Carol Willing is the VP of Engineering at Noteable, a three-time Python Steering Council member, a Python Core Developer, PSF Fellow, and a Project Jupyter core contributor. In 2019, she was awarded the Frank Willison Award for technical and community contributions to Python. As part of the Jupyter core team, Carol was awarded the 2017 ACM Software System Award for Project Jupyter's lasting influence. She's also a leader in open science and open-source governance serving on Quansight Labs Advisory Board and the CZI Open Science Advisory Board. She's driven to make open science accessible through open tools and learning materials.
James Powell's hacker name is “dontusethiscode” (or sometimes “dutc”)… which is also the name of the company where he works. Since 2014, Don't Use This Code has been confusing procurement staff, contract attorneys, and even the occasional managing director—“is this the name of a real company?” Yes, yes it is, and the Don't Use This Code team provides consulting and training services in software development, scientific computing, data analysis, and data engineering.
James is also a prolific speaker, having spoken at over eighty conferences worldwide. He has worn a suit and tie for every programming talk he's ever given, which is good, because it sets the bar on expectations really low. One time at PyCon, Guido even asked about the suit, to which James replied, “I am the most subversively dressed person here.
James is a dedicated supporter of the open source and open source scientific computing communities. In his volunteer time, he serves as the chairman of the NumFOCUS board of directors, as well as a lead organizer for NYC Python. He has also advised, chaired, and served on the organizing committee for over fifty open source conferences worldwide.
Margaret Mitchell is a researcher focused on the ins and outs of machine learning and ethics-informed AI development in tech. She has published over 50 papers on natural language generation, assistive technology, computer vision, and AI ethics, and holds multiple patents in the areas of conversation generation and sentiment classification. She currently works at Hugging Face as Chief Ethics Scientist, driving forward work in the ML development ecosystem, ML data governance, AI evaluation, and AI ethics. She previously worked at Google AI as a Staff Research Scientist, where she founded and co-led Google's Ethical AI group, focused on foundational AI ethics research and operationalizing AI ethics Google-internally. Before joining Google, she was a researcher at Microsoft Research, focused on computer vision-to-language generation; and was a postdoc at Johns Hopkins, focused on Bayesian modeling and information extraction. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Aberdeen and a Master's in computational linguistics from the University of Washington. While earning her degrees, she also worked from 2005-2012 on machine learning, neurological disorders, and assistive technology at Oregon Health and Science University. She has spearheaded a number of workshops and initiatives at the intersections of diversity, inclusion, computer science, and ethics. Her work has received awards from Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and the American Foundation for the Blind, and has been implemented by multiple technology companies. She likes gardening, dogs, and cats.
Ned Batchelder has been active in the Python community for more than 20 years. He is an organizer of Boston Python, and the maintainer of coverage.py and a handful of other tools. He works at 2U/edX on the Open edX project which powers edx.org and thousands of other online learning sites around the world. He blogs at https://nedbatchelder.com, and is on Mastodon as @firstname.lastname@example.org.
To commemorate the special anniversary celebrating 20 years of PyCon US, we’ve invited a couple special guests to share their reflection of the Python community and their visions going forward.
Python Steering Council
The Python Steering Council is a 5-person elected committee that assumes a mandate to maintain the quality and stability of the Python language and CPython interpreter, improve the contributor experience, formalize and maintain a relationship between the Python core team and the PSF, establish decision making processes for Python Enhancement Proposals, seek consensus among contributors and the Python core team, and resolve decisions and disputes in decision making among the language.
Guido van Rossum
Guido van Rossum created Python in 1990 while working at CWI in Amsterdam. He was the language's BDFL until he stepped down in 2018. He has held various tech jobs, including Senior Staff Engineer at Google and Principal Engineer at Dropbox. He is currently a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, where he is still actively involved in Python's development. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he moved to the US in 1995 and currently lives with his family in the Bay Area.
Deb Nicholson is the Executive Director at the Python Software Foundation, the non-profit steward of the Python programming language. She is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. After years of local organizing on free speech, marriage equality, government transparency and access to the political process, she joined the free software movement in 2006. She has previously served the open source ecosystem through her work at the Open Source Initiative, Software Freedom Conservancy, and the Open Invention Network. She’s won the O’Reilly Open Source Award and the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for her efforts to broaden the free and open source software movement. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.