How to promote Python in the Federal government?

Stephen Ferg steve at
Mon Mar 3 17:43:22 CET 2003

Currently, the level of Python-awareness in the Federal government (or
at least at my agency in Washington DC) is extremely low.  Most
programmers and managers aren't even aware of the existence of a
programming language named "Python".  Most managers are barely aware
of open-source software, and would never switch to open-source from
Microsoft for fear of "lack of support"!  A few of our technical
people are very enthusiastic about open-source -- but for most of
them, "open-source" equates only to Linux, Apache, and Perl.

I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to change this situation.

I thought of running a sort of "Python awareness" campaign, but (if
conducted electronically) that would probably be indistinguishable
from spam.

I thought of trying to create a Federal Python Users Group (FedPy?). 
The purpose of FedPy would be to raise awareness of Python and its
capabilities among Federal agencies, and to (at least) provide a
membership list that might help Federal Pythonistas (employees and
contractors) to know about and communicate with each other.  But user
groups don't seem to flourish here -- the local Python/Zope user group
is moribund.

Any suggestions?

-- Steve Ferg 

<name>  Stephen Ferg    </name>
<email>  ferg_s at   </email>
<phone> 202-691-7257 </phone>
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 5110
2 Mass. Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001

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