I've been helping in the organization of Pycon France for years, --not recently though-- and I've also been lightly involved in the FOSDEM Python room this year.
There's one thing that frustrated me a lot in this exercise: the inability to reach out specific people in the Python community.
I was never really able to answer questions like this:
- I want a list of all Numpy specialists in Europe that are willing to give a talk.
- I want a list of all women developers that are willing to give a talk about Python in Europe.
- I want a list of experts that can help me selecting the right talks for a given topic.
- I want to know who loves Python in Burgundy!
Of course you can shout out on a blog, on twitter, or try to reach the right people through your network.
For the second question --reaching out women-- I've learnt too late that I should've worked with the PyLadies on this, or even the Ada initiative.
But this is too much work. I just want to reach out the right people without having to go through a lot of intermediates.
I want to have a single place on the internets where Bob and Sarah can add a list of topics they are involved into, tell if they are interested in giving talks, in what area of the world, etc.
I think it can't be Lanyard because they would probably not let me query their users database with specific queries like the ones I mentioned. It can't be Linkedin for the same reasons.
I was pointed to some directories that looked a bit like what I envisioned, but they were local directories that just listed Python people without giving all the info I am looking for.
So what I think the Python community is missing is a worldwide Pythoneers directory that is not affiliated to any group, organization, company or foundation -- were users can fill out a profile with their interests in Python.
So I am going to try to build that tool during the next Europython in Italy.
The features I want are pretty simple:
- the ability to connect with your github or bitbucket account.
- the ability to build a page about you, a little bit like about.me, but with predefined, optional fields like your gender, your location, the projects you are involved into, and so on.
- the ability for someone to query & reach out a specific group of people.
Of course, this raises some issues, like the fact that it could be used by commercial companies to send some unsollicited e-mails like recruiting e-mails, or simple spams. But people are already used to deal with this as soon as they have a public life.
If you are interested in this, reach me out or add a comment. The goal will be to talk about the idea, refine it, and have a first version running by the end of Europython, and see if we get somewhere.