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Nominee for 2020 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Nina Zakharenko

  • Previous Board Service: New board member
  • Employer: Microsoft
  • Other Affiliations: PyCascades Organizer (2020), PyCascades Co-Chair (2021)
  • Nominee Statement:

      I became involved with the Python community 7 years ago while attending PyCon US Santa Clara in 2013. I'd worked as a professional developer for years before that, but started falling out of love with tech. When I joined the Python community I couldn’t believe how welcoming and friendly everyone was. My experience helped me stay in tech and since then my goal has been to welcome others into the community in the same way.

      In the years since I’ve been involved in the Python community as a developer, speaker, teacher, mentor, and conference and event organizer and have spent a significant amount of time volunteering. I helped organize PyCascades 2020 as communications chair, and will be conference co-chair for PyCascades Remote in 2021.

      At PyCon 2019 I organized Mentored Sprints for Diverse Beginners with a small team. The event provided hands-on direct mentorship for a group of 100 diverse sprinters, enabling first-time open source contributions for many of the participants. This year, I joined the core organizing team that brought the event online for dozens of remote participants across eight open source projects and three time zones.

      I've had the opportunity to teach others by speaking at Python conferences around the world, including delivering the closing keynote at PyCon US last year. My goal with talks has always been to take topics that may seem complex or unapproachable to beginners and break them down in a way that makes the concepts clear for Python developers at any level.

      As a member of the PSF board, I’d like to focus on the following areas:

      First, as a creator of streamed and recorded video content I'd like to build a strategy to guide a transition to digital events that keeps our community strong and connected in a post-Covid world. We need to build remote communities, create engaging events and have opportunities to collaborate on open source projects via sprints in a way that spans across borders and timezones. I’d also like to help the PSF navigate this issue from a financial aspect given a decrease in funding from cancelled in-person events worldwide. My experience with streaming, recording, speaking at online conferences, organizing remote events like Mentored Sprints, and organizing PyCascades Remote 2021 as co-chair will help me achieve these goals.

      Second, as a long-time conference speaker and mentor I'd like to bring my experience to the table to help the PSF continue to support new and diverse perspectives in our ecosystem. We need to ensure we are able to provide adequate support and online mentorship opportunities remotely, be able to welcome a new set of open source contributors, support those who speak other languages with translations, and ensure that remote events are accessible by exploring opportunities and funding to provide captions and follow other accessibility-friendly best practices. We need representation in order to ensure the Python community remains welcoming to everyone even as we move online. I’d like to form or strengthen working groups to achieve these goals.


      • Co-Chair PyCascades 2021 Remote
      • Communications Chair PyCascades 2020
      • Mentored Sprints for Diverse Beginners for PyCon US Remote 2020
      • Mentored Sprints for Diverse Beginners at PyCon US 2019


      • PyCon US 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 (keynote), 2020 (recorded)
      • DjangoCon US 2014, 2018, 2019
      • PyCon Australia 2019
      • North Bay Python 2018
      • PyParis 2018
      • PyCascades 2019
      • PyCon Russia 2017
      • EuroPython 2019
      • PyCon Canada 2017

      Playlist of featured talks including Goodbye Print, Hello Debugger (PyCon 2020), PyCon 2019 Closing Keynote, Elegant Solutions for Everyday Python Problems (PyCon 2018), Memory Management in Python -- The Basics (PyCon 2016)


      • - A free intensive guide for learning Python for beginners
      • Ultimate Guide to Crafting Memorable Tech Talks - a 7-part written guide that’s helped new speakers in the community deliver technical talks for the first time. It’s used as a suggested resource for speakers at conferences worldwide.
  • Nomination Statements:
    • Nomination by: Trey Hunner

      I know Nina as:

      • An engaging presenter at PyCon US
      • An organizer of events both big and small
      • A connector of people, especially Python community members who should know each other
      • A concerned community member who dives into big ideas for bettering the Python community

      I know that Nina cares about the Python community and will commit time and energy into pushing the community forward.