30. Core Developer Motivations and Affiliations

CPython core developers participate in the core development process for a variety of reasons. Being accepted as a core developer indicates that an individual is interested in acquiring those responsibilities, has the ability to collaborate effectively with existing core developers, and has had the time available to demonstrate both that interest and that ability.

This page allows core developers that choose to do so to provide more information to the rest of the Python community regarding their personal situation (such as their general location and professional affiliations), as well as any personal motivations that they consider particularly relevant.

Core developers that wish to provide this additional information add a new entry to the Published entries section below. Guidelines relating to content and layout are included as comments in the source code for this page.

Core developers that are available for training, consulting, contract, or full-time work, or are seeking crowdfunding support for their community contributions, may also choose to provide that information here (including linking out to commercial sites with the relevant details).

For more information on the origins and purpose of this page, see Goals of this page.

30.1. Published entries

The following core developers have chosen to provide additional details regarding their professional affiliations and (optionally) other reasons for participating in the CPython core development process:

Brett Cannon (Canada)

  • Personal site: snarky.ca
  • Extended bio
  • Microsoft (Software Developer)
  • Python Software Foundation (Fellow)

Nick Coghlan (Australia)

  • Personal site: Curious Efficiency
  • Extended bio
  • Red Hat (Software Engineer, Developer Experience)
  • Python Software Foundation (Fellow, Packaging Working Group)

Nick originally began participating in CPython core development as an interesting and enlightening hobby activity while working for Boeing Defence Australia. After commencing work for Red Hat, he also became involved in a range of topics related directly to improving the experience of Python developers on the Fedora Linux distribution and derived platforms, and now works for Red Hat’s Developer Experience team.

In addition to his personal and professional interest in ensuring Python remains an excellent choice for Linux-based network service and system utility development, he is also interested in helping to ensure its continued suitability for educational and data analysis use cases.

Christian Heimes (Germany)

  • Red Hat (Software Developer, Security Engineering / Identity Management)
  • Python Software Foundation (Fellow)

R. David Murray (United States)

David has been involved in the Internet since the days when the old IBM BITNET and the ARPANet got cross connected, and in Python programming since he first discovered it around the days of Python 1.4. After transitioning from being Director of Operations for dialup Internet providers (when that business started declining) to being a full time independent consultant, David started contributing directly to CPython development. He became a committer in 2009. He subsequently took over primary maintenance of the email package from Barry Warsaw, and contributed the unicode oriented API. David is also active in mentoring new contributors and, when time is available, working on the infrastructure that supports CPython development, specifically the Roundup-based bug tracker and the buildbot system.

David currently does both proprietary and open source development work, primarily in Python, through the company in which he is a partner, Murray & Walker, Inc. He has done contract work focused specifically on CPython development both through the PSF (the kickstart of the email unicode API development) and directly funded by interested corporations (additional development work on email funded by QNX, and work on CPython ICC support funded by Intel). He would like to spend more of his (and his company’s) time on open source work, and so is actively seeking additional such contract opportunities.

Victor Stinner (France)

Victor is hacking the development version of CPython to make Python better than ever.

Kushal Das (India)

  • Personal website
  • Red Hat (Fedora Cloud Engineer)
  • Python Software Foundation (Fellow)

30.2. Goals of this page

The issue metrics automatically collected by the CPython issue tracker strongly suggest that the current core development process is bottlenecked on core developer time - this is most clearly indicated in the first metrics graph, which shows both the number of open issues and the number of patches awaiting review growing steadily over time, despite CPython being one of the most active open source projects in the world. This bottleneck then impacts not only resolving open issues and applying submitted patches, but also the process of identifying, nominating and mentoring new core developers.

The core commit statistics monitored by sites like OpenHub provide a good record as to who is currently handling the bulk of the review and maintenance work, but don’t provide any indication as to the factors currently influencing people’s ability to spend time on reviewing proposed changes, or mentoring new contributors.

This page aims to provide at least some of that missing data by encouraging core developers to highlight professional affiliations in the following two cases (even if not currently paid for time spent participating in the core development process):

  • developers working for vendors that distribute a commercially supported Python runtime
  • developers working for Sponsor Members of the Python Software Foundation

These are cases where documenting our affiliations helps to improve the overall transparency of the core development process, as well as making it easier for staff at these organisations to locate colleagues that can help them to participate in and contribute effectively to supporting the core development process.

Core developers working for organisations with a vested interest in the sustainability of the CPython core development process are also encouraged to seek opportunities to spend work time on mentoring potential new core developers, whether through the general core mentorship program, through mentoring colleagues, or through more targeted efforts like Outreachy’s paid internships and Google’s Summer of Code.

Core developers that are available for consulting or contract work on behalf of the Python Software Foundation or other organisations are also encouraged to provide that information here, as this will help the PSF to better facilitate funding of core development work by organisations that don’t directly employ any core developers themselves.

Finally, some core developers seeking to increase the time they have available to contribute to CPython may wish to pursue crowdfunding efforts that allow their contributions to be funded directly by the community, rather than relying on institutional sponsors allowing them to spend some or all of their work time contributing to CPython development.

30.3. Limitations on scope

  • Specific technical areas of interest for core developers should be captured in the Experts Index.
  • This specific listing is limited to CPython core developers (since it’s focused on the specific constraint that is core developer time), but it would be possible to create a more expansive listing on the Python wiki that also covers issue triagers, and folks seeking to become core developers.
  • Changes to the software and documentation maintained by core developers, together with related design discussions, all take place in public venues, and hence are inherently subject to full public review. Accordingly, core developers are NOT required to publish their motivations and affiliations if they do not choose to do so. This helps to ensure that core contribution processes remain open to anyone that is in a position to sign the Contributor Licensing Agreement, the details of which are filed privately with the Python Software Foundation, rather than publicly.