and express what challenges they face as community members, as well as increasing the visibility of the work the board is doing to the wider community.

      Conclusion

      I believe we are currently at a critical juncture in the path towards long-term success of the PSF, and that choices we make today will have a significant and lasting effect on the PSF of the future. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the Python community as a board member of the PSF.

      Thanks to Katie McLaughlin, Marlene Mhangami, Amanda Casari, and Sumana Harihareswara for reviewing drafts of this nomination statement.

  • Nomination Statements:
    • Nomination by: Chris Wilcox

      Dustin Ingram is an active member of the Python community and has played a critical part in the Python Packaging Authority, helping with both governance as well as maintaining PyPI. He has also an organizer for PyTexas, a regional Python conference. In addition to this, Dustin is an exceptionally empathetic developer. As a developer advocate he spends his days better understanding the concerns of other developers and working to make products better for them.

    • Nomination by: Kevin Horn

      I hereby nominate Dustin Ingram (di@python.org) as a candidate for the Board of Directors of the Python Software Foundation.

      Over the past several years, Dustin has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health and well-being of the Python community, participating in the development and maintenance of the new PyPI codebase (Warehouse), participating heavily in producing PyTexas 2017, serving as the Conference Chair of PyTexas 2019, and serving as a board member of the PyTexas Foundation.

      I believe he would make an excellent addition to the Board.

    • Nomination by: Sarah Gray

      I had the pleasure of working with Dustin in his prior role as a senior developer and consultant at PromptWorks in Philadelphia. In our time working together, Dustin helped me level-up individually as a Python developer while making substantial contributions to both our local python user group as a regular speaker and the larger Python community as a recurring speaker at PyCon. He's also a PyPI maintainer and played a big role in the migration to the rewritten version of PyPI-- woo hoo! In every circumstance, Dustin exemplified the best of the Python community -- a deep understanding of the language, humility, generosity, curiosity, and desire to help others. Dustin would be a great addition to the PSF board for his both his knowledge and his gracious approach to problem solving.

    • Nomination by: Jon Banafato

      I nominate Dustin Ingram for the PSF Board of Directors. Dustin is a positive force in the Python community through his work on packaging infrastructure and as a PyTexas conference organizer, as well as his frequent speaking and attendance at conferences and user groups. He cares for this community and is quick to support others and to step up when a task needs action. I have no doubt that he would continue to act in the community's best interest as a member of the board.

    • Nomination by: Timothy Allen

      Dustin Ingram has served the Python community as a member with distinction for several years. I first met Dustin through the Philadelphia Python community, as we are both members of the Philadelphia Python Users Group. Dustin was always enthusiastic, whether giving a presentation or helping a newcomer stuck on a problem. Since then, he has taken that enthusiasm to Texas and a new job with Google as a Developer Advocate.

      His service to the community has been top notch, as one of the driving forces behind the Warehouse Project, which gave a much-needed makeover to the Python Package Index. He is a member of the Python Packaging Authority, helping maintain pip, and is an organizer of the PyTexas conference. He continues to present at user groups and conferences throughout the Python ecosystem. This will be my second year nominating Dustin, and I believe he's be a wonderful addition to the PSF board.

    • Nomination by: Ernest W. Durbin III

      An outstanding member of, prolific contributor to, and practiced leader throughout the Python community: I am thrilled to nominate Dustin Ingram to serve on the Python Software Foundation Board of Directors.

      Whether organizing community events, contributing to a codebase, or acting as leader of a team Dustin consistently shows up with dedication, empathy, and an unpretentious attitude. These qualities exemplify the best in our community and equip Dustin to be a productive and heeding member of the board.

      As an established speaker at community events Dustin is prepared, thoughtful, and articulate. As a representative of the board and community these skills will improve messaging of the Python Software Foundations mission and accomplishments.

      Working as a developer advocate for a long-term sponsor of the foundation, Dustin has a unique and direct perspective on what members need and what compels corporate sponsorship of the foundation.

      The goals that Dustin has for the community are clear, attainable, and demonstrate his long term commitment to the Python community. The current circumstances and uncertain road ahead require the Python Software Foundation to set a course that will ensure it can continue to serve the community no matter what comes ahead and Dustin is demonstrably suited to this task.

    • Nomination by: Paul Ganssle

      I also nominated Dustin for PSF board in 2019, before I started working with him at Google, and I still strongly stand by my original statement, and so I include it here in my 2020 nomination:


      Dustin is well-known to those of us in the packaging world for his talent, his equable demeanor and his community-minded spirit. He played an important role in the Python Packaging Authority at a critical time in our history by serving as a maintainer and administrator for the warehouse project during the famously smooth transition to pypi.org. As part of this effort, he got direct first-hand experience working with the PSF and Mozilla to administer the MOSS grant used to fund the PyPI migration. As we in the PyPA started to think about adding a governance model, Dustin was the unanimous choice among PyPA committers for "Benevolent Dictator for Right Now", and he continues to push forward a formalization of our governance structure.

      Dustin is also well-known for his communication skills; he is a frequent speaker at Python conferences around the world, and is a fantastic writer and popularizer. During the PyPI migration, he and others involved appeared on several podcasts (FLOSS Weekly, Talk Python to Me), promoting the project and getting the word out about how it would affect the community. His much-lauded and widely-discussed article PyPI As a Service exploring the challenges we would face if we were to turn PyPI into a for-profit service, shows that he is a pragmatic thinker with the far-too-rare skill of being able to clearly articulate his thoughts.

      Many of Dustin's activities - as an organizer of PyTexas, as a speaker at conferences, as an open source contributor and participant in sprints - clearly show his dedication to the Python community. For this reason and many more, I think that Dustin Ingram would make an excellent addition to the Python Software Foundation board.


      As an addendum, Dustin and I have been co-workers at Google for the past year and my interactions with him at work have only re-enforced my positive impressions of him. I have found him to be kind, empathetic, helpful and approachable. He's very easy to work with, and I believe that he would contribute to a harmonious working environment on the board.

    • Nomination by: Thea Flowers

      Dustin has been a steadfast member of the Python community for a long time.

      He has, among other things:

      • Served as the organizer for PyTexas/
      • Been one of the most active members of the PyPA and Python WG, contributing significant advances in Python packaging.
      • Worked as a Python Developer Advocate for Google, helping Google understand how to have a positive impact in the Python community.
      • Spoken at so many Python conferences I've lost track.

      Dustin's dedicate and leadership would serve the PSF board well. He will seek ways to diversify the PSF's funding, invest in staff and infrastructure, and steer the PSF to support the needs of the broader Python community.

      He's also just so very tall. Not the tallest person to ever run, but certainly a friend among giants.