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.

LadyHacks II: Philadelphia’s second annual hackathon for women

Last weekend was the second annual LadyHacks in Philadelphia. I was honored to be an organizer and participant of this hackathon aimed at getting more women involved in working on collaborative projects and contributing to open source. I wrote about the eight projects that came out of it for Technical.ly Philly.

In celebration of International Women’s Day last weekend, 80 local developers and students gathered at First Round Capital to collaborate on projects for the city’s second annual LadyHacks, a hackathon geared at getting more women involved in the tech community.

The event, which was organized by a volunteer committee of members from Girl Develop It (including, full disclosure, this writer) and Girl Geek Dinners and led by Sondra Willhite, who spearheaded the first LadyHacks in 2013, saw a 20 percent increase in attendance.

Read the rest of my recap from LadyHacks II on Technical.ly/Philly…

LadyHacks TP recap screenshot

Speak at the 2014 Philly Women in Tech Summit

Call for speakers: the third annual Philadelphia Women in Tech Summit, happening this year April 12, 2014 as part of Philly Tech Week,  is accepting speaker proposals!

Apply to speak by Jan. 10, 2014.

Photo of packed house at Philly Women in Tech Summit by me, Corinne Warnshuis, 2013.
Philly Women in Tech Summit, 2013.

I attended this event in 2012 and 2013. At both events, I had a great time, learned a lot, met some awesome people and felt way more engaged in the community afterward. I highly recommend marking your calendar.

Read the recap I wrote on the inaugural event in 2012 here.

When I was writing that recap for Flying Kite in 2012, I took photos at the event. As an example of how much more familiar and engaged I am with the community 1.5 years later, I had initially recognized maybe two or three faces in a large crowd shot I’d taken (pictured below). Looking back that photo today, I recognize at least 5x as many (and would likely recognize more if it were less blurry).

Inaugural Philly Women in Tech Summit, 2012. Photo by me, Corinne Warnshuis
Inaugural Philly Women in Tech Summit, 2012.

Give speaking a shot if you’ve got an interesting topic you’d want to present on.
Here are a few resources to help you prepare for speaking at conferences:

  • GDI SF Chapter Leader, Pamela Fox shares some great tips on her blog for speaking as a way to network at conferences and has some helpful shyness hacks for speaking.
  • There’s a really awesome  resource site called Ladies in Tech (started by some wonderful ladies who are also GDI Philly instructors), whose mission is to offer advice for women who want to speak at tech events. Take a look at some of their articles (with great posts titles like From Public Freaking to Public Speaking) and listen to their new podcast.

Again: Mark your calendar for the Women in Tech Summit on April 4, 2014, the final day of Philly Tech Week 2014.