Speaking at OSCON 2014

Our talk was accepted!

On the final day of 2013, Happy Cog developer, Girl Develop It Philly instructor —also longtime friend—Cat Farman and I got together and finished up our OSCON speaker proposal: Lessons from Girl Develop It: Getting More Women Involved in Open Source. We recorded our required video and shipped off our packet.

OSCON Proposal Video Screen Shot

In March, we were notified that our talk was accepted and that we’d be heading to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, OR this July. Ecstatic, we started building out the plan for the Summer of Open Source Fellowship as a pilot program to engage local members more deeply in open source.

We launched the program at the end of May and have been meeting up regularly to work on our proposal. Really excited to share what we’ve learned with a broader audience.

Cat Farman and I working on our OSCON presentation
Cat Farman and I working on our OSCON presentation at NextFab.
  • Read the description and find out more about our talk here.
  • Going to OSCON this year? Stop by our office hour after our talk and say hello!
  • If you’re interested in seeing the projects our fellows worked on this summer, mark your calendar for Wednesday, August 27 to join our fellows and mentors for the Summer of Open Source Fellowship Show & Tell.

Interview: Heidi Saman for Rad Girls

I think a lot of women don’t think they have something to say. Or that it’s not very original. Or it’s not very interesting. So I think knowing you have a voice is very important. – Heidi Saman

Check out my recent Rad Girls interview with independent filmmaker and radio producer, Heidi Saman.

I met Heidi about six years ago when I was still in college, doing my first internship at WHYY in Philadelphia. At the time, she worked on the locally-focused arts and culture series, On Canvas and has since become an associate producer at Fresh Air.

I’ve always admired Heidi and I’ve gotten to know her over the years little by little and mostly through her work online—as well as an occasional bumping into one another in the halls of WHYY when I later took a job there after college.

She continues to do awesome things and I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with her recently on what’s next for her.

Read the full interview, and if you’re interested in film, Heidi has a great blog worth following called Four Eyes.

Here’s an excerpt:

What advice would you give to a woman looking to begin a career as a narrative filmmaker? What do you wish that you had learned early on?

One is confidence. I think so much of the trouble I had in even deciding to do filmmaking was thinking I had something to say.

I think a lot — I shouldn’t generalize, but — I think a lot of women don’t think they have something to say. Or that it’s not very original. Or it’s not very interesting. So I think knowing you have a voice is very important. I think that would have helped me get here faster, because you really have to have confidence…that’s unshakeable. Because you’re going to hear so many No’s; you’re going to have a lot of negativity.

The other thing would be to get out of your head. And just have experiences. Travelling was one of the smartest things I ever did. I think throwing myself into situations where I wasn’t the center of attention, where I had to grab the context of things, where I didn’t know the language — that forced me to be an observer.

That is such a skill that I have now; I already see it in my filmmaking style — which is paying attention to things that are not just communicated by language, but body language, social cues, music, change in lighting. So many of those situations put me in observer status, which essentially is what a director is.

If you’re always in the middle, or the center, or if you’re always in your world, you’re never going to get the wide shot.

Girl Develop It Philly’s Summer of Open Source

The following post was co-written by Cat Farman.

Last year, Girl Develop It Philly sent out a survey to our members. We asked questions about courses, what students are learning, what their careers are like and whether they’ve ever contributed to open source projects. To our delight and surprise, we learned that 10% of members surveyed had contributed to free and open source software in some way.

This number stood out, as the number of women in open source projects is depressingly small – less than 2% of open source contributors identify as women. Since we seemed to be helping improve the numbers locally, we decided to make a more sustained and conscious effort to get ever more GDI Philly women contributing to open source. And voila! – the GDI Philly Summer of Open Source Fellowship program was born!

Summer of Open Source Fellowship is Open for Applications!

We’re now accepting applications and nominations for those who identify as women who want to receive one-on-one code mentoring and a leadership role in the Philadelphia tech community in exchange for their sustained participation in free workshops and contributions to open source projects throughout the summer of 2014 (June-August).

Interested in improving your coding skills with experienced mentors? Want to be a part of a team that works on a meaningful project? Looking to add experience and projects to your resume? We strongly encourage you to apply or nominate others using our short form.

GDI Philly Open Source intro
GDI Philly Intro to Open Source Software with Mark Headd. Photo by Erin Allen.

Not sure if the Summer of Open Source Fellowship is for you? Here are 3 reasons you should apply to become a fellow:

  • Join a strong local community of open source developers in Philly who are supportive of women in tech – and want to help you with your goals.
  • Become a better coder through one-on-one mentoring and gain valuable team-building skills. As a fellow you will receive feedback through code reviews and regular workshops while writing code for projects you can use as code samples and in your resume.
  • You’ll become a leader in the open source community. Many of the most powerful tools in the technology community are free and open source and thrive with contributions from developers like you.

Potential projects for you to work on include:

Want to get involved?
  • Project Mentors: Please reach out to Corinne or Cat if you’re interested in coming on board as a project mentor/shepherd. This requires a light time commitment, but helps a lot.
  • Student-Beginners: Don’t have the time commitment to become a fellow? We still want you to get involved! We’re hoping to increase the amount of participation in open source contributions by GDI members and students across the board – whether it’s just starting your GitHub account and making your first commit or working on a bug here and there. There are many ways to contribute.
  • Sponsorship: If you’re interested in sponsoring this initiative (in-kind food donations, laptops, monetary support, etc), please reach out directly to corinne AT girldevelopit DOT com.
  • You tell us: How can you help make the GDI Philly Summer of Open Source even more awesome?
Come to our Kickoff Event!

Join us on Wednesday May 28th for the ­GDI Philly Summer of Open Source Kickoff to find our more info, learn about existing projects and more! Want to learn more about Open Source in general and get started on GitHub? We’ve got you covered with a free workshop on just that led by Mark Headd.

Have questions? Let us know in the comments, tweet at us (@gdiphilly, @cfarm, @corinnepw) or email us (corinne AT girldevelopit DOT com; cfarman AT gmail DOT com).

Exciting bonus news: GDI Instructor and Happy Cog developer, Cat Farman and I will be speaking about this program and other work GDI has done to get more women involved in the open source community at OSCON (O’Reilly Open Source Convention) this summer!

A few reasons why you should speak at WordCamp Philly

Are you a Girl Develop It student or TA who’s on the fence about speaking or teaching? 

WordCamp Philly, happening this year June 7-8th, is one of the best points of entry for those interested in getting into speaking or leading workshops at conferences.

GDI WordCamp 2012
Girl Develop It Philly Lunch at WordCamp 2012

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should participate as a speaker:

  1. It’s local: you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd!

  2. It’s a friendly audience: WordPress community is generally very supportive and welcoming. (Think of GDI’s WP teacher, owner of Yikes, Inc. and WordCamp organizer, Tracy Levesque – she’s like the nicest person around!)

  3. There’s a whole track for beginners: a huge audience of beginners attend WordCamp looking to learn the basics. Therefore, there’s a big need for speakers who can lead sessions on getting started. If you’re not super advanced yet, don’t let that stop you – start simple!

  4. The sessions are only 45 minutes: That’s not a lot of time to fill! If you get nervous, it’ll be over soon.

  5. Organizers want to see new faces speak. They have specifically reached out to Girl Develop It for our help in finding first-time speakers.

  6. There are a ton of topics to choose from! Many are tried-and-true. Some are brand new. Take a look at some of the topics we brainstormed  around at our GDI Philly presentation brainstorming session that would be great to see first-timers take on:

  • Best practices for client-project workflow

  • Accessibility on WordPress

  • Creating a good User Interface

  • The website owner’s guide to working with designers (Best practices)

  • WordPress for Education

  • How to maintain your WordPress.com/WordPress.org site

  • Legal and copyright, ethics workshop

  • I’ve got a blog…now what? Growing your audience

  • Keeping up with Updates

  • Technical blogging: How to share technical tips on your WordPress blog

  • How to Navigate the WordPress documentation and get the most out of it

  • How to choose themes, plugins and widgets

  • Definitions and Decryption – decoding all the WP terms and lingo

  • Fun with Fonts

  • How to get more involved in the WordPress community locally

Deadline to apply to speak is Friday, May 16th – that’s THIS Friday. Find more info and apply here.

Here are some great resources to help you find your perfect presentation idea:

Stay tuned for more details on official GDI activities happening during and after WordCamp. RSVP for WordCamp Philly here.

Thanks to Jodie & Tracy at Yikes Inc., Lisa Yoder, Ashley Chapokas, and Zoe Rooney for helping brainstorm around this post.