Steering Council nomination: Mariatta



Several core developers independently messaged me and wanting to nominate me, so I figured those amount to something. :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you!

Nominated by:

  • Brett Cannon
  • Guido van Rossum
  • Nathaniel Smith
  • Victor Stinner
  • Christian Heimes

Thanks all of you for your support and trust in me!

While I’m relatively new to core Python development, I bring with me many years of experience as a software professional, PyLadies Vancouver and PyCascades organizer. I hope that my involvements in open source, the wider Python community, and my professional work experience can bring more balance and diverse perspective to the Python core team.

Online presence

Core Python contributions

Other open source contributions

  • coala

    • Started contributing to coala in October 2016, granted the maintainer privilege a month later.
    • Contributed to documentation, newcomers’ guide, reviewed PRs, issue triage
    • Wrote cEP 6: coala Community Code of Conduct. Having the code of conduct has enabled coala to participate in Google Summer of Code since 2017.
    • Serve in coala’s code of conduct committee, but my involvement there is rarely needed.
    • Nowadays I consider myself an emeritus maintainer; I still have commit bit, but I haven’t been following up with coala’s development.
  • gidgethub

  • flit

  • warehouse

  • etc… (see GitHub)

Other affiliations, involvement in Python and open source community

  • PyLadies Vancouver

    I’ve been a member of PyLadies Vancouver meetup organizing team since 2016. I help plan some of the events, as well as encouraging and inviting members of the community to participate and speak at our meetups. Fernando Pérez, creator of IPython, spoke at our event in February 2018. Several of our members also became conference speakers, and have spoken at conferences like PyCascades, DjangoCon, and PyCon Canada.

    I’ve also started and published PyLadies Vancouver organizing guide.

  • PyCascades

    In early 2017, myself, and several others (Sebastian Vetter, Eric Holscher, Don Sheu, Alan Vezina, and Bryan Chow), founded and started organizing PyCascades conference. The first conference was in January 2018, it was IMHO highly successful. I was the co-chair and Program Chair of the conference.

    Some highlights of PyCascades 2018:

    • We featured balanced and diverse speaker lineup.
    • As our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, we’ve allocated 13% of our operating budget as financial aid. Despite being a first-time conference, we’re able to provide financial aids not only to any of the speakers who requested it, but also to a number of attendees.
    • Sold out all 390 tickets 1 month in advance.

    For PyCascades 2019, I took a step back in organizing and not involved in program/talk selection. I focused on providing and facilitating speaker mentorship to potential speakers. This helped improve the overall quality of the talk submissions, especially from the underrepresented minorities. Four of them got their talk selected.

  • Cambie Collective

    Since early 2018, myself and several meetup organizers in Vancouver have been collaborating to found a non-profit called Cambie Collective. Tagline: “Supporting resilient, inclusive tech and maker communities that empower positive change.” Other members of this initiative: Code and Coffee Vancouver, VanPy, VanJS, and Node School YVR.

  • Other conferences
    I have occasionally helped other regional Python / Django conferences as talk proposal reviewer and speaker mentor. I’ve started a resources repository for Python conference organizers.

Even more random information

  • The PSF Community Service Award 2018 Q3 recipient, for “her contributions to CPython, her efforts to improve the workflow of the Python core team, and her work to increase diversity in our community. In addition, her work as co-chair of PyCascades helps spread the growth of Python.”
  • I really like f-strings. Several people said they converted into f-strings users after attending my talk about PEP 498.
  • I’m allergic to cats and afraid of heights.
  • Canada is a place I truly call home, and my adopted country. I moved to Canada in year 2000 from Indonesia.


I work as a Platform Engineer at Zapier, since January 2018. Prior to that, I’ve worked for various companies across Canada for over 13 years.

Notes and reasons for the nomination:

Brett Cannon wrote:

  1. Already help organize other large-sized groups
  2. Acutely aware of what it takes to run this project having now written most of the automation around it :slight_smile:
  3. Mariatta helps make sure the entire council isn’t just a bunch of "old" folks who happen to have been around for ages (i.e. a balance of old and new views of the project)
  4. Mariatta is also acutely aware of where we are following short in our drive for better diversity and are passionate on that topic
  5. If I end up on the council as well I’m happy to work with her :slight_smile:

Nathaniel Smith wrote:

Honestly Mariatta is probably like… the single most qualified candidate IMO.

To me the job of the steering council is to keep the rest of the core team effective, organised, and interacting in a healthy way, and so the first things that come to my mind:

  • all the amazing workflow improvements she has implemented

  • Mariatta’s experience organizing pycascades, pyladies

  • obviously her experience as the first woman to become a core dev gives her a unique perspective and demonstrates serious skill and commitment

  • Mariatta’s work as a public face if the core team, trying to make core dev more accessible, like her "what is a core developer" talk

  • I think her language summit talk last year demonstrated an incredible passion and vision for a better way of working together

Victor Stinner wrote:

In short, we cannot afford to not have Mariatta in the Steering Committee! She is my role model for mentoring and diversity which helped a lot and will continue to help to get more people involved in Python. She is the author of many significant enhancements of the Python workflow which ease contributions and already increased our velocity.

Mariatta is my role model for mentoring and increasing the diversity of Python core developers.

She helped to me understand why we fail to engage contributors in the long term. Thanks to her, empathy became part of the “Python workflow”. Adding emojis and saying “thank you” isn’t just cute or nice, it’s important to create a strong relationship between contributors, building trust, and rewards them.

She also helped me to understand that everybody trades time with family, friends and paid job to be able to contribute to Python, and we have to keep that in mind. Not everybody around the world has access to same education material or is comfortable to speak in english (which may not be their first language) in a public space like a mailing list.

I’m using Mariatta’s miss-inlington bot multiple times per day and it’s amazingly easy to use it. The backports automation saved me significant time which I can now use for more useful things like mentoring. Mariatta made very significant enhancement in the Python workflow which allowed us to get more and more contributions and to increase our development velocity.

Being the first woman core dev was a challenge for her because she became a public person, and sadly had to handle bullying just because she is a woman. Thanks for her, we now have a total of four women core developers which is a great enhancement compared to the previous male-only status of 2017. She actively shared her experience to encourage people from underrepresented groups to contribute Python. Not only she have multiple difficult talks about mentoring and the diversity, but she effectively mentor these people. Mentoring takes significant time and is not always easy, but Mariatta accepted the challenge!

Guido van Rossum wrote:

I’ve mentored Mariatta for several years (from well before she became a core dev) and it’s a totally logical step for her to joint the steering council. She’s a great advocate for diversity, a great organizer, and she really knows how to get things done – all qualities I am seeking in council members.