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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Kickoffto 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!
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.