How to promote Python in the Federal government?

Steve Holden sholden at
Tue Mar 4 14:21:24 CET 2003

"Stephen Ferg" <steve at> wrote ...
> 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?

Well, you could try getting them to attend PyCon, which for a DC local is an
incredibly cost-effective way to understand how many people are interested
in Python and what they are doing with it.

Obviously it helps to be able to point to why Python is a good fit for
particular sets of requirements. Because Government departments aren't
(generally speaking) you may well find that FedPy will happen only after
quite a long time.

Steve Holden                        
Python Web Programming       
Register for PyCon now!  

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