Selena Deckelmann's blog

Python Core Summit: notes from my talk today

posted on Apr 09, 2014
tags: core summit education

I gave a short talk today about new coders and contributors to developer documentation today. Here are my notes!

Me: Selena Deckelmann Data Architect, Mozilla Major contributor to PostgreSQL, PyLadies organizer in Portland, OR

Focusing on Documentation, Teaching and Outreach

Two main forks of thought around teaching and outreach: 1. Brand new coders: PyLadies, Software Carpentry and University are the main communities represented 2. New contributors to Python & ecosystem

1. Brand new coders: PyLadies, Software Carpentry and University are the main communities represented

(a) Information architecture of the website

Where do you go if you are a teacher or want to teach a workshop? Totally unclear on Really could use a section on the website for this, microsite.

Version 2 vs 3 is very confusing for new developers. Most workshops default to 2, some workshops now require 3. Maybe mark clearly on all workshops which version. Generally this is a very confusing issue when encountering the site for the first time.

Possible solution: Completely separate "brand new coder" tutorial. Jessica McKellar would like to write this.

(b) Packaging and Installation problems -- see earlier long conversation in this meeting about this. Many problems linked to having to compile C code while installing with pip

(c) New coder contribution can come through documenting of issues around install and setup. We could make this easier -- maybe direct initial reports to stack overflow, and then float solutions to

2. New contributors to Python & ecosystem -- with a focus on things useful for keeping documentation and tutorials up-to-date and relevant

(a) GNOME Outreach Program for Women - Python is participating!

More people from core should participate as mentors! PSF is funding 2-3 students this cycle, Twisted has participated for a while and had a great experience. This program is great because:

Jessica McKellar and Lynn Root are mentors for Python itself. See them for more details about this round! Selena is a coordinator and former mentor for Mozilla's participation and also available to answer questions.

(b) Write the Docs conference is a python-inspired community around documentation.

(c) Openstack - Anne Gentle & her blog. 3-year participant in OpenStack community and great resource for information about building technical documentation community.

(d) Better tooling for contribution could be a great vector for getting new contributors.


Type selection is not relevant to 'documentation' errors/fixes. Either remove 'type' from the UI or provide relevant types. I recommend removing 'type' as a required (or implied required) form field when entering a bug.

The larger issue here is around how we design for contribution of docs:

Also see the "tooling for contribution"

Have some feedback? Corrections? Ideas for other posts? Contact me @selenamarie.