2024 DSF Board Candidates

Posted by Katie McLaughlin on November 13, 2023 Thank you to the twelve individuals who have chosen to stand for election. This page contains their submitted candidate statements. Our deepest gratitude goes to our departing board member, Aaron Bassett, for your contributions and commitment to the Django community. Those eligible to vote in this election will receive information on how to vote shortly. Please check for an email with the subject line "2024 DSF Board Voting". The election will continue through midnight November 27, 2023 AoE.
Chris Achinga Mombasa, Kenya

My Software development career was highly influenced by developer communities. Participating in tech meet-ups and events, notably DjangoCon Africa, has not only expanded my technical skills but also shaped my approach to both personal and professional growth. This experience has motivated me to seek a position on the Django Software Foundation Board, especially after the talks from Anna Makarudze on Navigating the Open-Source World as a Minority, that highlighted the challenges of organising events that benefits African communities As an advocate for African and minority communities within the tech ecosystem, I aspire to bring a unique and necessary perspective to the DSF Board. My commitment to volunteering and giving back to the community aligns perfectly with the ethos of the Django community. My experiences have taught me the value of dedicated community organizers who selflessly share resources and knowledge, fostering an environment where developers at all levels can thrive.

Joining the DSF Board would enable me to champion the interests of young and emerging developers globally, particularly from underrepresented regions. I aim to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has equitable access to the opportunities that Django, both as a community and a web development framework, can offer.

In my role with a Non-Governmental Organization aiding youth groups along the Kenyan Coast(Swahilipot Hub Foundation), I've garnered experience in community engagement and utilizing technology for social good. This experience has been instrumental in creating Django-based platforms that empower community self-management. My presence on the DSF Board would not only represent these communities but also allow me to serve as a mentor and technical advisor.

I am eager to contribute my insights and leadership to the DSF Board. With your support, I hope to make a meaningful impact, fostering an inclusive and dynamic environment where every developer can achieve their full potential.

David Vaz Porto, Portugal

Software developer for over 20 years, fell in love with django almost at the beginning of his journey 2007, version 0.96. He loves Django and Python so much he has been bringing developers to the community since then, ended up starting his consultancy firm around these technologies.

During DjangoCon Europe 2019 at Copenhagen he decided to take the next step helping the community, proposing to organize DjangoCon Europe 2020 in Portugal. He got more than he bargained for, ending up co-organising the first virtual-only DjangoCon Europe, repeating in 2021, and finally a hybrid DjangoCon Europe in 2022. His effort, together with the team around him, was rewarded with success, the 2022 edition had record breaking attendees with 500+ in person and 200+ online. To keep things going he is also co-organising DjangoCon Europe in 2024 in Spain Vigo, hoping to bring the Spanish community closer.

David is also contributing to the Portuguese Python Community, starting in 2022 the very first PyCon Portugal. His drive is to bring The Portuguese community forward, with a different city every year to increase the reach of the conference. The first edition was in Porto, leveraging on DjangoCon Europe 2022, this year it was in Coimbra, with participants from over 25 countries, and we are already preparing the next edition.

David is enthusiastic, committed and pragmatic. Throughout his personal and professional journey, he has always had a positive impact in every process he puts his mind on, influencing, building and empowering the people around him. He hopes to put his experience to good use in Django Software Foundation.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss Oregon

I was one of the original maintainers of Django, and was the original founder and first President of the DSF. I re-joined the DSF board and have served for the last year. Outside of Django, I'm a security consultant at Latacora, and have previously ran engineering and security teams at 18F and Heroku.

When I ran for the board last year, I wrote:

> I'd be coming back to the DSF with a bunch of experience in executive leadership and more experience working with nonprofits. I think I can apply those skills, along with my general knowledge of the Django community, to push things forward. What that means, specifically, isn't entirely clear yet. I'd plan to spend the first months of my board term asking a bunch of questions and listening.

I did that asking-questions-and-listening, and what needs doing at the DSF became clear. I'd most succinctly articulate it as: "new blood".

The Django community is super-vibrant and new people are joining the community all the time, but it's very hard for people to "level up" and move to any sort of leadership position at the DSF or among the core team. We just don't have very many opportunities for people to have an impact, and we don't have good "onramps" to that work.

So, this term, I (with the rest of the board) started building some of these opportunities onramps! The recently-announced working group and membership changes are the start of this, and if re-elected I'd want to continue working in this direction. It's now easier for people to join the DSF, and easier for them to spin up working groups to do impactful work. But now we need to start defining these groups, funding them, and continuing this growth.

Jay Miller United States

The Django community often serves as a great example for many aspects of the broader Python community. Our community shines when many of us get involved. To make this happen, we need to encourage greater community involvement.

My goals for the next two years, if elected, are to increase the amount of information we share with the community while reducing the time it takes to disseminate that information to the community.

I intend to utilize the existing channels in the Django and the larger Python community. We will also establish new official communication channels for the foundation. These channels will be managed by a Communications Working Group.

The second effort is to extend our reach to a global and diverse audience. We understand that our impact can extend far beyond our current scope by expanding working groups. Therefore, I would work to create and support working groups that currently lack direct representation in the DSF. I would also advocate for decisions that directly impact these areas to be developed and executed by those individual groups with DSF support.

I hope that you will support me in this vision, which aims to increase the visibility and support of the DSF to the farthest reaches of the community.

Mahmoud Nassee Cairo/Egypt

I really like helping people and also helping this awesome community to grow. I don't have much to say 🙂.. But I really like volunteering work it helps me to make something that I could be proud of and also make some new friends!

Ngazetungue Muheue Namibia

I'm Ngazetungue Muheue, a dedicated software developer, community advocate, and a member of the Django Software Foundation (DSF). I'm also the founder of the Python and Django Community in Namibia. Despite facing unique challenges as a member of underprivileged communities and living with a disability, I've played a significant role in expanding Django by establishing and contributing to various Django and Python communities in Africa and Namibia.

Recognizing the importance of open-source communities and user-friendly technology, I've worked closely with students and underprivileged individuals to bridge the tech gap by involving them in Django user groups, teaching Django, and fostering their participation in the global tech community. As a visionary leader, I've cultivated a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and continuous learning within the African tech ecosystem. My contributions include organizing the inaugural DjangoCon Africa in 2023 and actively participating in organizing and volunteering at DjangoCon Europe in 2023 and 2022, advancing the growth of the Django ecosystem. I've also spoken at various PyCon events worldwide, showcasing my commitment to fostering the global Django and Python community.

As a board member of the Django Software Foundation, my primary goal is to expand Django communities worldwide, connect underprivileged community members with the DSF, and enhance the inclusivity of the Django community. This involves translating Django documentation for non-English speakers, increasing project grants, integrating people with disabilities into the community, and creating internship opportunities for a more diverse and empowered Django community.

Joining the DSF board will enable me to inspire and support nations in engaging young and underprivileged individuals in tech-related activities while safeguarding the interests and mission of our community and the DSF. More links: https://twitter.com/muheuenga https://2023.djangocon.africa/team https://twitter.com/djangonamibia https://na.pycon.org/ https://pynam.org/django/

Paolo Melchiorre Pescara, Italy

Ciao, I'm Paolo and I live in Italy.

I've been a contributor to the Django project for years, and a member of the DSF. I attended my first DjangoCon Europe in 2017 and have since presented many Django talks at conferences around the world. I've participated as a coach in DjangoGirls workshops several times, and I organized one in my hometown. I've always been a Python developer, I helped the PyCon Italia organization for a few years and I recently founded the Python Pescara meetup.

As a member of the DSF board of directors, I would like to bring a different point of view to the foundation, as a southern European citizen, inhabitant of the Mediterranean area, non-native English speaker, and a small company employee.

Some initiatives I would like to carry forward are:

  • organize active user sprints to focus on specific Django features
  • continue the work of renovating the Django project website
  • create synergies with the Python community and its web sub-communities
  • simplify Django documentation and help its translations
  • support creators of Django content (e.g. books, articles, podcasts, videos, ...)

  • Peter Baumgartner Colorado, USA

    I'm a current DSF board member and acting Treasurer.

    I've been a part of the Django community for over 15 years. I'm an open-source contributor, a regular speaker at DjangoCon US, and the co-author of High Performance Django. In 2007, I founded Lincoln Loop, a web agency that leverages Django extensively in its work. Lincoln Loop has financially sponsored the DSF and DjangoCon for many years, and I'm looking for other ways to give back to a community that has given us so much.

    At Lincoln Loop, I have to wear many hats and deeply understand the financial ramifications of our decisions as a company. I believe the experience of running a business will be directly applicable to a position on the DSF board, and I look forward to applying that experience if elected.

    Sarah Abderemane Paris, France

    I'm an active DSF member and I've been contributing to this amazing community via multiple ways:

  • Django contributor and Accessibility Team Member
  • Maintainer of djangoproject.com
  • Organizer of Djangonaut Space
  • Organizer of Django Paris Meetup
  • Organizer of DjangoCon Europe 2023

    I have seen many aspects of the community through all those experiences. As a relatively new member, I can bring a fresh perspective to the community and help foster a renewed sense of togetherness. I have a strong connection with Djangonaut Space mentoring program and the community. I'm well positioned to serve as an intermediary, facilitating communication regarding initiatives and ideas between the board and the community.

    I would like to increase fundraising by improving communication and making improvements to make each sponsor special by highlighting sponsors not only on the website but also on social networks. Relying on my experiences with various Django projects, I will push forward ideas to further develop our community, specifically helping existing and new contributors.

    With the community's support, I will set up a working group for mentorship and push accessibility in the framework. I am passionate about these topics as they show that Django is a framework for everyone by everyone.

    I see myself as a representative of Django's diversity and would like to emphasize and expand the richness of it even more. Being part of the board would inspire people to get involved and be part of the community. They could add their stone to the building of this wonderful community.

  • Thibaud Colas Europe

    To me, Django feels like it's in maintenance mode, a decade behind in areas like front-end development and serverless. To stay relevant compared to projects with tens of millions in venture capital, we need a more vibrant, more diverse community. We can build one together by making the right programs happen, like Djangonaut Space and Outreachy.

    The DSF also needs to evolve with the times. In the age of ChatGPT, copyright and trademarks are very dated concerns. We need a foundation that can help its community navigate modern societal challenges: social equity issues affecting our users; accessibility issues plaguing the Django web; climate change and Django's carbon footprint.

    I can help. Let's grow Django's contributors 10x, and have the Django universe lead by example in community-driven open source.

    Tom Carrick Amsterdam, Netherlands

    I've been using Django since 2008. A lot has changed since then, but one constant has been my wish to see Django continuously improve.

    I'm active in the community in many ways. I've been a regular code contributor since 2016. I founded the accessibility team, and also started the official Discord server. So I've dedicated quite some time to Django already, but I have room for more, with even more impact.

    I would like to help grow the next generation of Django contributors, from more diverse backgrounds. From running DjangoCon sprint tables over the years, and getting involved with Djangonaut Space, it's clear to me that the new contributor experience has substantial room for improvement.

    I also want to expand Django's fundraising efforts. It's becoming difficult to add important new features. We need more funding to hire more Fellows, and expand their remit to work on bigger features.

    The new working groups are a much needed initiative, and I'd love to help develop all these ideas to their fullest potential.

    Velda Kiara Nairobi, Kenya

    As a passionate software developer and technical writer deeply rooted in the open-source community, I am honored to be running for the DSF board. My experience in contributing to open-source projects, coupled with my leadership background in the Open Source Community Africa Nairobi, has ignited my desire to enhance the participation and contributions of communities from diverse backgrounds. My involvement in open-source initiatives has made me appreciate the power of collaboration and the impact of collective efforts. I have witnessed firsthand how open-source communities foster innovation and inclusivity, enabling individuals from all over the world to share their knowledge and expertise.

    Driven by my belief of open source impact, I aspire to elevate the DSF board's decision-making process by incorporating the unique perspectives and insights of communities from diverse backgrounds. My experience working with developer communities has equipped me with the skills and empathy necessary to understand and address the specific needs of these underrepresented groups. As a leader, I prioritize decision-making that aligns with the needs and aspirations of the community. I believe in fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered to participate, contribute, and lead. My commitment to inclusivity extends beyond the color of one's skin; I envision a DSF community that embraces and celebrates the diversity of thought, experience, and background.

    My passion for Django and my role as an advocate for the framework extend beyond personal preference. I recognize the immense value of Django to the developer community and am eager to contribute further through the DSF board. I believe that my involvement will allow me to add value to the Django community, supporting its growth and ensuring that it remains a thriving hub for developers worldwide. My journey in the open-source community began with a fascination for the framework. However, over time, I have come to realize that the true beauty of open-source lies in the community that surrounds it. I am committed to giving back to this community, not just as a developer or technical writer, but also as a leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion.

    I humbly ask for your vote to join the DSF board and contribute my skills, experience, and passion to the continued growth and success of the Django community. Together, we can create a more inclusive and vibrant open-source ecosystem that empowers individuals from all backgrounds to innovate, collaborate, and make a lasting impact on the world.

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