Roll call: women in python

Lately I’ve been wanting to talk more about women in python, which I see as a subset of the women in open source conversation that’s been taking place. I really wanted to start by talking to other women, though, to see who they are and what their experiences have been and how mine compare.

Except… who ARE the women in python? I can name eight, including myself. There must be more, right? There must be women using python who don’t participate in the larger community. There must be women who ARE active and whom I’m just not aware of. It can’t possibly just be eight. My Planet Python RSS feed shows me no regular female contributors (that can’t be right, can it?); three PSF members are female (out of 112) but none of them are officers or are on the board; nobody on python core is female.

My view is fairly limited in scope, so what I want to know is: are there really so few women using python in the first place? Or are there women using it who keep their heads down or don’t engage with the larger python community? It seems to me that those are separate issues, to be addressed in different ways.

So I am proposing a roll-call. Are you a woman using python? At work, at home, at school, in any capacity whatsoever? Raise your hand. Be counted.

(Men, please do not raise your hand on behalf of your female colleagues or friends. Send ‘em on over. Let them speak for themselves.)


, ,

68 Responses to Roll call: women in python

  1. pam 2009-08-12 at 1755 #


  2. Kaitlin Duck Sherwood 2009-08-12 at 1821 #

    Um, I did a significant project in Python in 1994, and have been aPython voyeur since. I also worked at OSAF in a non-programming role, and have use Python a little outside of work (e.g. for Algorithms homework problems).

    I realize I doesn’t *really* count, but I wanted to boost the numbers…

  3. foxfirefey 2009-08-12 at 1833 #

    Me! I’ve been starting to use Python more and more in the past year, for things I used to use Perl for. I’ve been improving data analysis at my work with Python scripts, and doing some web application development using Django. And I use it for some personal scripting, too.

  4. Amanda Ruzin 2009-08-12 at 1834 #

    I do, for small personal projects and simple reformatting tasks for work. I wouldn’t call myself a “real” python programmer, though.

  5. murklins 2009-08-12 at 1947 #

    Me! For personal use, mostly related to and the extraction/posting/etc. of links therein. Sometimes I use the pydelicious library, sometimes I roll my own.

  6. Katie Cunningham 2009-08-13 at 0850 #

    Me! I’m a technical lead at NASA, and we use it for most of the business apps I take point on.

  7. Pamela M 2009-08-13 at 0947 #

    Me! Web based marketing stuff, python-only for 8 years now.

  8. Julie Steele 2009-08-13 at 1133 #

    I stand with Kaitlin as a Python voyeur of sorts. I’m an editor of books about Python, user group attendee, PyCon veteran, and all-around fan of the community. So far, my coding experience has not extended much beyond the “hello world” kind of thing, but one of these days in my copious spare time… :-)

  9. Monica Toth 2009-08-13 at 2017 #

    Python was my first language and still, so far, my favorite. Count me in.

  10. Lee Ann Rucker 2009-08-13 at 2026 #

    python and 20-odd other languages (overall; maybe 5 I’m actively fluent in).

  11. Valkyrie 2009-08-13 at 2100 #

    I’m here. :)

  12. Liz 2009-08-14 at 0339 #

    Yup, me.

  13. Leigh Honeywell 2009-08-14 at 0341 #

    Hi there!

    I program for fun in python (perl for work!) and am just getting my feet wet in a project called Basie, doing security testing.

    I also run a weekly free Python programming class at HackLabTO in Toronto, Canada. I’m going to send in a paper to PyCon about the class, as it’s been a lot of fun and a huge learning experience for me (and hopefully the students!)


  14. Gloria 2009-08-14 at 0548 #

    I use python at work. Trying to fight elderly men who’re stuck with Java…

  15. Donna 'SnowWrite' Snow 2009-08-14 at 1052 #

    Me also. I work with Zope/Python/Plone though my actual Python knowledge is limited I promote and develop with the above. I’m also teaching myself Django. I prefer python based technologies to anything else.

    I’m active in the Plone community, just not as active in the Python community.

  16. Meenal 2009-08-14 at 1118 #

    I have worked in Python for the last 5 years, 3 of these were only Python, at NCSA in Urbana Champaign. Currently I am seeking a job and learning to use Python in web development.

  17. Catherine Jones 2009-08-14 at 1141 #

    I use Python to sort fabrics on Etsy by color (i.e., to run and for some textile-design purposes.

    • Liz 2009-08-14 at 1243 #

      Oh, that’s awesome. Do you think you might you write more about the code behind on your blog?

      • Catherine Jones 2009-08-14 at 1640 #

        Thanks for the encouragement. It’s all done with open-source: Linux, Python, and ImageMagick. I’ll write something up in the next couple of weeks and let people know.

    • Skud 2009-08-14 at 1249 #

      If you do write about it, please let me know! I would like to link to it from our Geek Feminism group blog!

  18. vibha 2009-08-14 at 1235 #

    typing with 1 hand…am a python lover…used to write all kinds of automation tools using python at work…on maternal sabbatical for now…but will sure love to come back and write morw python code – it’s cuter than Java or c++ which I also code mostly with….

  19. Jennifer 2009-08-14 at 1248 #

    I have been using python doing web development for the past 2 year for MerchantCircle whose goal is to help local businesses get more customers online. ( It has been fun and less pain using Python… I would choose it rather than Java, c/c++ any day

  20. Darlene Wong 2009-08-14 at 1400 #

    I’ve been using Python on and off since 2001. I’ve used it for an enterprise build breakage repair system, a pattern recognition tool, web crawling/scraping, data processing, image processing, and a couple of web tools (TurboGears & Django).

  21. Amy Farrell 2009-08-14 at 2238 #

    I use python at work, but I’m largely language-agnostic.

  22. pfctdayelise 2009-08-15 at 0419 #

    Python is the first programming language I’ve used in a serious way (since 2000) and still my favourite. I use it for scripting at work and home (and as a calculator :)). I’ve also started using it for web development.

    But it doesn’t surprise me that _users_ of Python are not that visible. I also use OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox, Livejournal, Gmail….. a million other things, and I don’t participate in those communities. My impression is that things like planets are more for developers than users.

  23. Anna Ravenscroft 2009-08-15 at 1558 #

    You already know me. So I didn’t respond to this until someone emailed me and asked why I wasn’t on the list. So, here. I’m on the list now. ;-)

  24. Natasha 2009-08-15 at 1619 #

    I program in python in my elusive free time at home. I started working with django and do some small programs in python.

    I’m not active in any communities since my schedule is packed with school in c/c++/java and part-time work in java. Hopefully I can become active once I graduate :).

  25. Gloria W 2009-08-15 at 1825 #

    Python simply rocks. I’ve written all of my code for start-ups and peripheral projects in Python since 2001. It’s fun to give tutorials in Python as well. People tend to pick the language up quickly, and enjoy writing code in this great language.

  26. Mackenzie 2009-08-16 at 0421 #

    I don’t often use Python, but I have some experience with it. I used it for an internship a couple years ago and am decent enough with it to fix small bugs in PyGTK programs. I gave an Edubuntu laptop all setup for Python development along with some PDFs of Python books for kids to my 9 year old (female) cousin for Christmas and started showing her the basics, so count this comment as two!

  27. Sabrina Leandro 2009-08-16 at 0528 #

    I worked with Python on my previous job, it was the first language I really fell in love with.
    Now, I try to program in Python in my spare time.

  28. Yvi 2009-08-16 at 0918 #

    I have been using Python at university for several years now – I do Bioinformatics. Some with normal scripting, some with Biopython.

  29. Lauren 2009-08-16 at 1335 #

    I learned Python while doing observational astronomy research, and now use it doing high energy physics research (usually in combination with C++).

  30. Madeleine 2009-08-16 at 1457 #

    I introduced Python as a first-year course where I lecture and have used Python Server Pages on the mobile webserver. Plus I’m planning a big project on mobile Python for next year :-)

  31. Karin 2009-08-16 at 1712 #

    This and last summer, I have using python heavily in my summer job (which involves data aquisition for testing of electronics).

    Last fall term I had an algorithms course that used Python, but as I am really a maths student (and focus on the more theoretical parts), I haven’t used it much more for school after that.

    However, it is my language of choice when doing project Euler :)

  32. Fiona 2009-08-16 at 1722 #

    I’ve been programming since I was 9. Python is the only language to hit all my happy places.

    I use it in my work and home.

    I ended up getting into web development but my love is in writing games.

    I wrote a library that wraps pygame that almost completely emulates another obscure language I used to write in. I am currently writing a large complex game using it that I hope to sell.

  33. SarahD 2009-08-16 at 1723 #

    I code in python. FIrst encountered it 7 years ago for some scripting duties. Then ran into it again a couple of years ago. Have done a couple “crap, I gotta do that again? now it’s a script” type programs for myself. Writing some Django based web-services in it these days.

    Only knew to come here and be counted because one of my co-workers forwarded your plea to an internal company mailing list. I wouldn’t call myself a Python expert or stand up to lead in the Python community. I’m more of a “is the language procedural and vaguely C-based? yeah, I can read it and probably code in it” kind of jill-of-all-trades.

    • SarahD 2009-08-16 at 1730 #

      Hrm. Didn’t mean procedural exactly. Mostly meant “not one of those wacky Haskell-like languages”. *sigh* See? This is why I sit quietly over in the corner and just write code. The English language does not mean what I think it means. (And, yes, I am a native speaker.)

  34. Pinar 2009-08-16 at 1825 #

    I am using Python for 3 years and developing GUI applications with PyKDE & QT.

    I am also in FLOSS community since 2003 and leading a local women in computing group under ACM-W Turkey.

  35. Nadia Alramli 2009-08-16 at 1829 #

    Python is fun, I use it daily at home and work. I also contribute to an open source project written in Python. When I find free time I write some Python-related tutorials in my blog.

    Python is also my preferred language in project Euler :)

  36. Dorothea Salo 2009-08-16 at 2214 #

    I’ve used Python on and off for about ten years, mostly for text-munging and data conversion.

  37. Laura Creighton 2009-08-17 at 0231 #

    I only program in Python or C these days.
    C if I need to write a device driver, and
    Python for everything else. I do a fair bit of
    scientific programming, and teach Python.
    I used to program a lot more, but these days keeping the small computer company I founded with some friends in business
    takes up most of my professional time. I am
    interested in the mathematical aspects of
    computer science, language design, and
    user interface design.

    PSF board members keep pestering me to
    join the board all the time. But I don’t have
    time for such things right now. I’m pretty
    active in PSF member discussions, though.

    • Fiona 2009-08-17 at 0341 #

      Assuming you’re the same Laura Creighton I’d like to thank you for helping to put on a great conference in Europython, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. :)

  38. Melita 2009-08-17 at 0254 #

    Python is my preferred programming language, I used it at college, for GSOC project and at work.

  39. Cath the Canberra Cook 2009-08-17 at 0604 #

    I use python where possible. My last good work project was all python. It was a gene ontology package I named Pygeon. Did file reading & stats calculations; based on a binary sparse matrix implemented as a couple of dictionaries.

  40. Ramya 2009-08-17 at 0853 #

    Me too

  41. Barbara 2009-08-17 at 1136 #

    I don’t use Python at work, unfortunately, but it’s my preferred language, the one I use for all of my side/contract work. I’m also fairly active in the Django community, although I’m not a contributor.

  42. Stephanie Gokhman 2009-08-17 at 1426 #

    Python/Django developer for an Internet subsidiary of Newhouse Publications professionally for 2 years, recreationally and academically for 4.

  43. Strata Chalup 2009-08-17 at 1602 #

    I recommend python for projects I manage, and last coded python in any substantive way in 2003 or 2004, creating automated install scripts for various RedHat packages on a contract.

    The idea that engaging with a language community is a predictor of how many people are using a language seems kind of odd to me. There was a C community back when I programmed in C, but there seemd to be primarily two types of folks involved with it: language designer or heavy-duty CS type interested in compiler changes, or very active programmers giving/receiving mentoring. The kind of day to day, bread and butter programming types didn’t seem to show up there often; I had a read-only newsfeed view into comp.lang.c and similar sources.

    Don’t get discouraged if there aren’t too many responses here… it may not be a good reflection of how many people are using python vs monitoring the blogosphere and/or python community pages. Maybe there could be an optional survey link at some ‘official’ python site? With questions about M/F, demographic, edu/business/school/personal use, etc?

    Doesn’t touch the folks out there using apt-get and the like, but might yield some initial interesting data.


  44. Sarah Dutkiewicz 2009-08-17 at 1948 #

    I’m not a hardcore pure pythonista, but I present throughout the Midwest on the awesomeness of IronPython. My speaking credentials on IronPython include Cleveland Day of .NET 2008, CodeMash 2009, and PyCon 2009.

  45. Rachel Blum 2009-08-17 at 2047 #

    I wouldn’t call myself a Pythonista, but I dabble a fair bit in it. All the random scripts at work, the back-end for my Starbucks Challenge webmap, whatever comes up. And definitely all prototyping I do. I wish I could do a real project in Python, but since I work on video games, there’s not too much room for it.

    I also dabbled w/ Django & Python for my personal blog, but just decided that I’d rather write articles than create yet another blogging system ;)

    I should probably get my act together and join a local Python group… Any local (Los Angeles) Pythonistas around?

  46. Amantha 2009-08-17 at 2105 #

    I’m just starting Python, but im excited and eager to learn!

  47. Ingrid Jakobsen 2009-08-18 at 0601 #

    I think I began programming before python existed, so I hope I can be forgiven for my code in C. But since I discovered python, it’s been my preferred language, eg
    I’ve also taught it to university students (as part of a computational biology course).

  48. Michaela Barrett 2009-08-18 at 1640 #

    I use Python for personal projects and my workplace is in the process of converting to Django for our webwork. Which is going to add a nice chunk of gals to the roster, as nearly half our ~200 coders are women.

  49. selidor 2009-08-19 at 0101 #

    I use Python for observational astronomy research tasks.

  50. Sheila 2009-08-19 at 1000 #

    I use python and jython at work in unsophisticated ways so I don’t normally tell other people I am a python programmer.

    With respect to the community, I sometimes do gopher stuff at pycons though, and watch the pycon organizers and pycon av mailing lists. I was on the pycon chicago pc list thinking they might want the perspective of a beginner for vetting the beginner level talks. I go to the local python user group here ( because they consistently have interesting talks.

  51. vid 2009-08-21 at 0310 #

    /me…. although i’m interested in the mathemagical aspects of AI/Linguistics and
    computer science.

  52. Misato 2009-08-21 at 2042 #

    Hi there, Hello from Japan,
    I participate in a group of Japanese women user of Python. This group also just started and has around 10 people. We’d like to join your community, please count us in !

  53. Katie Parlante 2009-08-26 at 2009 #

    Me (showing up a bit late to the party). I’ve been using Python recently for building websites (django and appengine). I also did some Python coding on the (infamous?) Chandler project a few years ago. I’ve been to PyCon a few times, I think I gave a presentation or two. Yay Python.

  54. Audrey 2009-09-02 at 0636 #

    Python+JavaScript here. In the Python world I <3 django, pinax, google app engine, pil, pycairo, and lots more.

  55. Terri Oda 2009-09-21 at 1630 #

    Late to the party here, but yes, I use python, both for programming as part of the Mailman developers team, and for scripting certain text processing tasks related to my PhD thesis. Couldn’t live without it!

  56. Brenda 2009-09-26 at 1907 #

    i’ve fixed the odd bug in a python app – and built a couple handy utils using gtk-python — but haven’t had a serious project yet.

  57. Bess Sadler 2009-10-23 at 1558 #

    I’m mostly a ruby developer, but I’m starting to dabble in Python because it’s so strong for RDF and linked data.

  58. Katy Huff 2010-06-06 at 1702 #

    I’m a grad student in nuclear engineering and am using python in the scientific computing research work that I do.

  59. Ulina 2010-07-24 at 1310 #

    I love and use Python, but not that much. The last time I got to really use it was in 2007 when my job at the time started using Django. I left to go to another job which was a LAMP environment turned CMS built with JSP. My new job is most JSP, but I’m helping on a side project that is using Django, so I get to use Python again. Yey!

  60. Anna 2011-07-14 at 1109 #

    I’m mostly an iOS/objective-c developer, but also love python. I volunteer with the Boston Python Workshop, a great weekend course for “women and their friends” designed to introduce non-programmers to programming via python, and to get them involved in the python community.


  1. Link Roundup Strikes Back | Geek Feminism Blog - 2009-08-16

    […] Roll call: Women in Python. If you’re a woman who uses Python, go let Pam know! […]

  2. hypatia dot ca » 42 comments later… - 2009-08-16

    […] the comments on this post do a good job of answering the question it asks – “where are the women in […]

say something...

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes