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Nominee for 2022 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Jannis Leidel

  • Previous Board Service: 2019-2022
  • Employer: Anaconda
  • Other Affiliations: conda-forge/NumFOCUS, Django Software Foundation, Deutscher Django-Verein e. V., OpenStreetMap Foundation, Open Source Initiative, Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V., Changing Cities e.V., Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V.
  • Nominee Statement:

      Jannis who?

      My name is Jannis Leidel, better known in the Python and Django community under my alias jezdez, and I have been a Python developer for over 15 years. I'm running for the Python Software Foundation board again after I first served between 2019 and 2022.

      During my first term I've:

      • Co-facilitated the strategic discussion around improving the representation of world-wide community members, especially those that are underrepresented. This remains an unsolved problem.
      • Served as the co-communications chair and co-organized public announcements and weblog publishing.
      • Served on the PSF finance committee and oversaw with my colleagues the uncertainties of the pandemic and contributed to the ongoing financial review and auditing process.
      • Responded to the extraordinary situation the pandemic created in terms of project funding, grants giving and organizing events (besides being personally impacted as well).
      • Participated in the search for the new Python Software Foundation executive director.
      • Became member of the Python Packaging and Project Funding working groups and rejoined the Python Packaging Authority (PyPA) after a hiatus of a few years.

      Personally speaking, for the last year I’ve worked as a Software Engineer at Anaconda on the conda project, an advanced, cross-platform package manager written in Python that was instrumental for the success of Python in the data practitioner community. I've co-led the development and brought my past experience with Python packaging tools and standards to the conda ecosystem. My high-level goals for conda are to build bridges, tackle user experience problems and make conda a multi-stakeholder, cross-organizational Open Source project.

      Before that I worked 8 years at Mozilla, first as a web developer on the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN web docs) and later as a software and data engineer working on data analysis tools for the Firefox Data Pipeline.


      I have experience in writing, maintaining, managing and leading Open Source projects, e.g.

      • Google Summer of Code student for Django, to integrate it with Python packaging tools, 2007
      • Django Core Team member 2009-2018
      • translation coordinator
      • Technical Board member
      • founder and member of Django Ops team
      • maintainer of the Django website
      • co-lead of first Django fundraising campaign and platform
      • Founder and member of the German Django non-profit, since 2009
      • pip and virtualenv core developer and release manager, 2009-2013
      • Chairman of DjangoCon Europe, 2010, Berlin, Germany
      • Founder of the Python Packaging Authority (PyPA), 2011, to take ownership for pip and virtualenv from original author Ian Bicking
      • Developer and admin for the Python Package Index (aka Cheeseshop), 2012-2013
      • Django Software Foundation board member, 2014-2015
      • Mentor at first Django Girls tutorial, 2014, Berlin, Germany
      • Google Summer of Code mentor and admin for Django and Mozilla for multiple years
      • — Developer of the web version of Brett Cannon’s caniusepython3 CLI tool
      • Jazzband — Founder and “roadie” of a collaborative community on GitHub to share the responsibility of maintaining Python projects with over 1200 members and close to 70 projects
      • Mozilla-internal champion for the successful MOSS (Mozilla Open Source Software program) grant for the PSF to improve sustainability of the Python Package Index (PyPI)
      • Co-maintainer of Redash — A Open Source software for teams to query, visualize and collaborate with data, since 2018-2021
      • conda core developer and steering council member, senior software engineer on the conda team at Anaconda, since 2021
      • Contributor to the PyScript project, since 2022
      • Developer or maintainer of many other Python packages: PyPI, GitHub

      Nothing of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement from strangers that I met on the internet.

      Personal board goals

      If elected again, I'd like to:

      1. Continue my work to be a voice and ally for the people in our diverse, global Python community, especially when they are underrepresented in the PSF board and related committees. This is critical to continue to serve our mission, especially given the growth of our community in areas that are not in North America or Europe.

      2. Continue to support research and development efforts in strategic areas such as supply chain security, cross-platform compatibility/usability and emerging technologies such as WASM (WebAssembly). That includes making it easier to fund these efforts and expand our developer in residence program.

      3. Build new relationships with organizations and stakeholders in communities related to Python such as the Scientific Python community or the packaging community, to more closely engage with the Python language community, such as NumFOCUS and CZI, but also the Rust Foundation etc. This also includes seeking new commercial partnerships.

      Guiding principles

      • Community building means clear values, an ethical mission, obvious organization, diverse backgrounds and respectful collaboration.

      • Trust those with domain knowledge and support everyone, anywhere to attain it.

      • Build bridges, not silos.