My name is Iqbal Abdullah. I am a Malaysian, based in Japan and have been actively participating with the Python communities around the East Asia and South East Asia region. I understand fluently three natural languages and am a basic at one. I am a Supporting and Managing Member of the PSF. I make a living by running a small technology company called LaLoka Labs which I am also happy to mention uses a lot of Python.
I first ran for a seat on the PSF board in 2020. I received 11th place out of 26 nominees with 4.78% of the votes. Looking at the results, I realized how little representation the PSF has from the different communities in other parts of the world beyond the United States and Western Europe, even though a significant portion of community work and possible opportunities for technical expertise would come from these communities. I wrote an essay about in my blog titled Diversification is the Future for the PSF.
I ran again in 2021 with a clearer direction on what I think is needed for the PSF, based largely on my thoughts from that essay. To sum it up, in 2021 I wanted to: - Increase representation and acknowledgement of the diverse communities that we have - Increase the portion of the PSF revenues from non-PyCon US, specifically from non-US and non-Western Europe sources.
For 2021, I came in 7th place with 7.34% of the votes. It was an improvement, but not good enough.
This will be my third time running for a seat on the PSF board.
Not much has changed within the past one year, and my objectives running for a seat in 2022 still remains the same as 2021. I believe these are still relevant and needed to be worked upon.
In fact, I am hoping to use my platform as a PSF director, if elected, to accelerate interest within the East Asia and South East Asia region on what and how we can contribute more to the Python community.
We need more people who can be community leaders to give ideas and manage programs, more people that understand how to manage money to support open source, more people that understand law to help support our intellectual properties, and most importantly, more people that care.
Other than help managing cooperation between the different Python and PyCon organizing communities within the Asia Pacific region, I am still serving as a member of the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Working Group and the Trademarks Work Group of the PSF.
I was one of the panelist for the panel discussion for the Diversity and Inclusion WG for PyCon APAC 2021.
Saying thank you
I was also given the honour to give a keynote for Python Pizza Hamburg where I addressed the issue of open source volunteers being taken for granted and more acknowledgement (including helping them with more money and paying our share) that needs to be done. This is an important topic close to our hearts, so within another business I founded, we annually give out grants to open source projects, including to the Python Software Foundation.
If you've read this far
For 2022, even if not elected, I will be happy if I can get a higher result than my previous elections. This will at least mean that the message and ideas I'm trying to bring has gained some traction among the people that matters and are invested: Those of you who will be voting. I can then bring this along with me in the future and tell my story to anyone that wants to listen with hope.
At the very least, regardless of the results, I hope my experience in participating in the elections will open the minds and hearts of the people around me, and doors for them, as by the people that have gone before me have done for me.