Real Python Podcast Episode #159 Title Artwork

Episode 159: Volunteering, Organizing, and Finding a Python Community

The Real Python Podcast

Jun 09, 2023 1h

Have you thought about getting more involved in the Python community? Are you interested in volunteering for an event or becoming an organizer? This week on the show, we speak with organizers from this year’s PyCascades conference about making connections, learning new skills, and rationing your time.

Episode Sponsor:

We have three guests to discuss working on PyCascades 2023 and how they got involved in volunteering. Conference Chair Ben Berry, a site reliability engineer based in Seattle, is currently working on a private platform-as-a-service. Diversity Chair Madison Swain-Bowden is a senior data engineer out of Seattle, currently working at Automattic on the Openverse team. Sponsorship Chair Michael van der Kamp is a back-end engineer at Coffee Meets Bagel.

We discuss finding other volunteers, maintaining motivation, and connecting with sponsors. Our guests also share their stories of overcoming challenges, connecting with community, and finding fulfillment through volunteering.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Proxify.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:34 – Conference Chair Ben Berry
  • 00:03:58 – Diversity Chair Madison Swain-Bowden
  • 00:06:04 – Sponsorship Chair Michael van der Kamp
  • 00:08:28 – Scheduling of conferences around one another
  • 00:10:41 – How did you get involved in the community?
  • 00:20:01 – Sponsor: Proxify
  • 00:20:57 – Workplace groups and guilds
  • 00:27:41 – How community helps with job referrals
  • 00:32:19 – New position and added responsibilities
  • 00:41:24 – How would you pitch volunteering?
  • 00:44:32 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:45:45 – How do you avoid overdoing it?
  • 00:52:46 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 00:55:16 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 00:59:22 – Thanks and goodbye

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