Outreachy & Jupyter: Supporting diversity in open communities

November 27, 2018

This article is cross-posted on the Jupyter Blog: Outreachy & Jupyter: Supporting diversity in open communities.

Project Jupyter has accepted two interns through the Outreachy program, which supports open community members from under-represented backgrounds. Our Outreachy interns will work on important problems in the JupyterHub community with help from two mentors from December 2018 through March 2019. This is a short post describing why Jupyter is committing to this program, as well as what we’ll be working on with our Outreachy participants.

We are grateful to the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) & NumFocus for jointly sponsoring our interns.

Why focus on diversity and inclusion?

The tech industry isn’t doing great on diversity, and the Open Source community is doing worse, limiting the community’s ability to tackle challenging, diverse projects. The amount of responsibility and power held by open source communities is increasing, so we have a responsibility to be more representative of the diversity present in our world. Many projects grow their community by encouraging people to start making small patches on their own. However, requiring uncompensated work is a big barrier to getting more diverse representation in our open source communities. Paid internships with dedicated mentors are a great way to help people break through this particular barrier and make the open source community more diverse.

What is Outreachy?

Outreachy is an internship program coordinated by the Software Freedom Conservancy. It is run twice a year with a goal to bring people from underrepresented backgrounds in tech into open source projects. 21 open source organizations are participating in this round, and will be working with a total of 46–47 interns. Importantly, these are paid internships, which make them more viable for a much broader slice of the population. Jupyter and BIDS will both contribute funding and mentorship for two Outreachy interns.

Our Interns and Mentors

We have two amazing interns for this Outreachy round, working on important projects in the JupyterHub ecosystem. Below we’ll describe the projects that they’ll work on.

A highly Available Proxy for JupyterHub

Georgiana Dolocan will be mentored by Min RK and Yuvi Panda in building a highly available & scalable proxy for JupyterHub using the Traefik project. This will help JupyterHub deployments scale more easily for thousands of active users with minimal service disruptions. Georgiana will be working from Bucharest, Romania where she likes to paint and explore the city and the villages nearby alongside her dog and camera.

Improvements to user management

Leticia Portella will be mentored by Yuvi Panda and Min RK in building better native user management features into JupyterHub. Small to medium installations of JupyterHub that do not want to depend entirely on an external authentication provider will benefit greatly from this. Leticia will be working from Dublin, Ireland (although she used to live in Florianópolis, Brazil), where she likes to read a lot (especially The Chronicles of Ice and Fire), to swim, and to work on her podcast (the first Brazilian podcast specialized in Data Science topics), Pizza de Dados (Data Pizza, free translation).

About our mentors

Outreachy requires more than just funding, but also mentorship. Two members of the JupyterHub community have offered their time to help mentor our Outreachy contributors, some information about them is below!

Min RK is a research engineer at Simula Research Laboratory in Norway and has been working on the IPython and Jupyter open source projects since joining in 2006 as an undergraduate in Engineering Physics at Santa Clara University with Brian Granger, one of the founders of the Jupyter project. Min currently focuses on JupyterHub, and is excited to welcome new folks to the Jupyter team.

Yuvi Panda is an operations engineer at University of California, Berkeley. He works at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, where he maintains the JupyterHub infrastructure for the Division of Data Sciences. He has been involved in various Open Source communities in the last ten years, spending time in the GNOME, Wikimedia & Jupyter communities. His life was changed drastically by participating as a student in Google Summer of Code 2010, and he’s excited to give back to the Open Source community.

We would like to thank everyone who applied to JupyterHub for this round of Outreachy. We received a number of robust proposals, out of which we were only able to accept two. JupyterHub mentors spent quite a lot of time mentoring candidates during the application period, in reviewing their pull requests, and giving them feedback on their proposals. We look forward to bringing these new open source contributors into our community, and hope that we can set a path that other open source projects may follow in the future. Open source works best when it is diverse and inclusive, we think this is a small step in that direction.

Thanks to Orianna DeMasi, Sara Stoudt, Chris Holdgraf & others for contributing heavily to this blog post.


Featured Fellows

Orianna DeMasi

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Data Science Fellow

Sara Stoudt


Chris Holdgraf

Data Science Education Program