Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 Bylaw Changes

The PSF has changed its bylaws, following a discussion and vote among the voting members. I'd like to publicly explain those changes.

For each of the changes, I will describe  1.) what the bylaws used to say prior to June 2017 2.) what the new bylaws say and 3.) why the changes were implemented.

Certification of Voting Members
  • What the bylaws used to say
Every member had to acknowledge that they wanted to vote/or not vote every year.
  • What the bylaws now say
The bylaws now say that the list of voters is based on criteria decided upon by the board.
  • Why was this change made?
The previous bylaws pertaining to this topic created too much work for our staff to handle and sometimes it was not done because we did not have the time resources to do it. We can now change the certification to something more manageable for our staff and our members.

Voting in New PSF Fellow Members
  • What the bylaws used to say
We did not have a procedure in place for this in the previous bylaws.
  • What the bylaws now say
Now the bylaws allow any member to nominate a Fellow. Additionally, it gives the chance for the PSF Board to create a work group for evaluating the nominations.
  • Why was this change made?
We lacked a procedure. We had several inquiries and nominations in the past, but did not have a policy to respond with. Now that we voted in this bylaw, the PSF Board voted in the creation of the Work Group. We can now begin accepting new Fellow Members after several years.
Staggered Board Terms
  • What the bylaws used to say
We did not have staggered board terms prior to June 2017. Every director would be voted on every term.
  • What the bylaws now say
The bylaws now say that in the June election, the top 4 voted directors would hold 3 year terms, the next 4 voted-in directors hold 2 year terms and the next 3 voted-in directors hold 1 year terms. That resulted in:
  1. Naomi Ceder (3 yr)
  2. Eric Holscher (3 yr)
  3. Jackie Kazil (3 yr)
  4. Paul Hildebrandt (3 yr)
  5. Lorena Mesa (2 yr)
  6. Thomas Wouters (2 yr)
  7. Kushal Das (2 yr)
  8. Marlene Mhangami (2 yr)
  9. Kenneth Reitz (1 yr)
  10. Trey Hunner (1 yr)
  11. Paola Katherine Pacheco (1 yr)
  • Why was this change made?
The main push behind this change is continuity. As the PSF continues to grow, we are hoping to make it more stable and sustainable. Having some directors in place for more than one year will help us better complete short-term and long-term projects. It will also help us pass on context from previous discussions and meetings.
Direct Officers
  • What the bylaws used to say
We did not have Direct Officers prior to June 2017.
  • What the bylaws now say
The bylaws state that the current General Counsel and Director of Operations will be the Direct Officers of the PSF. Additionally, they state that the Direct Officers become the 12th and 13th members of the board giving them rights to vote on board business. Direct Officers can be removed by a.) fail of an approval vote, held on at least the same schedule as 3-year-term directors; b) leave the office associated with the officer director position; or c) fail a no-confidence vote.
  • Why was this change made?
In an effort to become a more stable and mature board, we are appointing two important positions to be directors of the board. Having the General Counsel and Director of Operations on the board helps us have more strength with legal situations and how the PSF operates. The two new Direct Officers are:
  1. Van Lindberg
  2. Ewa Jodlowska
Delegating Ability to Set Compensation
  • What the bylaws used to say
The bylaws used to state that the President of the Foundation would direct how compensation of the Foundation’s employees was decided.
  • What the bylaws now say
The bylaws have changed so that the Board of Directors decide how employee compensation is decided.
  • Why was this change made?
This change was made because even though we keep the president informed of major changes, Guido does not participate in day to day operations nor employee management. We wanted the bylaws to clarify the most effective and fair way we set compensation for our staff.

We hope this breakdown sheds light on the changes and why they were important to implement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Welcome New Board Members

The PSF is thrilled to welcome six new board members, chosen on June 11 during the 2017 PSF Board Election. The PSF would not be what it is without the expertise and diversity of our board, and we look forward to seeing what our new members accomplish this quarter. Read on to learn more about them and their initial goals as PSF Board Members.

Paul Hildebrandt has been a Senior Engineer with Walt Disney Animation Studios since 1996. He resides outside of Los Angeles with his wife and three boys. In his first quarter, he hopes to serve the Python community by better understanding the well-oiled machine that is the PSF and by handling regular board activity. He desires to contribute by focusing on sponsorship and corporate involvement opportunities.

Eric Holscher is co-founder of Read the Docs and Write the Docs, where he works
to elevate the status of documentation in the software industry. He has hiked 800 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, and spends most of his spare time in the woods or traveling the world. His wish is to focus on sustainability and to create a new initiative that will bring in sponsors who are focused on the sustainability of the ecosystem such as PyPI, Read the Docs, and pip.

Marlene Mhangami is the director and co-founder of ZimboPy, an organization that teaches Zimbabwean girls how to code in Python. Through her organization she has worked with the organizers of Django Girls Chinoyi and Harare, as well as PyCon Zimbabwe to grow the use of Python locally. Her goals for the quarter are to help connect, support, and represent issues relevant to Pythonistas in Africa. She will seek to increase the number of PyCons in the region and facilitate the inclusion of women and other underrepresented groups.

Paola Katherine Pacheco is a backend Python developer and organizer of Python groups such as PyLadies Brazil, PyLadies Rio de Janeiro, Django Girls Rio de Janeiro, Pyladies Mendoza and Python Mendoza. She runs a YouTube channel where she teaches Python in Portuguese. Her goals this quarter are to energize Python events for the Brazilian and Argentine Python communities, and to increase diversity by promoting education and events to women and underrepresented groups.

Kenneth Reitz is the product owner of Python at Heroku. He is well-known for his many open source software projects, specifically Requests: HTTP for Humans. He seeks to contribute towards the PSF's continued optimization of its operations, increase its sustainability, and the sustainability of the entire Python ecosystem.

Thomas Wouters is a long-time CPython core developer and a founding PSF member. He has worked at Google since 2006, maintaining the internal Python infrastructure. His immediate goal is to get reacquainted with the PSF procedures and the matters the board attends to, both of which have changed a lot since he last served on the Board of Directors. Longer term, he would like to work on the awareness of the practical side of the Python community: the website, mailing lists, and other help channels like IRC, as well as actual code development and services like PyPI.