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Nominee for 2022 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Ashia Zawaduk

  • Previous Board Service: New board member
  • Employer: Muck Rack
  • Other Affiliations: PyCascades (2020-2021), EdmontonPy (2016-2020), PyCon Canada (2019), Dev Edmonton Society (2018-2020)
  • Nominee Statement:

      I'm Ashia Zawaduk. I've been part of the Python Community for the last 10 years or so, starting with software development using Python and Django, and later attending local community meetups, and acting as an advocate for inclusion in and around the Python community.

      Soon after I discovered Python, I began attending meetups, and then became a group organizer for the Edmonton Python meetup group. This was a fantastic opportunity to give back to the Python community that embraced me, to offer a space for folks to connect and exchange ideas, and to learn and support each other, together in our own adventures with Python. Throughout my years of being involved in organizing, we grew and fostered the group both in terms of the number of attendees and impact. Our local Python community matured into a positive, supportive, and engaging group.

      One of our successes was to push for more collaboration across different meetups. We collaborated with JavaScript groups to exchange presentations on web applications, InfoSec groups to expose community members to tips and tools from the InfoSec community that might help them make their own work more secure, Data Science groups, as well as AI/ML. This ultimately led to a few of us forming an organization called Dev Edmonton Society, which focused on building a collaborative developer community in Edmonton, of which I was a Board Director for 3 years.

      I've also had some involvement with Python conferences: - PyCascades 2019 - Reviewer - PyCon Canada 2019 - Program Chair - PyCascades 2020 - Program Committee - PyCascades 2021 - Program Chair (Our first virtual conference)

      I am a strong advocate for community and personal mentorship. I’ve mentored with Django Girls (in 2018), and given many hours of informal mentorship through my local community. I am informally known as the foremost Python/Django advocate in the city.

      Given my background, here are some ideas I bring to the table:

      I’m very passionate about building an engaging community from the ground up, and I think as part of PSF we can do a lot to support meetup groups post-Covid. We’re in a situation where some groups have been continuing virtually, others are getting back to in-person and others that are struggling to pick back up after a long break. It would be great to help support groups and create a space and time where we can exchange ideas about successfully running meetups of all sizes in a sustainable way.

      I’m also passionate about collaboration across groups, and would love to get some discussions going around how, as PSF, we can work with groups whose main focus may not be Python, but whose work is influenced by or uses Python in some way. We have a lot of opportunities to do more bridge building to adjacent communities both in terms of the language itself and for the community that surrounds it.

      While a major focus of the PSF is planning Python conferences–which bring people together to be a part of a global community–I’m keen on exploring ways we can turn that upside down, and bring the global community to the local community.

  • Nomination Statements:
    • Nomination by: Dustin Ingram

      I support Ashia Zawaduk as a nominee for the PSF board of directors. Ashia's work organizing regional conferences like PyCascades and PyCon Canada demonstrate her commitment to doing the work necessary to grow the PSF's presence globally. Her work with Django Girls as well as her mentorship efforts show a strong desire to bring new and diverse voices into the Python community. And her work bridging the Python community with other similar communities shows her focus on the bigger picture of building community around technology.