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Nominee for 2022 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Joe Kaufeld

  • Previous Board Service: New board member
  • Employer: SpotOn Transact, LLC
  • Other Affiliations: Grafeas Group, LTD
  • Nominee Statement:

      As a language, community, and ecosystem, Python has held a special place in my heart ever since I first picked up the metaphorical pen in 2012. Since then, Python has returned the favor by serving as the platform for my career, both in a professional sense and a personal one. With it having such a dramatic impact on my life, I am applying to serve on the PSF Board so that I might be able to help others find the same resources, support, and success.

      Though I've worked with Python professionally since 2015, it's 2017 that holds the most meaning. In April of that year, I co-founded the accessibility initiative TranscribersOfReddit, a job board on the news aggregation site for taking images, audio, & video and crowdsourcing the transformation of that content into plain text: a format that everyone can access. TranscribersOfReddit, and the resulting 501(c)3 we founded to maintain it, is powered entirely by Python and I fully believe that without the incredible community that we are so privileged to have, our idea may have never gotten off the ground. 250,000 transcriptions and 5,500 volunteers later, Python has helped us bring millions of people a laugh, a chuckle, a shake of the head, or a greater understanding of something that was previously out of reach.

      Through my nomination to the PSF board, I would like to focus on two things:

      Assisting with grants and monetary resources to help spread Python knowledge

      Not everyone has the financial capability to attend PyCon or put on an event in their area, and I feel strongly that the contributions and assistance of the PSF are what help make these dreams come true. As a former recipient of the travel grant, I can attest the importance of being able to attend PyCon as a junior developer and how the program specifically helped me achieve professional goals. I want to assist in streamlining the process and making it more accessible wherever possible.

      Literally everything relating to PyCon

      I've accumulated roughly 13 years of experience putting on trade shows and conventions, filling roles ranging from security to vendor to assistant director of the expo hall. My prior experience will directly help grow and strengthen PyCon.

      Something specific I would like to see implemented is a set of welcome / walkthrough videos detailing how each part of the PyCon experience works. The new attendee orientation is a wonderful resource, but not all new attendees can take advantage of it. For neurodivergent folks, those struggling with extreme anxiety, or folks who just can't make it on Thursday, it would be beneficial to have a set of resources that physically demonstrates what different processes at PyCon look like ("The Registration Desk", "The Expo Hall", "Attending a Talk", "Getting Food During a Break", "Finding Help", "Navigating the Hallway Track", etc.) so that anyone interested in attending but terrified at the idea can get the information they need to feel confident before ever setting foot in the convention center.

      Everyone deserves access to information. The work of the PSF is instrumental in ensuring that information, knowledge, and irreplaceable experience continues to flow throughout the community and help us all.