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Standing Out in the Crowd: Women in Open Source

July 15, 2009

Standing Out in the Crowd: Women in Open Source

Keynote presented at OSCON 2009 (and subsequently at several other conferences). Note: this is from before I changed my name.


July 15, 2009

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  1. Standing Out in the Crowd Kirrily Robert http://infotrope.net

  2. Linux Kernel Summit, 2008

  3. Open source developers: 1.5%

  4. Perl users: 5%

  5. Drupal: 10%

  6. Tech industry: 20%

  7. Open source developers: 1.5%

  8. xkcd.com

  9. 0 20 40 60 80 100 Yes No Have you

    noticed sexism in the open source community?
  10. An Archive Of Our Own http://archiveofourown.org/

  11. OTW is committed to protecting and defending fanworks from commercial

    exploitation and legal challenge.
  12. OTW is committed to protecting and defending fanworks from commercial

    exploitation and legal challenge.
  13. ... a noncommercial and nonprofit central hosting place for fanfiction

    and other transformative fanworks ...
  14. THE THRILLING TALE Python and Ruby meet in a dark

    alleyway. What happens? 1) They fight! 2) They kiss! Your choice: Ruby is victorious! Python weeps bitter tears and plots revenge. THE END 1
  15. 60,000 lines of Ruby etc. 20+ coders 100% female

  16. http://dreamwidth.org/ Dreamwidth

  17. 210,000 lines of Perl etc. 40+ coders 75% female

  18. “We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race,

    ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, religion, culture, subculture, and political opinion.”
  19. “We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority,

    not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug.”
  20. Dreamwidth: 75%

  21. None
  22. I’d never contributed to an open source project before, or

    even considered that I could.
  23. I didn’t feel like I was wanted.

  24. I never got the impression that outsiders were welcome.

  25. I considered getting involved in Debian, but the barriers to

    entry seemed high.
  26. It’s kind of like being handed a box full of

    random bicycle parts: it doesn’t help when you don’t know how they go together and just want to learn how to ride a bike.
  27. People without a ton of experience get shunted off to

    side areas like docs and support, and those areas end up as the ladies’ auxiliary.
  28. What I like most is that there isn’t any attitude

    of ‘stand aside and leave the code to the grown-ups’. If there’s something that I’m able to contribute, however small, then the contribution is welcome.
  29. Deep down, I had always assumed coding required this kind

    of special aptitude, something that I just didn’t have and never would...
  30. ... It lost its forbidding mystique when I learned that

    people I had assumed to be super-coders (surely born with keyboard attached!) had only started training a year ago. ...
  31. People without any prior experience! Women! Like me! Jesus! It’s

    like a barrier broke down in my mind.
  32. Recruit diversity.

  33. Say it. Mean it.

  34. Tools. (tools are easy)

  35. Transparency.

  36. Don’t stare.

  37. Value all contributions.

  38. Call people on their crap.

  39. Pay attention.

  40. None
  41. None
  42. Image credits Linux Kernel Summit Jonathan Corbet, lwn.net How it

    works Randall Munroe, xkcd.com Kirk/Spock dreamlittleyo on LiveJournal Further reading geekfeminism.wikia.com