February 18th, 2011

Python and open source advocate Steve Holden wants to help Portland live up to its open source moniker


Python and open source advocate Steve Holden wants to help Portland live up to its open source moniker

When it comes to describing the Portland tech scene—and I’ll admit I’m more guilty of this than most—it’s championed as the de facto hub of the open source community. I mean, OSCON and Open Source Bridge are held here. Our open source user group activity is off the charts. And, tired or not, we’ll always play the Linus Torvalds card.

But there’s still more to be done. And last night, someone challenged the entire town to do more. Who? Steve Holden, a staunch proponent of open source and one of the leading folks in the community surrounding the Python open source programming language. And guess what? He lives in Portland now, too.

Who is Holden exactly? Well.

In 2003 Steve Holden founded and chaired [one of] the first Python community conference, establishing PyCon as the premier event for Pythonistas in North America. Steve again chaired PyCon in 2004 and 2005. Steve is the author of Python Web Programming, and a frequent blogger and contributor to the Python newsgroup, comp.lang.python. He has served on the Python Software Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2004. Steve provides consulting and training services through his company, Holden Web.

So last night, Steve gathered folks together from the open source community, politics, education, and health care for a little meet and greet. A number of local startups were represented as were the Portland Development Commission and the City of Portland.

While the gathering was a chance for Steve to meet folks in the community, it was also a really interesting pre-cursor to the impact he may have in Portland. He was clearly connecting dots. Putting different folks in the room who should be talking.

But it was also a call to action. It was Steve’s chance to tell all the folks in the room that he had heard that Portland was supposedly the epicenter of the open source movement. And that he was here in town now to experience that. And to help move that forward.

If this initial foray was any indication, I can’t wait to see what he’s able to accomplish around here.

For more information and insight, visit Steve Holden’s blog. You can follow him on Twitter as @holdenweb or follow his latest pursuit @theopenbastion.

(Image courtesy Kirby Urner. Used under Creative Commons)

Background that may help (or may not)

6 Responses to “Python and open source advocate Steve Holden wants to help Portland live up to its open source moniker”

  1. Steve Holden says:

    Thanks for writing this, Rick, I hope you enjoyed the evening. I am really looking forward to working with fellow Portlanders, and community has been a long-term theme of my career.

    The quoted material is slightly inaccurate, since it does not make clear that the first PyCon was not the first community Python conference in the world. The first EuroPython was held some months before PyCon. It’s interesting that the move towards community conferences appeared in both Europe and the States at roughly the same time.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Silicon Florist and Rick Turoczy, Beaver BarCamp. Beaver BarCamp said: RT @siliconflorist: Python, open source advocate @holdenweb wants Portland to live up to its open source moniker http://bit.ly/hJtctX [...]

  3. A hearty welcome to Steve Holden! He’s joining a remarkable team of FOSS volunteers and professionals already in PDX working to make the world a little more open. People like Selena Deckelmann who had this crazy idea that all the different FOSS projects and communities should start talking with each other regularly which resulted in Open Source Bridge. Now she’s working to help make the city of Portland more open by taking action with PDX11. Selena is also an internationally known expert on User Groups and holds down a day job as a PostgreSQL guru (she’s also a major contributor to the PostgreSQL project.)

    Then, of course, there is Leslie Hawthorn a recent veteran of Google where she ran the Google Summer of Code project – a project that encouraged 1000′s of students from around the world to explore the idea of contributing to open source projects and get paid to do so! Leslie is also heavily involved in the Humanitarian FOSS project and spends her days devising new ways to spread the FOSS word working for the OSUOSL.

    Let’s not forget Deb Bryant also of the OSUOSL who regularly rubs elbows with those making government policy and works to convince them of the importance of open government. She’s also involved in the Crisis Commons initiative and important conversations around Open Source and healthcare technology. There are many,many more like Selena, Leslie and Deb in PDX.

    So welcome Steve, I look forward to your contributions to the PDX FOSS scene, and thank you to Selena, Leslie and Deb and everyone else involved in the PDX Open Source technology scene for all your current, past and future contributions to making PDX a hub for FOSS initiatives and communities.

  4. [...] has opened up its data to let people hack to their hearts’ content. And we’re home to a bevvy of open source types like Steve Holden and, yes, Linus Torvalds. Heck, we even have open source based companies like [...]

  5. [...] and employees.On the same day I made the proposal, I found two other cities – Raleigh, NC and Portland, OR – that are considering similar efforts to focus on Open Source startups. There’s a good [...]

  6. [...] @theopenbastion. Also check out a post detailing Steve and the event over at Rick Turoczy’s Silicon Florist blog. Tags: open source, oregon, portland, pycon, steve holden, the open bastion [+] Share & [...]


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