software engineer, consultant, conference speaker, #tech4good, #stacktivism

Python Software Foundation: Working Groups / Work Groups


An excellent way for transformative work to happen with the PSF are with Work Groups. These are member organized groups with a charter, that informs the Board on suggestions and decisions.

Read more about working groups / work groups and see my suggestions on what I think the next most impactful, new work groups should be.

In this post I'll call them "Work Groups" but in many instances outside of this post, I've been known to say "Working Groups" and you'll also see it referred to as a "Workgroup."

Many of the PSF staff and PSF board sit on some of the Work Groups ourselves.

The Python Software Foundation runs with the help of staff, led by our Executive Director Deb Nicholson, and volunteers. Those of you who have been keeping up with recent news from The PSF Board may know that we recently hired a Packaging Project Manager, Infrastructure Engineer and a CPython Developer in Residence. Those really in the know, have hear that we have a few positions open and opening: Community Events Coordinator, Community Communications Manager (open), PyPI Safety and Security Engineer (closed) and Security Developer in Residence.

Even with the growing staff, the work never stops supporting the community around one of the fastest growing programming languages. The Board of Directors sits alongside the staff by providing voice of the community, elected by the community (elections are happening now! re-affirm your membership so you're ready to vote June 20th), tasked to do the extra research, push initiatives and listen to the community.

The Board of Directors meets every other month to discuss a proposed agenda, hear from work groups, review pressing items. To keep up with the Board minutes all the way back to 2001, you can check them out here: PSF Meeting Minutes | There's only so much we can accomplish in this time and although we have great ideas, the work groups are invaluable in acting on community needs.

Work Groups are initiative driven efforts by Python Software Foundation members to address a need in the community.

Work Groups do not have to exist into perpetuity. If and when there is a spike in work needed, a work group could be spun up to address the need; however, I have not seen or heard work groups gain enough traction and popularity to be as agile as this. There is nothing stopping the community from using it as flexible, responsive tool.

Current Active Work Groups:

  • Code of Conduct Work Group - conduct-wg at
    • Formed in 2018, this work group has remained very active in my first year on the board. They take their presence and responsibility to the community very seriously through addressing formal Code of Conduct complaints with recommendations for the PSF Board.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Work Group
    • The D&I WG has started live streams and "Friendly Chats" > D&I Friendly Chat ( !
    • Iqbal Abdullah - PSF Fellow and D&I one of the work group organizers, led by Marlene Mhangami - advised the work group in person at our PyCon 2023 PSF meeting. We had what I feel was an enlightening chat about the future of addressing the global representation in Python, which is currently skewed White, Male, middle-aged, European and North American. We gathered ideas and thought about resources needed to accomplish what everyone agrees is a top priority for growing membership.
  • Grants Work Group - psf-grants at
    • The PSF Board hears from the Grants Work Group a lot. Any time a grants application exceeds $10,000 USD it is kicked up to the Board along with a recommendation and context from the application and the Grants Work Group.
    • On average, we see about an application per meeting, with it getting more during conference season (Spring and Fall).
    • To learn more about the PSF Grant process and requirements, read our Community page PSF Grants Program | Python Software Foundation
    • Notes from a Board member:
      • Grants applications should come in 3+ months in advance especially if it is over $10,000 USD request. The official request is 6 weeks, but three months is an opinion gathered from my first year on the Board. The Grants Work Group is very diligent, but they deserve at least a month to review -- probably more -- and if the application is over $9,999 USD the PSF Board meets every other month, it may take maximum two months for the PSF Board to see the application. There are other ways around this, but in a practical approach, I recommend 3+ months.
      • Grants do not cover "swag".
      • Detailed budgets, invoices and quotes are important to the full application. The review process is handled by groups of people experienced in organizing conferences in some form or fashion so at least a dozen people look at the budget for every application.
      • You may be approved for less than what you have requested, so ask for what you want and not what you need. Each item must be associated with a specific cost in the budget and must be related directly to the event. Essential expenses should be highlighted.
      • It is good to see there are other grant sources beyond the PSF. The PSF is here to supplement and help fund events that otherwise would have to cancel close to the finish line. Our metric for the amount to grant is heavily weighted by the number of attendees and would not typically be enough to sustain an entire event. It is helpful to see in the application the other sources that are providing sponsorship.
  • Infrastructure Work Group
    • The Infrastructure WG exists to coordinate volunteers undertaking large projects on the PSF infrastructure, or committing to long term volunteer support and improvement of the systems that support the global Python community.
  • Python Job Board Work Group
  • Marketing Work Group
  • Packaging Work Group
  • Scientific Python Work Group
  • Trademarks Work Group
  • Fellows Work Group

What Work Groups are needed?

I've been keeping a running list of the Work Groups that I think could address some of the persistent and sticky issues coming up in 2022-2023:

  • Elections and Membership Work Group
    • Membership drives, education and advocacy
    • Language on the Membership page of
    • Language on the Elections page of
    • Track membership numbers and engagement along with our excellent membership admin staff, who wear many different hats for the PSF.
    • Election timeline
    • Election communications: social, email, newsletter, blog
    • Be aware, govern and advocate for the PSF Membership Bylaws
  • Website Work Group
    • We have a great, highly active website that needs maintenance and information organization like any other. The staff does a great job responding to needs, but a Work group could help with efficiency, batching issues/requests and Quality Assurance.
  • Python Users Group + Events Work Group
    • Could eventually split in two if necessary, because I could imagine this group could get big enough to separate activities.
    • Create a Python User Group in a Box repository
    • Create a PyCon in a Box repository
    • Work with teams who apply to the Grants group to help with logistics for events.
    • Work with Fiscal Sponsorees to support their events.
    • Work with the Code of Conduct Work Group to facilitate responses to CoC violations for events and UGs.
    • Work with the new Communications position (to be filled at the time of this blog post) to publicize the events on
    • Organize the many, many calendars that exist for Python events.
    • Support the work of
    • Provide help and mentorship for a common problem in Python events: Who has the bank account? Who writes the checks? Is this event "for profit" and how to run a "for profit" Python event ethically and transparently.
    • Share and add to the list of Resources for virtual events |

Additional Thoughts

I feel strongly that the existence and success of a Python User Group / PUG Work Group will have many downstream effects that would help the community. The knowledge and interest exist in the community for it.

A PUG Work Group could:

  • increase membership. If organized well (like with a PUG-in-a-box, an idea done well with Django Girls), we have a forkable repo that can pull PSF updates, PyPI updates, WG update, Jet Brains survey, other events and advocate for PSF membership: basic, supporting, contributing, managing or fellow.
  • increase the number of Python programmers. I learned to program and attended my first Django Girls because Philly PUG.
  • increase the quantity and quality of venue proposals for regional PyCons and other Python events like DjangoCon, FlaskCon, SciPy, PyData.
  • increase the global reach of the Python User Groups. There are many self-organized Python groups all over the world that could provide insight on how to improve PUG processes and give ideas into new types of events.
  • support safe spaces by giving resources for how to handle Code of Conduct violations and what even is the PSF Code of Conduct.
  • get funding for local PUGs.

Inactive Work Groups

If any of these work groups seem interesting to you and you'd like to dust off the cobwebs and revive them, you should! It's a great opportunity to shine a light on an initiative that already has the scaffolding but lost the momentum.

If you would like to begin a new PSF Work Group, follow these steps:

Source: Example PSF Workgroup Page - PSF Wiki (

  1. Make sure the PSF Workgroup topic pertains to the PSF mission. You can read the PSF mission here.
  2. Get a group of WG members together. If you are looking for members to recruit to your WG, you can try the mailing list.
  3. Draft a charter up. Here is an example charter to get you started: PSF Example WG Charter. It is also a good idea to check out the WG charters for inspiration
  4. Send the charter to the PSF Board and let them know of any resources you are requesting for your group
  5. Send monthly reports of your progress to or to

Example WG Charter: Example PSF Workgroup Charter - PSF Wiki (