Sunday, February 22, 2015

PSF Community Service Award goes to Django Girls

Last week the PSF Board passed the following resolution:
“RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation award the 4th Quarter 2014 Community Service Awards to Ola Sitarska and Ola Sendecka for their work creating and growing Django Girls, an educational program which has reached more than half a dozen countries, and continues to grow to many more.”
Django Girls was founded by Ola Sitarska and Ola Sendecka as a workshop for about 20 people at EuroPython 2014 in Berlin. According to the Django Girls Website
"Django Girls is a non-profit organization that empowers and helps women to organize free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources and support."
I asked Ola Sitarska for her reaction to receiving the PSF award and she responded:
"Receiving the Community Service Award was a wonderful surprise and amazing honor. I never expected that to happen and I couldn't be more grateful for all the support me and Ola received from the Python community while working on Django Girls."
She also gave me some additional background on their extraordinary growth and future plans.
"So far, we've taught Python and Django to 670 women in places like Germany, Poland, Uganda, Kenya, Ukraine, Taiwan, Australia, United States, and many more.  All attendees were complete beginners in the world of technology, but a couple of them are already working as Django Developers, taking an active role in Python and Django communities. This year we hope to grow even more, develop new open source teaching materials and setup a Django Girls non-profit organization based in US. You can help us make it happen by becoming a Django Girls Patron."
The PSF isn't the only organization that has recognized the significant contribution made by Django Girls. Last year they were honored with the Django Software Foundation's "Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize".
I'm also very happy to report that the Django Girls will be bringing their one-day workshop to PyCon 2015 in Montreal on April 9: PyCon Montreal 2015 Django Girls Workshop. In addition, there will be workshops all over the world next year. See Django for the full schedule of cities and to find out how to become a Django Girls Patron.
For those unable to attend a workshop, Django Girls also provides a free online tutorial that has been used by more 30,000 people. I, myself, as a novice programmer, have taken it and found it to be extremely understandable, effective, and fun. 
A hearty congratulations and thank you to this terrific organization!