Friday, March 29, 2024

DjangoCon Africa Grant Process Retrospective

The PSF received an open letter asking us, amongst other things, to look into some of our recent grant decisions and make recommendations to the PSF Board for improving the Grants Program. We contracted Carol Willing, of Willing Consulting, to do this work in the form of a retrospective. Carol’s scope included reading through mailing lists, examining Board and Grants Working group norms, creating a comprehensive timeline, conducting interviews, documenting findings, and offering recommendations for the future.

In the retrospective Willing contextualizes the PSF Grants Program as part of the work of a non-profit with a charitable mission, incorporating research on best practices and effective governance. The full text of the DjangoCon Africa Grant Process Retrospective is now available.  We are eager to explore the suggestions made in the retrospective and respond to community feedback.


This retrospective is just one step in our process to ensure the PSF Grants Program is responsive, transparent, and more approachable. We also recently started hosting PSF Grants Program Office Hours. The office hours are a text-only chat-based session hosted on the Python Software Foundation Discord at 1-2PM UTC (9AM Eastern) on the third Tuesday of the month. (Check what time that is for you.)  We look forward to sharing more of our progress as we continue to enhance and improve the PSF Grants Program. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Announcing a PyPI Support Specialist

We launched the Python Package Index (PyPI) in 2003 and for most of its history a robust and dedicated volunteer community kept it running. Eventually, we put a bit of PSF staff time into the maintenance of the Index, and last year with support from AWS we hired Mike Fiedler to work full-time on PyPI’s urgent security needs.

PyPI has grown enormously in the last 20+ years, and in recent years it has reached a truly massive scale with growth only continuing upward. In 2022 alone, PyPI saw a 57% growth and as of this writing, there are over a half a million packages on PyPI. The impact PyPI has these days is pretty breathtaking. Running a free public service of that size has come with challenges, too. As PyPI has grown, the work of communicating with users and solving account issues here has grown in tandem and out-stripped our current volunteer plus one tenth of a staff person capacity. We also know that some community members have noticed and expressed frustration with the time-frame that goes with tasks that don't have sufficient staffing.

Much of this work is sensitive and complex such that it needs to be performed by a PSF staff person. It involves personal information and verification processes to make sure we’re giving access and names to the correct entities. Work like this needs to be done by a person who is here day after day to carry out multi-step verification procedures and is accountable to the PSF. 

We are very happy to share the news that we are hiring a person to help us manage the increased capacity and allow us to keep pace with PyPI’s seemingly unstoppable growth. This is an associate role that is 100% remote. Please take a look at this posting for a PyPI Support Specialist and share it with your networks.