Geek Feminism Wiki

These are notes from AdaCamp DC, held in 2012 in Washington DC.

As you create notes for an AdaCamp DC session, please add a link to them below!

(pro-tip: you can create a pad like\x3cname_of_session> so they are human-readable urls)

Brainstorming Sessions for tomorrow? Jot them down here:

Did you write a blog, come across some press, or tweets about AdaCamp? Share it here:

Thursday night party at the Newseum -- please register ahead of time!


Session 1

Session 2vi

Session 3

Session 4

Lightning Talks

Closing Session

  • Will have another session on imposter syndrome tomorrow


Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Closing Session

  • Please write blog posts
  • Please write blog posts, tag with "AdaCamp DC" string

Session nextadacamp[]

Where should we have this next?

Portland, OR - we have good beer, wine, food, and puurty waterfalls and green stuff +1000 -selena

San Francisco up through Seattle



Berlin - Mozilla (Michelle Thorne?), FLOSS Manuals people, Wikipedia people....

Philadelphia - We've got killer women -,,,,, feminist (starting list) -, gay friendly -,,, geek culture -,, open source -,, cool DIY spaces -,,,, , robots-,, tech art -, event space - (walk to tech culture), also Drexel U and U of PA, Vegan/Green stuff -,, Oh yeah, and people on our streets actually will say "Hi" if you offer it up. Did I mention the LOVE statue? No pressure. - Leslie Birch




Ljubljana - people to reach out to MestoZensk



Rio - Porto Allegre - Sao Paulo - Brazilian Pirate Party people? - , Brazilian Wikimedia group

New York

Sponsorship ideas:

Google has offices in Zurich and Dublin that you might be able to use.

Connecting with Genderchangers' Eclectic Tech Carnival

Session 8KwE0c4JZJ[]


Women in the sceptical movement debate

- observing from the sidelines: all the arguments about women in FOSS coming up in this current argument

- whenever someone brings up an even vaguely feminist, people bring up "does this mean that we have to stop doing X too?" YES

- FOSS lesson: "You don't have to stop being mean, but don't expect others to join the project"

Do people think feminism inherently means being intersectional about other forms of oppression? (or focus on a particular -ism?)

- "intersection HAS to be there" "surprised by radical feminists who reject trans"

Projects other than Drupal that are intersectional exemplars?

- "what does that mean in terms of importance"

Is that important, is parity important?

- "idea of properly balanced project - contributor percentages match the user percentages"

- "so many projects are so far from parity... we aren't having the 48% -> 50%, it's more like 4% -> 10%"

30% of women talking 30% people PERCEIVE as women dominating the conversation


  • ohiolinuxfest 1200, 20 women -- not very many women
  • selinux fest 600 total, 20 women -- lots of women!

Gulf between queer community activism and feminism 101 in FOSS community

  • "people often say 'it doesn't matter'" rather than having high level goals
  • meritocracy myth
  • "why don't non-profits use free software" - because we don't sell them on the freedom & empowerment, and then we call them stupid when they can't use the software


  • more tactics for the internet (that work) are needed
  • protests & actions and with people

- where do we see change that happens on the internet only?

- dialog is shifting over time though....

  • is the tactic tenacity? :D

Gains in one space lead to gain in other spaces

- feminism 101 helps lead to other conversations

in-real-life: have a policy of being able to ban people at conferences

Code of Conduct is helping spread these ideas

- CoC is an aspect goal setting

- alignment vs fuzzy participation

Have a discussion publicly if someone "steps over the line"

- problem in IRC? intervene publicly

Intersectionality failures?

- People complaining about advertising an LGBTQ mailing list on a feminism-focused list

Buy-in from developers on accessibility

- get someone who uses a screen reader, or is entirely keyboard-free: record videos of them using tools! And then show them to the authors of the tools.

Class and background

- boy gets the computer instead of the girl

- living in X size house, you have a computer in your room, but if you live in a city in smaller apartment, you don't

- importance of computer literacy -- are there projects doing work in this area?

Experiencially: People who are most resistant to a discussion of privilege are cis, white, male, came from a lower economic household

People in techonology assume that their experience is universal

- "can't they just use the library"

Go to people where they are

- don't force minorities to go way outside their communities in order to get access to resources and training

Unjust hiring practices

- requiring people to go through a 3-month, startup (low) wage trial

- you have a "second shift" to work on open source in all your spare time

- requiring github code be public - alternative: allow someone to write an essay about a project they believe in/love

Startup culture

- excludes people who need stability in their employment situation

- "slash and burn", not so much community building, long term


- "getting girls interested what about women" --> training courses are exploding and are open to everyone

Feminist with Disabilities

ktempest bradford


Session socialchange[]

Creating social change

Using tech to create social change

Any good examples of open tech or resources that have done this?

  • Wikipedia blackout

Has a hard time expressing

  • She said bot response - talkback bot
  • Currently working on open mesh networking to start community wireless

Challenges with educating older users - this software can save time.

Struggles with awareness - what can you do with this stuff?

Need to find more people who have the technological

Wikipedia SOPA

  • Non profits that have been successfully been using these tools educating an dawareness.
  • More volunteering by tech folks
  • More meetings between tech and non profits
  • But is it scaleable? That's the problem.

Does it all come down to sustainabiliy and funding/

We need advocates within institutions

Reinventing the wheel

We have a hack day mentality - we get together build something awesome and it's often not sustainable.

DataKind has nonprofits apply to participate in a hack day (DataDives) - what do you need? can we help you? would hackers want to help? hackers then could chose their organization to work with and the next day things were presented. (GiveCamp does this as well)

One of these tools is now being used locally, and has a grant for a part time person to maintain. They meet monthly to work on it.

Open source is unique and great - but applying it needs to be really focused - specific. Focus one specific thing can make the most impact.

Occupy movement - was it open?

  • it was people coming together for personal control - open source allows that
  • can we learn anything from occupy and can occupy benefit from open source?

Open source movement

  • can consensus voting

Is there an open source movement?

Fan fiction is being used as a social change - feminism through fan fiction

Copyleft - open copy -

  • many users just want the software to work - do they care that it's open?
  • Open street maps - people are using it for social change - bike routes and handicap accessibility. Free software versus open source people.

Do you think that there are tools that don't exist yet that need to exist?

  • We rely on Google ap's so much. When can orgs have better tools for things like that? We'd rather use open source - something of good quality.

Other tools for organization - both Free and Subscription, Not Open source. - might not be reliable yet. it's not open source - free, but not open source

calls to action

information/action space

-Is there a place for "one stop shopping" for tools like this?

-A space for all of these things to be listed - reviewed or success stories?

-Could this be beneficial for just tech people or for the nonprofit people too?

Session adaaction[]

What Actions can we take? Where do we go from here?

20 years ago, in computer science calsses in early 20's. Was 1-2 women in class of 70+.

Predicting, fearing that 20 years from now, younger folks at AdaCamp will be in the same positoin she is without any change.

Maybe we've come up with these ideas, and maybe they turn out to be stupid. But if we don't try anything, maybe we get what we desreve.

If you look at the numbers of women in CS over time, it has declined.

How much of that is the number of actual people has increased, so the number of men maybe increased maybe the same number of women though?

College advisor saying you won't enjoy being in CS, not because you're not capable.

Success story: Harvey Mudd College, changed the ratio by making professors take sensitivty courses.

CMU had significant efforts, have reversed the trend, 30-40% sophmore year.

In some schools, you already have to be in CS before college. Some schools don't have this requirement. Took computational lingiustics course at a community college, full of women. Didn't think of themselves as programmers or CS people. Doing serious stuff and it was accessible to them. Wouldn't have taken equivalent course in CS dept. Interested in linguistics, not CS. Seen simlar in Biology departments, where depts offer CS for bioinformatics. If you do CS, you are a CS person = maybe this is a notion that is causing an issue. Don't have to do CS to the exclusion of other things.

A lot of online courses to jumpstart you in CS, you don't need the degree. I want to get rid of the stigma that you have to have a computer degree to get the job done. But that doesn't necessarily make you a good programmer.

  • Think about how to offer CS more blended across other fields.
  • Degree that had requirement, no more than 9 hours in one science
  • Chemistry for liberal arts majors
  • Start a new CS for liberal arts majors
  • Design+Technology degrees / the new school Design+Technology degree, RPI EMAC degree
  • How do we get rid of the stigma of computer science?
  • Don't require CS degree, how many don't bother submitted.

  • Should we partner with other minority groups to make these communities / projects accessible to them as well, outside of women's groups.
  • Black Girls who Code group - seems exclusionary but it makes them more comfortable because they feel like they are with people who are like them and have things in common
  • Have to work to make it so people can identify with something, make it so it feels welcoming to them
  • Partner with these smaller subgroups, reach out to them and let them make sure they know of opportunities, pass on information

Computer donations?


Problem: dealing with the aggression in the community.

  • women take things on a personal level
  • imaginary tone we hear in emails
  • tend to be concerned about

Problem: I can' t be myself. I have to be more direct and aggressive to get things done. How do we change the whole culture.

  • Have to change norms of culture
  • Don't force people to be the same
  • Meet us in the middle
  • Reach out and get more women in - are our communities ready for us to bring more in

Action Items:

  • Find studies to see where are CS programs right now, what are the percentages? Which colleges have changed the trend?
  • Harvey Mudd / CMU
  • "Unlocking the Clubhouse" is the book that mentions what CMU did
  • Go to a local college professor / head of CS department. Tell them we are concerned about it, and ask how we as women in the profession help you support your students. What messages are your advisors giving your students? Do we even know?
  • Company job description:
  • Do you require CS degree? Don't. Use "Or equivalent experience" phrase
  • Have a woman evaluate open positions and critique.
  • CS for liberal arts majors classes, if you have contact with professors (Heidi Ellis) suggest the idea to them. Smaller, New England-y liberal arts.
  • Talk to HR department, do an audit of the recruiting page for your company or organization / are there photos of women and minorities? Is the language exclusionary? Suggest updates to the page to make it less exclusionary.
  • Reach out to a local Girl Scouts troop and offer to teach a class.
  • See who has hardware they could donate - do a collection drive.
  • Come up with a wikipage of places you can donate equipment to support youth & diversity involvement in technology.
  • Audit program for projects, to see how welcoming their designs are to women, have case studies of how changes to a project site affected statistics positively, offer audits to open souce projects. Also put together guide and self-evaluation tools.
  • Could be Ada Initiative project?
  • Ada Initiative mentoring program?
  • Ada Initiatives for AdaCampers to mentor others
  • Program fo AdaCampers to mentor women outside of community to bring them in, or mentor younger women / female hs & computer science students
  • XX summit - specifically for younger girls of high school age and below. Inspired by UN 'the day of the girl' event. Talk to Rebecca to get in touch / get more information.
  • Dealing with aggression constructively?
  • Call people out, one-on-one if necessary. "Was that really necessary to say?"
  • Do things that aren't aggressive. Lead by example but haven't seen it work. Compliment people, make sure you say positive things.
  • "Could you maybe rephrase that differently?" They're not doing it on purpose, they're not aware they're doing it. They're productive and constructive, good people, just sometimes their language lapses back. They don't realize how they are coming across.
  • Meet them in the middle, try being more direct.
  • On the ground admonishment vs broadcast / blog post admonistment.
  • Research who has solved the diversity problem and how they did it. Create a list.
  • Next week, send out an email to the list, see if anyone has action items / plans on what to do next.
  • Find newcomer's guide, what is IRC, how to get involved - Women's Outreach Program Google Summer of Code document - publicize this, market it, get it distributed.
  • Distibute to professors
  • Develop and get feedback - iterate the document and improve.
  • Open source / open culture wide mentorship / women's outreach progam
  • targeted to women: Ada Initiative flavor of open hatch
  • Ada Initiative College women Outreach to get involved in open stuff


  • More diversity it technology, open source, open culture, STEM
  • AdaCamp Reunion because AdaCamp no longer needed


Session feministhackathon[]

Feminist Hackathon!!! Planning, Project Ideas, Potential Partners

Tips for getting beginners involved:

  • Dreamwidth
  • - user base 70% women, 70% beginners to coders, perl in general.
  • - Running joke: if you show up in the dreamwidth irc channel to hang out, you will start contributing to codebase w/in a couple of weeks.
  • - System installation is a nightmare of dependencies. They have the strategy of hosting individual VM installations for contributors on slicehost; this is called the "dreamhack" box.
  • - This only costs $160/month. Each person has their own shell account with the tools and apps installed, so that no sysadmin skills are necessary.
  • - There is a real culture of praise and encouragement -- every bug fix, no matter how small -- is praised. Don't drive away the people who do the little stuff.
  • make installation unnecessary. have pre-installed or a dev environment ready to go
  • culture of praise: make bug fixes = easy
  • accept patches and have committer fix beginner mistakes (like tabs vs spaces, inline styles etc)

Change culture:

  • all-night hackathons are unappealing for various lifestyle or health or other reasons. excludes lots of people. smelly and dirty.need to create an environment that is open to people not in college, those not able to stay up all night, who have kids, etc
  • feminist approach: collaboration over competition
  • multiple ways of 'winning' or categories to recognize: best documentation, most useful, addresses marginalized audience or need, etc. most collaborative or helpful, best teacher. most radical!
  • asking non profits or orgs what they NEED to determine projects
  • need structure, plan, a usable end app/product. For example, an iPad app for homeless people probably isn't going to be used much.

Examples of feminist projects

  • NYCU/ACLU came out with an app that can record police and send this to the orgs. Also gives info on your rights. Idea to create something akin to this for victims of domestic violence - would be private. Also with resources such as places to stay the night. Coders without Borders - was sued by Medicins sans Frontiers (!)

festival of the HTMlles in Montreal in November --

will have a feminist hackspace, mostly to build a platform for (radical) feminists to contribute to and use

Project ideas

  • geolocation for safe space or feminist space in cities: map of feminist/safe spaces in a city, crowdsourced data
  • rape/sexual assault reports and data. Is this data open? Varies by area/city.
  • domestic violence safety- source private donations or help? -
  • Concern about apps in general is that they don't reach enough people in general and that they are costly to maintain. After grant funding dries up, they tend to disappear.
  • Idea of open source platform for directory of women in different fields, so that people can find someone locally

Potential Partners/Resources

  • datakind

Idea of helping non-profits with tech needs, for example visualizing/organizing data.

  • occupy women
  • girl geek dinners - philly
  • girl develop it
  • developers for good (vanessa hurst)
  • employers for finding spaces
  • elizabeth yalkut can find space at columbia u in nyc!
  • intellectuals, academia: Involve scholars! Important to have thinkers/intellectuals (both in and outside academia). For example, involve people in digital arts (design is important). Diversity is important, gets you access to important perspectives. Need to expand outside of the "hacker boy" demographic that is prevalent at hackathons. For example: psych depts, historians have data coming out of their ears.
  • digital artists, designers, reach out to non techie communities
  • data visualization - social scientists have research data 'coming out of their ears' - sociologists, historians, psych depts - GIS mapping would be a good outcome of this is the hub of open government data now.

  • sarah cordivano GIS with city of Philadelphia/data hackthon experience
  • Annalee Flower Horne is a resource for open-goverment data.

Roles for non-developers

Important to include folks who can't code! Designers, documenters, editors. Usability experts, accessibility, QA. Traditional hackathons not focused on end-product rather than end-user. A feminist hackathon could redefine the notion. Not just for magical smelly wizards and great unwashed hacker boys :-D

  • UI, usability testing, design
  • not only for code wizards!
  • QA testing, accessibility!!!! QA, testing on the street
  • documentation
  • coming up with goals and steps to accomplish them
  • writing copy content
  • Information architecture - structure the project's content

Session pFtz0Pl9KO[]


GNOME Outreach Program for Women intro

First started in 2006 with Women's Summer Outreach Program. Then the effort was resumed in 2009

very few women participants in the GNOME Google Summer of Code until 2011/2012

in 2010, revitalized the GNOME women mailing list before GSoC

GSoC applicants need to get in touch with a mentor beforehand to see if the project is something that the community wants, but a couple women who applied on their own did not do that

summer 2011 GNOME internship program (8 women in outreach internships, 7 women in GSoC), 2012 GNOME internship (10 women in outreach internships, 5 women in GSoC)

- in parallel with GSoC, so that women can be incouraged to do either

  • if you make a program specifically for women, they will apply in greater numbers than if it's just a general program

Some GNOME interns became mentors in the following years

GNOME outreach internships are also open to non-coders (designers, documenters, etc)

Have mentors who want to help and can get them through the first patch

Applicants contact the group, propose or gather ideas for a project, see if it fits with what the group needs

Contact a group, try to find an easy first patch

Once they finish their first patch, their application may be accepted

Pair up with a mentor

Need to teach them about tools

- what is IRC?

- what is a bug tracker?

- what tools do you need?

Preapplication process - Jessica from Python will post link to step-by-step tools documentation

- The Twisted Outreach Program description and application process:

- This should get cleaned up and turned into a blog post, but: our pre-application process for getting applicants acclimated with the tools and community around open source development, + walking through their first patch submission:

- A lot of these resources come from, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the barriers to open source contribution. In particular, their training missions:

Encourage managable tasks throughout the internship - have concrete goals

Require the participants to blog about their work

- write a blog post on their progress on the project

- their blog is incorporated into Planet GNOME

- spreads the word to the community that women are working on their project

- sets the expectation that any conversation will include women, so e.g. people don't make inappropriate jokes on IRC that presume a male-only audience

mentor mailing list has opened to be for all people who are starting out in the project

get a link to your project's list of mentors added to

Geek Feminism has a list of generic mailing lists for women in computer science as well

where they advertised - Ada Initiative, Systers, Society of Women Engineers, etc.

Other organizations could join forces with GNOME and Software Freedom Conservancy to create FOSS Women Outreach if other groups are interested

- Contact Marina Zhurakhinskaya (Red Hat/GNOME) if interested

Open Source Mentoring flyer - spread the word

staleness of data on the mentors page is a concern

how to attract non-coders? passionate users, friends of coders

Session Dbu5HQhltb[]

Activist Tech Tools

activist tools: like tools for dissent

Tor - anonomity tool

issues: flash, speed

activism on the internet gets tied to anonymous and 4chan and tends to be misogynist, but they are subcultures. best at getting attention are not necessarily representative

occupy came out of internet activism and anonymous and similar? not really

tools for creating narratives. activist communities being recognized

twitter - effective tool for getting word out. but has serious limitation. trusting political rights to a corporation. as an alternative? not censored and can be standalone instances. Also, call to tweet and something else to aid twitter postings in situations where twitter was inaccessable.

anonymous talk is important to faciliatate protests and so on. facebook is out as a result. (and google+ for now).

facebook showed the worst of the internet - see kony.

encrypting email tools. should be easier. tor may be trying to help with funding to improve the tools on linux. if only the folks up to something are using privacy tools, then you can tell who to target, so maybe this should be more widespread, so make it easier.

activists are targetted with malware, like keyloggers. so user education of basic computer security concepts should be key. like how to turn https on gmail or facebook. privacy settings, don't click on links you don't trust and don't trust links.

awareness of security, basicly.

tech to help govern. activists communicating with policy makers is important. mesh horizontal communications systems. internet systems in churches in dc.siege mentality in congress against tech people. devices aren't allowed on the floor of congress(!).

knowledge does not necessarily implemented. robust evidence based knowledge, fact-checking, reputation filters, as tools.

some of the most interesting things are at the local elvel.

automating comments to regulations.

problem where people don't have connectivity. citizen input would be skewed.

Session handsonhacking[]

(from Amy - PiratePad name labels got mixed up?)

I proposed this session as an open time for working and talking about any projects people wanted to bring, whether that's hardware, software, craft, or anything else. We morphed it into discussion about learning to hack, learning tools that are out there, and so on.

Tools for Summer Code Parties:

Some talk about learning to code

  • need to work hands-on, not just read
  • learning works better with an actual project or need or desire - not just "I want to learn" in an abstract way

More hands-on online tools for learners:


groups, events, feminist hackathons: (please add!!)

  • HTMelles (festival in Montreal)
  • pyladies

another good motivator - pairing tech learners with non-profits, community orgs, etc. A lot of women aren't as interested in learning computers just for the sake of the computers, but for the project that makes things click.

Women learning Linux server administration and hosting women/feminist sites:

Session geekmom[]

Geek Moms

Being a mom, being WITH moms, things that suck, things that are great.

Some careers require international travel, and a lot of moms have the chance of career enhancing trips but require leaving kids behind. From kid's perspective, Mom just disappears!

What is the point of bringing the child with you? Is it for us, or is it for your own feelings, alleviate guilt?

Breastfeeding, travel = forced weaning

Would large care-communities help offset challenges? More communal relationships, multi-generation or group living?

How can you have both career and children?

  • Is personal sacrifice is always required when you want to be in a leadership position?
  • Depending more on partner's salary while Mom is working part time during critical years of young children
  • Look for employer that allows flexible schedule
  • Alternative arrangements, having child with partner who doesn't share
  • Part time work could be real game-changer; how can we change this? The problem may be that paying a benefits package is so expensive, employers don't want to pay it to a part-time worker. Problem may also be that companies also have concerns with IP produced outside of their working hours. May need some "pioneers" to fight for part time model in a company.

Maternity/Paternity leave in Europe as a model, more time off or at later period other than the infant stage. Depends on the philosophical justification for the parental leave.

Mom friendly-spaces - what really works? (i.e. mothership hacking space in Berkeley, co-working hacker space) In Open Source world, there is increasing talk of childcare, child rooms, actually change is coming from men, wanting to bring their families with them at conferences.

Conference childcare - be sure you are asking for it, because it may be on the radar of conference organizers but they don't know that you want it

WikiWomen edit-a-thon - ways to make kid-friendly, family-friendly, encouraging kids to edit too. Make sure you keep a ratio of

Mailing list - childcare exchange, babysitting co-op (model examples, token-based)

Older children = getting kids 8+ involved in their parents' geek life, getting consensus and support for children's involvement in hacker space, creative industrial spaces

Kids and Computers--they are such digitial natives; hypocracy of criticizing kids who are on the computer all the time (but how did you get started hacking?!) So proud of hacker kids--you really don't want to punish them.

Lobbying groups to change policy? Mom's Rising?

Sharing stories about structures that worked well for some women, "Sisters" mailing list out of the Anita Borg institute

From POV of the Ada Iniative, want to develop resources for groups that want to be inclusive towards mothers: Here is how you do that. Should point out outcomes.

Session HmipfOVkB1[]

In an ideal world, what would it look like?


Organized by Selena


• Selena, would like a list of goals

• Jessie, first time feminist conference. Not sure if it was perfect or if we could make changes, not sure what it would be. More interested in listening.

• Christine, looking for inspiration. I'm not great at encouraging other women around me, surrounded by guys all the time. What should I be doing?

• Katie, first time conference really, immersed in male culture, similar to Christine

• Rebecca,, developer, i would love to be more in the public and talking about women in tech, her first geek feminism course...

• Vanessa, girldevelopit... to encourage women to learn devel skillls, judgement free learning... not sure we're on the same page as to what our goals are

  • Mo, Red Hat, interested in getting more women into project, not sure what would look like

• Becca, raised by women also in the field...

First step? Workplace has more women in it?

We're all fighting for that "token women" position. A bit of cattiness. A weird thing that happens when there's less women.

People want to be with other people who are like them. "Black girls who code" - that seems a little exclusive, doesn't it? But ppl want to be surrounded by other women like themselves. Getting other people who are similar and like-minded in the same environment. In comp sci programs, they found out that to increase the gender ratio, you have to have other women who are similar, otherwise women feel alienated.

Culture resistance research - from ethnic minorities / study groups. If people have study groups based on ethnicity, much more likely to stay in computer science.

went to exchange to baby sit for sister. Went to expensive computer camp when younger. Cool, I can program video games, etc. Ended up teaching at the program, really inspired her. Co-founded coder dojo branch in NYC, teaching kids programming skills free-of-charge. I wonder how much of it is exposure. Girl came to previous session, didn't know you could have a job in tech and progamming.

Oh, computer science is a major? Awesome. I didn't discover that until I was 17.


  • Course
  • Camp

Exposure at an early age makes a huge difference. The more I talk to other people, the more I find out is that women came to it really late. I would like to see at a very early age, letting people know what they can do.

Study, women don't ask or unlocking the clubhouse. Parents give girls computer much later than boys. Has a twin brother, when parents bought a computer, they put it in his room. She had to use family computer until she got her own too. Parents need to be a part of the equation. Family was very encouraging in her being interested in tech, but still did this implicit thing.

Structure of the family impacts you - when you have children, have to choose between family and job. If you have the money, hire a nanny do your job. Don't have money, raise your kids. Growing up, mom overly emotional and dad in the garage, tinkering with cool things. She was able to look at her dad and be interested in. If woman and man were both doing really neat things - I grew up watching my parents build our house.

Women can't have it all article - why can't the guy have to choose? Why is burden on women? That choice should be available to men too. Men don't feel like they have a choice. Conversations with husband - he's the nuturing one of the couple - a lot of men, even if naturally nuturing and caring, worry about staying home with the kids, 'it's weird.' Could you take 6 mos off and take care of our kid.

My family - plays into the part of role models... my family, mother working and supporting family while husband in law school. More role models needed to change stereotype.

Started career at male-dominated consulting firm, but strong female culture. Women invested a lot in you, shared how they balanced work-life, strong female culture. Now work for non-profit, not many high ranking women, gender gap and our foundation not talked about, talked about more generally. I think that's a big gap.

Heard about this in other non-profits too. E.g., union organizers working 90-100 hours a week. Have to take the thing you're working towards and apply it to your own organization. We'll push for this change and make where we live be that way too. It's a big issue.

Girl scouts outreach / all female group, but teacher white, all students african american - struggle for credibility, to be role model for class

Looking for token minority - disconnect...

Etsy grants to women to take summer programming. Not sure if that's the right initative? Just because you're a woman, you're special, you need extra money? Backlash against women outreach. Love that topic but a little offtopic here

Fire with Fire book - Naomi Wolf - talks a lot about the issues when you strongly advocate for a feminist position, in an industry preivously male domination - first thing that happens is that the wages drop. So there's real economic consequences for feminizing an industry

I'm not sure if we're aiming for 50/50. My goal is much more inclusive. A lot more different types of thinkers. There are a lot of women who are thinkers like me, but i'm more interested in more thinkers like me getting involved. I wasn't a tinkerer, I don't take things apart. Nothing wrong with that, but we engage those types of thinkers. We don't engage people who are just trying to accomplish something big, and show them how to use technology to do that. Seems to be a divide between low-level thinkers trying to control technology, and folks using technology towards a bigger end. For me, it's not about achieving 50/50. Came in thru DB because an ordered thinker, DB could help achieve end goal.

Engaging minority groups - there was a UN grant to teach postgres to folks in Nigeria. I went there, read tech articles about Africa... Microsoft's investment in Africa. Investment - saw some pretty awful practices, felt unethical, locking governments into 3-5 year contracts and licenses. One issue for me is, social justice from a software perspective throughout the world, and the ethics. Promoting the ethics of using free and open source software in places other than the developed world.

Goal #1: Empowering less developed communities in solving problems using open technology.

Our for-profit, non-proft vmodels don't help us accomplish what we need to accomplish.

How can ethics support business model. Non-profit doesn't always mean ethical.

Goal #2: In the developed world people recognize the ethics, outside of business model, around technology.

Sometimes women in higher levels of org don't reach out to women in lower positions, seem to be possessive / protective of their positoin.

Goal #3: Higher up women regularly reach out and support women lower in the hierarchy.

sarah lacy, tech crunch... she had this mentality. Yes, things were harder for me, but it's made me who I am. If you can't go through it, you're not as good as I am. Once you break through, it's to your credit... dismissal, using as an ego thing. The idea that all work and achievement in suffering.

If I suffer through that, there should be a puppet recipe to fix it!

Goal #4: Achievement should not be tied to suffering and a high level of pain tolerance. Collectively we only suffer through rough stuff once and fix it for others.

BJ Fogg, Selena took a class in behavior design and habits. He has a model of taking high-level goals and mapping them down to specific behaviors that will get you to that place. Will take those high-level goals, brainstorm a bunch of behaviors, then take people through an exercise where we take the behaviors and make them more specific, 'crispifying' - make concrete and actionable. How do we get people to do this? A whole behavior framework that goes with it. Doesn't take long to teach people how to think this way. Useful exercise - applies to user experience design, a really useful framework. Talking about things, instead of a one-time change... these are real high-level goals. Societal change. So you have to get people to do something forever - funamentally change what they're doing.

Fogg's research says that it's much easier to get people to do something new than to stop doing what they're already doing. So find conflicting behaviors - make them do something new that makes it impossible or hard to do the thing they shouldn't be doing, or have them do something that takes up time that leaves them without time to do the thing they shouldn't be doing. Make them do an antipattern of the thing they were doing that you don't want them to.

blend between visible technologist and social activist - how much do i do of each? i don't aspire to be a teacher, I teach only because i want to spread the technology. How do you integrate those behaviors without losing what you are. sounds work-life balancy but - is there a higher-level plan we could figure out... good to focus on what you intended to do instead of advocating on top of that. bigger vision - what would be ideal? what percentage of time do you spend on what you do vs advocating. what's the proper recipe?

Have to document what you're doing to make it easier for others to break in.

If work on proprietary software though, can't talk about what you're doing and the cool things you've done. I've built cool stuff but I can't show you any of it, I promise I'm good in trying to get involved. I've been programming the whole time and have no credibility because I can't talk about it.

Session 6i6lzUTS6c[]

(I didn't catch the names of a lot of the software mentioned, please add)

Vidders often don't consider themselves technical people, even experienced vidders still run into a lot of technical problems

Editors: linear and non-linear, some hurdles to latter (harder, often cost money)

There's a price tag attached to vidding, many vidders use pirated software and/or free alternatives (editors, rippers, etc)

Vidding communities on LJ and DW have written detailed how-to's for pretty much anything

Great resource:

Making a vid takes an incredibly long time: often months for a few minutes - "Once I started making vids, I realized why movies takes so long to make"

Watching vids: VLC player used most often, or quicktime, mobiplayer for android

Difficult to keep playable copies of years-old vids

Types of vids:

-celebratory, express love for show/characters

-multi-show vids, following tropes/things across source works

-metavid: about fandom itself

Vids shown:

  • Kuwdora's Inception vid (Vidders have very different reasons for creating, eg they're interested in look of movie, relationships between characters)
  • "Closer", Kirk and Spock vid that went viral, people tend to point to that one as example of "that weird slash thing"
  • "Women's work", vid on women in Supernatural, was not well received by fans who preferred to focus on relationship between two male leads in show

Vids referenced by seperis:

  • Climbing up the wall by obessive24 - examination of incest relationships in Heroes/Firefly/Supernatural television shows -- controversial because fandom's dominant narraitive is overwhelmingly positive about sexualizing incest relationships:
  • Paparazzi by kuwdora - a meta vid about the internet community on livejournal Oh No They Didn't and Eli Roth fangirls. Eli Roth ended up cybering with his fans over the course of an evening and this vid documents this event: the password is: blueberry


  • mpegstreamclip mac/windows - freeware video editor/converter

VirtualDub(Mod) - windows only, converter,

AviSynth frameserver program for windows --> complex tool utilizing scripting in order to achieve

  • handbrake - mac/pc, video converter, ripper
  • TMPGEnc - windows video converter
  • MakeMKV - rip blurays, really easy

Linear video editors

  • Windows Movie Maker (Windows)
  • iMovie (Mac)

  • Non-linear video editors
  • Sony Vegas (Windows, lower-end, relatively cheap)
  • Sony Vegas Pro (Windows, mid-level editor)
  • Corel/Ulead - Windows
  • Avidemux - Linux
  • Cinelerra - Linux

  • Adobe Premiere - Windows, industry standard software, prosumer, advanced editing program
  • Final Cut Express / Final Cut Pro - Mac, industry standard, prosumer, advanced editing program

Post-production - animation, source manipulation, advanced and complex software

  • Motion - Mac
  • After Effects - Windoows and Mac

viewing options:


Real Media

WMM (Windows movie maker)

VLC player



Session KD5wKcNodS[]

Imposter Syndrome Session 4


Geek as a stereotype - reclaiming the term?

Usenet ethos... liberatarian western ethos, it's okay to scream or shout. if you don't like it, you can say what you want to say. If it's open and free and there's no women here, it must be because they dont want to be here.

A lot more female contributors on certain wikis...

Wikipow... appeals to things women were traditionally good at. Nuturing / helping type stuff. Articles are more appealing to women? Stereotypical but... every nuanced thing about baseball statistics, they're not into. Idea that something is a how-to... makes a difference.

Sophia received an email from someone asking for help with imposter syndrome. Asking if she ever felt imposter syndrome.

Feeling lucky vs feeling qualified. When guys talk about qualifications, they talk about how they are inherently skilled, desrve it. While women attribute factors outside themselves - luck for example.

Not a lot of people in cyberlaw... not a field to study. Easy to feel like you're not authoritative if you didn't study it, etc, feel not qualified. But if there's no degree to study not fair to think that way. What qualifications would make you feel better.

Another woman a programmer and never taken a CS course. Started programming as a kid, learned web development.

Another never had to do a technical interview. Always was referred. Give interviews but never had to answer those types of interviews. Makes her feel a little like an imposter, like she got in easier.

Another story - I can't brag about myself, but I will be mindful and say that I worked very hard for this. Fake it until you make it.

After she was told women tend say they are lucky, she made an effort to say she earned it and she accomplished it. Also try not to ask questions.

In security, "real" programmers vs people who aren't "real" programmers. Silly PHP is no good, other tech is no good.

"Developer" vs "programmer" -

If I'm male, if I fail, I don't have to feel like I've failed my whole gender. Seems to be more responsiblity for the woman, stakes are higher if you're in the minority. Ripples will go much farther than just if one guy made the mistake.

Confidence - early in career vs later on in career. More susceptible earlier on.

Situation where had to push back and say she was doing a good job, was facing a lot of criticism and blame from one particular coworker. Solution was to cut him out of it.

Industry in general tends to have big egos / alpha male personalities. When you're coding, there's no one right answer.

How do you reality check yourself? Is it something I could be better at vs. am I being unconfident?

  • Is there someone who I know who will do a better job?
  • If I feel like I'm doing terrible but no one else could do it, I'm doing okay
  • If I've been taking 80 hours and still not finished, not my bad, I need to ask for help
  • There are people who pretend that they know everything, but they don't.
  • Exude the confidence, even if you don't. Fake it until you make it.
  • Example: IRC channel of close / tight-knit peers, judgement free place to ask questions, etc.
  • Is networking, having contacts to answer questions - does this come easier to men? Do women feel like they can't do that?
  • Fear of judgment if you ask a 'dumb' question
  • If there are networks and avenues to talk to people. Level of professional vs personal going on...
  • Can't hang out with boss after work at bar if it would seem inappropriate, but a male could
  • Boys club - guys go to gym, strip clubs, etc together after work. Woman can't do that.
  • Casual conversation about work
  • Maybe try to put yourself out there and suggest a more neutral place
  • Be willing to take a little initiative and provide / propose more neutral options. They may not be aware of how exclusive what they're doing is. Lack of awareness.

Are there things we can do to help women fake it till they make it better?

How can we help women learn that? It seems key.

  • I think I've learn to fake it but it feels like an energy drain.
  • I wish people didn't have to fake it, which is the whole point. If everyone feels this way, why do I always feel like the only one?
  • Are guys faking it? Yeh, definitely.
  • I like openness, I like people saying they don't know something. I don't like the macho culture. Should women fake machismo, or should the men try to be a bit more open.
  • Is there a middle ground between the two?
  • Helping people feel more confident. Can we help women feel more confident?
  • Milestones, reality checks -
  • Annual review - if it's positive, can help you feel you've done a good job and realize you're okay
  • Find the right people to go to that you can open up to, that you don't have to fake it with
  • Differnece between self-denigration and admitting things
  • Not all faking is bad
  • Nurse telling patient never done it before - would cause patient stress, not really necessary, you have the ability
  • Turn to trusted people who tell you what your expertise in
  • More positive feedback. You only hear when you've screwed up, not good.
  • Monthly emails reporting what you've worked on, so have monthly process of reviewing what you've accomplished.

  • One guy complaining about he was leaving office late, working long hours... people believed he was a hard worker, but if you watched his hours you'd realized he wasn't. There is a perception that comes from the picture you paint for yourself.
  • Sending emails late at night, etc
  • Competition for how many hours you put in. No, it's not cool to work 300 hours a month. Get your job done in 40 hours or less and be more effective than that.
  • You can't have it all, law professor, wrote this article, under secretary to hillary clinton. Affects both genders though. Men encouraged to work crazy hours. Woman who has to do shopping can never clean up. Men should be taking maternity leave, they should have balanced life as well, not taking up women's time to pick up behind them.
  • Is there an advantage to have husband work full time and woman be housewife? Biggest problem is it sets an example for the following generation.
  • A study that showed men whose wives stay at home tend to think less of their female coworkers who don't stay at home.

Roles of the mentor - can give you positive affirmation, tell you what you can do.

For coders, pair programming - all of your work is done with another person beside you to discuss it with. No stigma against it. Hierarchy - always senior programmers your pair could go to, to get advice and help. Great environment to learn software development. Other times... felt like an arranged marriage.

Exercise - ask family and friends when youre at your best what you look like, could use it to figure out career direction, etc.

Takeaways -

  • Good to have reality check group or mentor
  • Develop a network of people you can go to, for advice, and tap into it

Session queeraction[]

This pirate pad is for two sessions - LGBT action and genderfuck

LGBT action opportunities -

  • Create a "consortium" of queer groups that are within companies and organizations to support queer activism online and best practices
  • Create a mailing list - who can host it?
  • AdaCamp style "QueerTechCamp?"
  • How can we channel the protest and zines of then with the internet of today?
  • Transinclusive policy
  • asking about trans policies
  • gender neutral bathrooms?
  • transwomen, transfolk - asterick with inclusivity
  • human rights equality index
  • there is more than two genders!!!: make gender a text field
  • sensitivity training
  • dress up and how that makes one uncomfortable.
  • check yourself before you wreck yourself; call out language or behavior that's not ok even if it's not directed towards you/making you specifically uncomfortable
  • naming conventions - attribution
  • is there an opportunity for a best practice about this and gender identity (checkbox)

TEDxHampshireCollege - Jay Smooth - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race

-advocacy versus inclusion


Session isyndrome2[]

Session II: Imposter Syndrome

I. Definition

"Impostor syndrome describes a situation where someone feels like an imposter or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is being needlessly insecure. It's especially common in fields where people's work is constantly under review by talented peers, such as academia or Open Source Software." - Geek Feminism Wiki

Why are the attendees interested in this session? Two examples:

1. Many personal stories

2. It seems that sometimes, the more successful you are, the worse it gets.

II. Effects of imposter syndrome

- Prevents you from taking advantage of opportunities

- Saying you're less skilled than you are on resumes, in interviews

- Anxiety

- Over preparing

Personal examples involved:

- In academia, all the men in a CS department seemed like they had stay-at-home wives, who did their laundry, while the women

- Perceptions that top tier women in CS are only there to fit quotas

- People imply that because someone knows more because they've worked longer, and of course the newcomer doesn't know what they're doing

III. Combating imposter syndrome

- Finding an ally in a professional context to support you and say things like "What do you mean you can't do XYZ?"

- Confront it and allowing others to figure out that they're contributing to it

- Imagine everyone else also has it

- Talk to mentors

- Write recommendations for others as a way to pay it forward and often they'll turn around and do the same for you

- Say "STOP" out loud if you find yourself saying negative things in your head

- Turn negative phrases into positive ones. Instead of saying "I don't want to sleep in," say "I want to get up early" because that's what your mind will catch onto.

- Do something you enjoy

- Keep track of compliments you receive and go back to them when you're having a particularily tough time

- Look back to see where you were a year ago and look at how much you've improved. Don't focus so much on how more there is to learn that you don't give yourself credit for what you have already learned.

- Remember your friends' specific accomplishments and remind them of those things

How to combat anxiety:

- Pull people aside and ask them how you're doing instead of imagining what they might be thinking

- Write excel macros or tidy things up, imposing order on things in your control help you feel more in control

Session moms-solutions[]

Stop using "Mom" as the example of people are not tech-savvy!

(recap of "Raising Your Daughter to be a geek" session)

Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" - false binary that you have "all" or "nothing" You can have it all but not at the same time. There are a lot of these false binaries in mothering.

8 year old asking for an email account of her own; issues related to that.

"How come only the women with children get flextime?" "How come women with kids get to leave right at 5:00 and I'm stuck with her work." It is to the advantage of everyone to have work-life policies in place to encourage balance and flexibility. How can we talk about flex time and other benefits -- in terms of expanding it companywide rather than just building up resentment against people you think have unfair privilege?

Children have a way of punishing you for taking time for yourself, traveling, not being there. Whenever you come back, they act up for days.

"Looking back, they are going to remember that Mom had to go away sometimes, and that I ALWAYS CAME BACK."

Fear of using sleep deprivation or a new baby as an excuse, even though suffering from short term memory loss during postpartum.


  • Extra stuff that you have to do to prepare.
  • A lot of hostility towards pregnant women/women with kids - younger/childless women need to be allies
  • When you become "the mom" at your job it changes dynamic; it takes a while to embrace the fact that you identity changes in other people's eyes
  • Being given a hard time about pumping; the time and the
  • Broach subject with managers of pumping and childcare and flex time. moms need private space.
  • Different cultural norms around pregnancy and childrearing
  • Pregnancy brain and mom brain a challenge professionally. Sleep deprivation

Being a Geek you cultivate non-girly identity, being one the guys, analytic side, but being a mother is about embracing a very emotional, girly side.Some reluctance to talking about kids about work. For some reason it can be hard to embrace the whole Mom identity. Hard when you are pregnant/showing if you want to get work done.


  • Being able to be honest about the struggle, why do we have to pretend we are not struggling
  • Set boundaries early about flexitime, relocation - don't be afraid to ask for what you want and start the conversation there
  • Shop around for companies that align with your values
  • Babysitting co-ops, important to find many childcare options
  • Ask for what you want! Ask for as much as you can!
  • Networks of other mothers in your company, in your personal life--find them in classes (post-partum yoga), lesson or class that happens on a saturday (saturday classes usually have both working parents cause non-working parents do stuff during the week.)
  • Women need to speak honestly with each other.
  • Coming back to work - private spaces when needed - spaces to pump
  • Various sorts of maternity leave - finding out what you can get early on. Flexible time options

  • In some companies, women have helped create policy/ push policy forward (e.g. "There was no maternity policy until I got pregnant", "there was no lactation room until I had my baby")

  • What could your companies have done to make it easier when you were pregnant? Now that you have kids?
  • Working in a male dominated field can mean less/no bellygrabbing.
  • After birth, identity changed to a lot of people.
  • Important for women to ask for what they need
  • Transition back to work is tough. Feeling guilty about leaving baby or feeling guilty because you want to leave your baby.

  • Other mothers in the office with kids is really helpful and important (if you can g
  • How to find other working moms - classes? postpartum classes?
  • Great book - The Milk Memos: How Real Moms Learned to Mix Business and Babies - and How You can Too - (written by a group of women working at

Session oWuKE8aNgu[]

Hiring Workshop

Places that are hiring

Places to post jobs

  • Python User Group in Boston takes jobs postings in a very specific format

How to Post Jobs

  • We need other words that are female-gendered ("maven" ?)
  • Include benefits that would be of value to women like flexible hours
  • Can say that we encourage women and others to apply. can include diversity statement prominently

Assessing Candidates

  • good to look at stated skills vs. actual skills
  • important to factor-in culture in assessment
  • Woman often underestimate themselves

Suggestions for People Who Are Looking for Jobs

  • Networking is KEY - reach out to EVERYONE you know, used LinkedIn, use Twitter - women are not always as good as men at this but just be assertive and aggressive and ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
  • Come up with at least one question
  • Reach out to people whose work you like
  • Also good way to meet people who are mentors
  • Don't feel like you are "cheating" if you use connections; there are people who are moving forward and leveraging their privileged circles
  • Use your blog and your web presence
  • Don't make a divide between doing good work and making the money you want or deserve
  • What Color Is Your Parachute? is an awesome book with LOTS of resources and advices on how and want to ask
  • Find someone you admire and is where you want to be and find out how you got there
  • Not every step has to be perfectly aligned with where you are going
  • Don't be afraid to say no or hear no
  • Dare to talk about the things that you are really good at
  • Maybe putting verbal feedback from others on your resume - LinkedIn - helps to combat imposter syndrome!
  • Send your resume whether you see a listing or not. Sometimes they will create a job for you, other times they will just have you in mind.
  • Informational interviews are good
  • Neil Gaiman commencement speech -
  • Look at it more like dating - interview the interviewers! Find out their values. Tell me what your typically days are like? What would you fix here? What training is offered? Policy on conferences? Work/life balance? Flex-time?
  • Get a friend to interview you and then write an "ideal job description" for you

Session 17IfhNzlLn[]

Funding / Sustaining Open Stuff

How can we sustain volunteer / open source / open culture work?

Fan Fiction - strong culture against charging money because you don't want to get sued, so often you change character names and self-publish, so actually make $ off of new work

Setting up a Hackerspace - built list of contacts who can run courses and help with the space, struggled to target funders (arts vs sciences), avoid half-effort / part-time efforts (need a solid startup team, not just on your own)

Apple App example - paid app, subscription, freemium (download a free version, then buy new game levels, etc. within the game)

Android ecosystem - less vulnerable to whim of company (e.g. Apple changed the search algorithm to prefer popularity over literal strings, etc.)

Kaboom - Building playgrounds, use corporate sponsorship & corporate volunteers as labor

Yelp - sustainable based on user input, users can get elite status, built in checks for integrity of ratings (so you can't pay Mechanical Turk to flood your yelp profile with good reviews)

Is there an App Store for Open Source ?

Donate money on a recurring basis to make sure something is simply updated (not necessarily add new features)

Mediatume - Open Source Slingbox - play your music / movie collection anywher. Currently unmaintained so requires manual download of open source code & recompile every time Linux updates.

e.g. MakeMKV, will accept money but doesn't have an impact on productivity

Browse Open Source Projects - google code, sourceforge, github

Making a $ contribution makes you feel invested in it (maybe $1 or $2)

Session 5EP4RZ1vB4[]

  1. license:CC-by-nc-sa-3.0

Fandom, feminism and social change: being open vs, hidden

coming out as fannish is difficult – stigma/ “isn't it illegal?”

fan space could be really powerful for social change, but it's hidden #lang:es_AR

fannish introductions!

Fandom as a place where people discuss a lot of feminist and anti-racist things, sometimes more than 'real life' – the same things happen, but no one talks about it as much.

Fandom is really secretive, often

One person is becoming more open, but tries not to associate fan and legal names on the internet

It's a huge part of our time -- why can't we talk about it like other parts of our lives?

We may talk about fic in public life but we don't give out the links to everyone!

There's a hierarchy of fandom – twilight fandom getting harassed , 'cool fandoms'

For example, racism in cosplay fandoms.

women-fronted fandoms are becoming blockbusters in hollywood – portrayed as a 'fluke' over and over again

issues in how people market to fandoms, create spaces for fans

division between how you engage in fandom an acceptable way (meta/theory) in an unacceptable way (porn!)

fandom is okay if it's dudes drawing superheros, but not if you're a girl writing 5000k words about them.

Cool fandoms like certain video games

FemFrequency controversy -

pressure on women to conform, not speak up, to not critique media

if we can't speak this problem there's no way to solve it

if you don't explain fandom in an economic way people don't understand

doujinshi fandom in japan – print fandom/condoned/used by industry

one participant's deciding factor for seeing a movie is if there's fandom talking about it

Talking about the economics of fandom is a good inroad

however there's an essay about (possibly copperbadge?) - “how fanfiction keeps us poor”

Gift economy is an illusion

the idea that fandom and money can never meet is a fiction – look at Japan

the closer you get to a legal position for fanworks the more fanworks will be monetized

Random house fanfic contest example – predatory play on fan's desire for recognition.

Possible model of comics industry, doujinshi fandom as an inroad into industry, connection of fandom to economic value

We need to discuss valuing fandom as work

conversation that needs to be had about fandom, social currency and power

as people come out there's going to be backlash

proving your are 'fan enough'

conversation about power – there are lines that continue; disparity in pay, who makes it into the industry, which fandoms are valid, what kind of fandoms do you cop to

what do we want to do?

what would people want to do in fanworks in economic terms

get fans excited about open stuff because it empowers people to control their lives, arrange things for themselves – think about economic possibilities

talk more about current professionals as fans- they're almost all fans;

fans as creators – stop downplaying your talent as fan, and own it as a creator

fans need to come out within social movements and ally/join power

guy fawlkes mask as example of how powerful a fandom icon can become outside of 'fandom'

Session 1YixhZzbVF[]

First Patch Workshops \x3c-- get in touch with me if interested

A First Patch workshop goal: get attendees exposure to the tools and community of open source development, and then get them working on their first patch submissions to real open source projects!

Some resources:

- OpenHatch's Open Source Comes to Campus event series:

- Twisted internship pre-application process for first-time contributors:

- A lot of these resources come from, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the barriers to open source contribution. In particular, their training missions:

First patch workshop: getting involved in open source, learn the tools and get a patch for an open source project out.

patch: tool or piece of code for an open source project

background: openhatch project - lowering barriers to entry; gnome outreach for women

Open Source Comes to Campus

Day 1: Community, History, Licensing, Why This is Important, Bugtracker and IRC examples/

Practicing these tools

Day 2: Working through submitting first patch (from curated list of bugs to work on- - appropriate, "bite-sized")

learning tools like bugtrackers, irc, diff + patch, mailing list etiquette, history of FLOSS and open culture, revision control, how to respond to criticism of patches, getting over the "this is scary" hump, setting up mailing clients?, transparency about communicty governance, who are core committers ? who are steering committee members? how did they gain this status? how can i? career paths related to contributor status -- can this get me a job?

Allows you to practice using tools (patch to apply path, diff to create a diff)

How to get on campuses?

Contacts on the campuses - talk to CS department, student computing groups - money can be a challenge

main point of contact: acm, cs departments, engineering socieities, computing groups, swe

need projects to work on in day 2. need people who are connected to open source projects to mentor/help

OpenHatch helps collect and curate bugs from various open source projects use APIs to scrape bugs from other bugzillas

can do as many projects as you have support for

openhatch can help with women as contribvutors - forces projects to think about how to be welcoming to new contributors, explicit documentation for newbies, keyword in the bugtracker for beginners for bite-sized bugs.

virtual adacamp first patch workshop? getting experience, what are barriers to entry - one can possibly assume no prior programming experience - need bugs for beginner/ low experience coders, or one can request that attendees have some experience in specific languages, can encourage web-devs and not just back-end coders

  • virtual - definitely
  • nucleus cities? philly, dc, sf
  • how do we meet up? email: Jessica McKellar
  • handling being one of the small number of women contributors - not as scary as the image comes off

may need to limit to keep ratio of mentors/students low, especially with contributors without experience and in person environments; collaboration between participants offsets that

- matching experience levels are good among participants

people value women mentors, but it's important that men are engaged and supportive too - in twisted, they have seen the benefit of new contributors (diverse) and running outreach programs

transparency about who is a committer, and how they got to be committer - talk about their first patch stories - who wants to make the website?

mailing list/google group/etc? list got passed around - 3-6 months Jessica will get that rolling

Talk to Val about "first patch" profiles

would be good to put a note that" We really want every one to join in! If you don't have the skills/programming languages we need this time, we want you to learn! Here are some great places to learn and link to cool workshops!"

resourced for non-coders: python workshops for women as an example -

Idea: start with a language intro workshop, follow up with a first patch workshop

for the first patch, in many ways it's the process that matters more. it could just be a matter of fixing a string.

get people who are good at being friendly and welcoming to review patches

Python workshops (free, volunteer driven, two-day event, mostly women instructors) have had strong and significant effect on Twisted community. Great supportive pipeline to get them into the community

Session iYTGEr3qz4[]

Python Beginners Workshops

Full notes at

What is Python?

The short version: A programming language that can be used to write short scripts to automate tasks, games, web apps, scientific computing applications, and many other things.

The longer version:

Do I need to install Python?


Macs and Linux come with Python already installed. From a terminal window, you can type ‘python’, and you’ll be in an interactive Python shell, known typically as the Python interpreter. (Terminal window? Where’s that? In OS X you can open a terminal from something like Applications > Utilities. There are a number of ways to bring up a terminal window in Linux; see for example

For Windows, you’ll need to download Python, which you can get from Version 2.7.3 is the first one listed, so go with that. The examples in this doc should work with 2.7.x (and I expect 2.6.x and some earlier versions), but not the 3.x versions because the syntax has changed slightly.

Set up instructions (and tutorials) are here: (Thanks to Jessica McKellar!)

You can execute Python code directly in the interpreter, or by writing your program in a file, saving the file, and then executing the file from the command line. (If you’re file is named, you can run it with python The .py at the end of the file name is a Python convention.)

Some simple programs

Try giving the python interpreter the following statements. Type each of these lines separately at the ‘>>>’ prompt, hitting Enter after each one. What happens after you hit Enter? What do you think each of the mathematical operators does?

2 + 2

10 - 3

3 * 4

2 * (2 + 3)

2 ** 5

5 / 3

5.0 / 3

5 % 3

Congratulations, you’re now a programmer. Really. Well, a little bit. You gave the computer instructions in Python, and it executed them. Possibly you experimented and typed some variations -- experimentation is good; you won’t break anything. Maybe you didn’t type something exactly right and Python returned a cryptic-looking error; no worries, just try typing it again.

(If you did see an error message -- an exception or a traceback -- that's Python's way of "helpfully" telling you in a very terse, precise way why it failed to understand your instruction. Getting errors is very common when programming, even for experienced programmers. Just as authors spend a lot of time deleting and editing, programmers spend a lot of time debugging and revising. Experienced programmers likely make fewer mistakes because they've learned from their previous mistakes, but mostly they still make mistakes and what they've gained from their experience is how to be better at finding and fixing these mistakes quickly.)


Variables are names that are associated with values. Try this:

answer = 42

The Python interpreter doesn't display anything in response to your instruction, but it has done something. It has assigned the value 42 to the variable named answer. Now try these:


answer == 42

answer != 42

(The '==' operator checks for equality and returns a boolean value: True or False.)

You can assign the value of a variable to another variable:

favoritenumber = answer


favoritenumber == answer

You can use other operators with your variable as well:

answer + 2

anothernumber = answer + 3


anothernumber > answer

See if you can figure out what's going on here:

answer = answer + 2


And here:

answer += 2


These variables are all numbers, specifically integers, Variables can have other values too, like strings (text), floats (floating point numbers, aka decimals), lists containing multiple

values, and many others kinds of things. These “kinds of things” are called datatypes.

question = 'What is the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and 


pie = 3.14

morenumbers = [10, 20, 30, 40]

Hello world!

For some reason the "Hello world" program has become the standard first program. So here's "Hello world" in Python:

print 'Hello world!'

You can also write:

print "Hello world!"

Python allows both single quotes or double quotes. Just make sure whichever one you use on the left matches the one you use on the right.

How about something a bit more complicated?

name = 'Sara'

print 'Hello' + name + '!'

What if you want to write an interactive program?

name = raw_input('What is your name? ')

You’ll be prompted to enter something. Type a name and hit Enter.

print 'Hello ' + name + '!'

If you want to do more (with if)

Rather than always print the same greeting, you can also print something different depending on the name. So far we’ve seen that everything you type is executed in order, one line at a time. But you can also use control statements to control the flow of execution. The first control statement we’ll see is the appropriately-named if. if can be used alone, or in conjunction with else and elif (which means else if).

Rather than always print the same greeting, here’s how to print something different depending on the name:

if name == 'Sara':

print 'Hi ' + name + '!'

Nothing happens yet because the interpreter doesn’t know you’re done until you unindent, which you can do by hitting Enter again. Now something happens -- only if you said your name was ‘Sara’.

Pay careful attention to the indenting above. It is not optional. I use two spaces to indent; some people use four spaces or a tab or some other amount. The important thing is to be consistent, so that in the above example, the 'if', 'elif', and 'else' lines are all flushleft and the three print lines are all indented to the same column as each other. (I find it’s easier to get the indenting right when writing code in a file rather than directly in the interpreter. Some text editors will even automatically indent for you.)

Here’s an example using if, elif, and else:

# There are a lot of Sara(h)'s

if name == 'Sara':

print 'Hi ' + name + '!'

elif name == 'Sarah':

print 'Hey there ' + name + '!'


print 'Hello ' + name + '!'

(The line that starts with '#' is a comment. The '#' tells Python to ignore that line, which means you can write a comment in English (or your preferred language) to explain what the code does (or why it does it, what you want it to do, or really anything). If you're reading someone else's code, look to the comments for clues. (Not all programming languages use '#' for comments. Some use '//' or '/* ... */' or other characters.)

Try altering the above example to do something different. Be careful with the indenting.

Session AdaCampBlogPress[]

Please share any press, tweets, and/or blogs that you have written or found about AdaCamp here!!


My AdaCamp post on G+:


(I do not completley get why we need to put here the tweets, they are easy to find and collect though searching for #adacamp hastag, but here are mind anyway)

(Twitter has made this as difficult as possible, this is good to do.)

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

At ‪#adacamp‬ ‪#wikimania‬ discusing the power of invitation to reduce gender gap in @Wikipedia - only 12% of editors are women @adainitiative

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

‪#adacamp‬: English Wikipedia is the "best" with 13% of women editing, while Russian the worth with 6% according to @Wikimedia annual survey

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

I am at Washington Post (I mean, I and my body) hosting ADA iniciative women & tech camp

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

At ‪#adacamp‬: "Wikipedia can't be neutral if women are not contributing" (Research shows only 9-12% of Wiki editors are women) ‪#Wikimania

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

Hi @metasj !!! Missing you!. I am at ‪#Adacamp‬ gender & tech session on Wikipedia & women, you?. See you very soon!

Mayo Fuster Morell ‏@lilaroja

Living a dream! ‪#Wikipedia‬ ‪#Wikimania‬ this year bets x gender & diversity. Now at starting of women & tech ‪#ADAcamp‬ @



Session ctCnSQ8kxA[]

How Women Can Be Consumers of Open Culture

facilitated by Lindsey Weeramuni (MIT OpenCourseWare)



• free and open course materials offered by an educational institution

• content licensed under Creative Commons

• cannot have any barriers to access (no fee, no subscriptions)

• no credential, not getting a grade

• MIT faculty creates the course, but anyone can take the course

OpenCourse does annual demographic surveys - only opportunity to get data from visitors (voluntary) to


• 20% identified as women (no third option)

• Many different possibilities, but in the US, the bias against STEM education and the perception that MIT is only about STEM, not humanities


• Licensing is not as much a barrier: Creative Commons, GNU

• Transience of student life - students create material and then next years don't know about them; because the material is 'not where they live'

• Outreach: increasing Twitter followers, FB etc useful - but should be careful not to have the number of followers as metrics, but to go to the next level of actual adoption

• Should also engage with the community you're living in - for e.g. OTW on Tumblr

• how do we manage 'curated engagement'? If not, institutions of government will continue to be or increase their control, power: need the open space technologies movements to also use real life engagement

• encourage faculty to put content online

• some institutions have policy - but MIT putting your content is entirely voluntary, don't get formal credit (85% of faculty are part of it) - MIT has its own, but also support others globally - consortium of 250 institutions; still, needs greater rewards and incentive systems -

• Open Access movement growing but no rewards yet

• Problems of federal system in the US; globally - Brazil is open access

• What is the correlation between gender of faculty and gender of user? Don't have stats at hand

• Global South - China was the first non-US state to join the consortium

Potential Action points

• Further data of this survey for us all to read and use - Lindsey would be willing to share, because it would be useful to see gender/geographic breakdown of motivation and why women do/not stay (also links back to the correlation between women's faculty content on the site) - also compare/contrast to similar sites/spaces (like Wikipedia!)

• Might be interesting to have an intentional push to have more women's faculty content - and profile this - and see if it shifts user demographics to any extent

Session unhelping[]

Reviewed on July 16, 2012 by original author; CC license ok

Topic: Unhelping? Things that people do to improve women's participation end up being the cause.

Example of situation: where woman joins company as the first woman, suddenly there is sexual harassment training and the woman is blamed.

It's hard to tell if a man is trying to be helpful or a “mansplainer” (Explaining something in a condescending or self-righteous manner, especially as a man to a woman.

Materials used for training are sometimes archaic and make the situation worse.

But students need instruction on appropriate behavior, e.g., “girls should not be in computer science,” “that's shitty, a woman must have written it” and professor didn't correct behavior. A student raised the issue with the professor who didn't react, then took it up higher and it was brought to the professor's attention, who then addressed sexual harassment in class. But professor hadn't realized the problem at all without prompting.

Should do training at beginning, rather when it's triggered by event (harassment incident, new female employee), so that woman isn't blamed. But for small businesses, won't happen, they will only be reactionary.

Companies do it only to protect themselves from liability, they don't care about the effect on the woman.

One coping mechanism is to be “one of the boys” by doing things like telling dirty jokes, but that sends mixed messages.

One participant was confronted with special supplies in pink(!) when starting a new job - how do you react?

Resource: “How to encourage woman in Linux” For example, it doesn't help to say “if you encourage women in Linux there will be more chicks to date.” Comment that the article needs to be updated, though.

Cross-over with imposter syndrome, doubt your own worth and think people are supportive only because you're a woman. Also affirmative action insecurity, “why am I here, is it merit or not”?

One participant embraces selection being made because she's a woman, bringing diversity to the workplace even if the substantive experience is lighter.

In sexual harassment training, the woman's desire is to put oneself on the team of the people who have to suffer through it, almost a turncoat. Not the right answer, but a way to deal with it.

Training materials also require revision, no one will identify with the “bad” people depicted in the materials.

Training materials are too female-centric, created by patriarchy. Still delicate flower mentality to it. Guys harass each other, but are trained not to say anything about it, so waves are made by women. As a result training sessions are “watch out, women will take offense.” Materials need to be “let's value all employees,” not “don't harass women.” Need to give positive advice. Materials are just CYA for the institution.

One participant heard a reference to "unwanted sex" on a college campus; the fact that someone thought that was a legitimate concept instead of "rape," then we need sexual harassment training.

Session inclusionofnontechies[]

Welcome to PiratePad!

This pad text is synchronized as you type, so that everyone viewing this page sees the same text. This allows you to collaborate seamlessly on documents!

How to increase the participation of non-tech (i.e. coders & programmers) women in open stuff?

Attitude: I do tech things, but I'm not one of "those people". "I'm just a user" "I'm a culture person, not a tech person"

Q: Can these two groups work together and how? Support us not with technology but socially to say that it's okay

Respecting other people's competencies and recognizing them - sometimes a problem for tech people

Part of Ada Initiative's feminist mission - supporting each other and supporting other women who haven't been supported yet. WHere can we get that support and where is the place to support those women?

Q: What kind of support do you need, envision, are talking about?

A: Dejargonify what you're talking about. Demystification of tech! Does everybody speak the same language? Check and then go on! Jargon is a tool to keep people out on a broad level

This conversation is actually about inclusivity...

Faciliitate a conversation around mutual understanding of work and effort

Making projects available at a 101 level, making 101 resources available

Not smart ≠ not experienced

Free software projects: get your non-tech friends to read your website and redeisgn it until they can understand your project

Other person to facilitator: You are a tech person! There are always areas that someone doesn't know and that someone is good at

Almost everyone is suffering from some form of impostor syndrome… (Facilitator: Damn it!)

Question: What can this organization be doing to support women in these programs that aren't focused around software applications etc?

Ask what is your problem, what is your need? Like for tech!

Non-programmers can play the user and help the programmers make better accessible stuff, make them think differently

AdaCamp problem: "oh I'm not a tech person, that's for tech people" ==> What are we doing wrong?

panels on not being men in tech, etc - making boundaries and being specific versus policing boundaries in an unhelpful way

identity question: what does being a good ally mean? how can Ada Initiative etc acquire valuable allies?

Some aspect of being a responsible ally is acknowledging what you can't do

Women on both sides undermine themselves and don't often get the affirmation back that they are value-added. Sometimes you need to self-affirm

Where to find the community of supportive women?

Idea of generating your own participation because you're not always (usually) going to be specifically invited - review assumptions about why you aren't already participating, what steps do you need to change that?

Does it partly have to do with the fact that a lot of infrastructure around free software sucks?

Even projects like Mozilla have had to put in a LOT of work to create actually helpful support communities

Immediately exclusionary attitudes - not making required skills accessible or acquirable or solvable

Pushing oneself out of one's comfort zone(s)

NB: the car analogy has problems! How do we avoid recreating the situation in which women weren't/aren't supposed to know about cars?

People in open source like that it's a little bit difficult because that makes us special - we enjoyed figuring it out and it's part of the learning process

Then we need to get over that, because what we get out of that is horrible things - situations where people will find a bug and they won't report it, and that doesn't help anyone

perception of difficulty versus actual difficulty of Linux etc

but saying "it's not rocket science" doesn't make people who are struggling feel good

owning the struggle and the whatnot is much more supportive

in attempting to make everything very user-friendly and not difficult, then people don't have the ability to manipulate, change, customize (see all versions of Windows Vista and later)

Python? It's not just a snake?

Spaces for questions etc...and for FAQs. Resource libraries etc

in DC: DC web women listserv

wikipedia! stack overflow! wikia! some kind of online helpspace

Separate space on the Ada blog or website? or disambiguation? "Ada Initiative Guide to Open Stuff"?

superuser - stackoverflow sister site

Session w9WeCeZWkR[]

Open Stuff in K12 Education

  • State of computer science education
  • Paper: Running on Empty - tried to catalog what was being taught in each state and compare to ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) standards
  • What does this mean in terms of what's actually taught in the classroom?
  • Some metrics had multiple states at 0% and multiple states at 100%
  • Many of the people in charge of overseeing state-level curriculum didn't know what computer science was

  • Lobby level changes
  • Needs to be lobbied state-by-state and at national level
  • Need to raise public awareness and get people to advocate
  • At national level, helps to have unified strategy about where to put it in the curriculum

  • School level/more grassroots changes
  • One program training 10-15,000 teachers to teach CS
  • No certification tests specifically on CS or masters-level CS ed curriculum
  • Can something else go to make schools have budget room for more CS?
  • Lots of schools have new tech $ now and could add at least small tech stuff
  • Merge with library science, which is becoming archane?
  • Offer as a foreign language
  • Make CS one of 4 rqd. years of science
  • Many schools don't have computer labs
  • Does existence of AP class and curriculum do anything?
  • In some (rare) cases, results in related lower-level curriculum - inspired by parent lobbying?
  • Many AP CS teachers aren't trained in CS
  • Colleges often don't accept AP CS scores

  • Programs for implementing CS with K12 students
  • Modular curriculum with scratch, etc. that can be taught by lay people
  • Is high school, middle school, or earlier best for introducing programming?

  • Action items
  • Contact educational advisor for the government (shoot for in-person face time)
  • Template letters
  • Create kick-ass CS curriculum
  • Get pilot programs and good research on it
  • Published in peer-reviewed journal in teaching industry (not tech industry)

Session dGXnM6RQV7[]

The Mom Session


  • The amount of travel required in career means that it's hard to be separated from children. Very young children have a hard time understanding where parents went.
  • Virtual participation software, not as good.
  • Having less conferences not realistic.
  • Child care costs difficult.
  • Can larger care communities / cooperative living help?
  • For very young children, breastfeeding an issue
  • For older children, a larger community of care is helpful at that point
  • Last month took 18 mo daughter to NY, brought au pair, took train and was expensive. Would have done again a different way but... daughter was fine, but au pair was overwhelmed by NY.
  • If you don't travel when breast feeding, miss out on 2 years of professional development without travel
  • Guy told me on the plane, I have to choose between career and family.
  • Atlantic article - being a CEO takes a lot of personal sacrifice whether male or female
  • level of career vs gender
  • case study: husband works full time, wife more part time... as child grows older, husband scale back work hours and wife scale up work hours
  • In the US, difficult to have meaningful part-time work
  • go into office later to spend morning time with daughter. leave early to spend time in evening. after kids in bed, spend a little more work time.
  • 6.5-7 hours in office, put kids to bed, work at night.
  • flexible companies care about getting the work done, not how many hours it took generally
  • Non-traditional setups
  • two male partners... one had a child with a woman, a lesbian... no love relationship. they have completely different social lives, so they don't mind splitting the child care as much
  • A part-time policy seems like it would be a real game-changer
  • how do we make that a reality for everybody?
  • people want it really bad, a lot of scam sites offering part time work for mothers
  • health benefits / benefits package prohibitively expensive for companies to offer to part time employees
  • doesn't just benefit families, benefits artists who want to step back from day job on focus on their art
  • a friend who is an electrical engineer, tried for years and wasn't able to go part time. thought was an intellectual property concern. because company can't manage what you work on at home from an IP perspective.
  • In what careers do these barriers exist? ee? computer science.
  • Maternity leave vs paternity leave vs western europe
  • part-time work and idea of men and women sharing child-rearing duties more, balancing with work and family... flows out from the extended paternity leave that is guaranteed by the gov't in Western Europe. If the leave is guaranteed, maybe it would help change the culture so men can take time off to care for child.

  • If you want to breast feed, it's a 2-year committment
  • It would have made the best sense for the mother to take time off in the 1st year of life and for men to take 2nd after child has weaned etc.
  • Not structurally enabled - usually only leaves allowed for year immediately after birth and not beyond.
  • Father-child bonds not seen as worthwhile policy.
  • A lot of intractable issues in core of American culture. What if we flip around and talk about mom-friendly spaces.
  • Hacker mom space (in Berkeley?)
  • Coworking space for women
  • Ignore all policy issues, what DIY things are people finding that are working?
  • In open source, a lump of people graduating around 2000 - at open source conferences, started offering child care and child rooms
  • Linux, had child rooms and nannies for child care. It's because of the men not wanting to leave their kids at home, especially people from north america who only have 2 weeks of leaves. Don't want to spend holiday week without children.
  • A lot of people from that generation are having babies now so more support for it.
  • Someone else tried to push for child care at conference, trying to get critical mass from organization with employees with kids to push for it. Only other employees with kids who are FT were men, asked them if they would be interested in child care there, and men looked at her if she was from another planet, said they'd leave their kids with their wife.
  • Help organize pycon in the US, talk about child care every year. Are willing to commit to it. Try to feel for interest and don't get enough of a response to justify support for it . A lot of communities would have turned the corner if there was enough obvious demand. Be vocal about it if your confernece isn't supporting it.
  • Another conference... when you register for conference can donate to child care fund for everyone. Are you willing to pay separate from are you going to use. Community overpays for the child care.
  • Wikimedia... one of the ways trying to address gender gap is to convince women to come, also tried to publicize child care, feeling it out. A hard way to get people to commit from just feeling it out. So had a signup section for kids, so you could sign up your kid with their age and name or pseudonym and got signups that way. It's been fun to be sitting in a room with women, men, and having kids running around. Tried to photograph and document as an outcome so others can see it happening, a family-friendly space. Hard to say if it will encourage it to grow. Trying to integrate child care rather than it being a side thing.
  • Have women with children together with women without children so they can see it working.
  • Can we do a mailing list, to do a babysitting exchange. A low infrastructure setup.
  • Local babysitting co-op in silver springs, so successful hard to get into.
  • Older children - woman who tried to get children involved in geek life rather than find a babysitter. Some people don't understand 3 year old vs 10 year old. 10 year old could undergo a lot of safety training for the hackerspace equipment. So idea of accepting under 18's to allow them to use the equipment.
  • insurance policy is an issue though
  • ended up individually rating each workstation and determined if it's adult only or for children okay.
  • ability to do things based on skills rather than age
  • computers not complex dangeorus machinery though.
  • problem trying to get children off of the computer (gaming, etc)
  • forcing children to get out of the house and off the computer
  • 14-year old was just gaming. now is making youtube videos teaching other people to do javascript mods to web games.
  • gaming not a shared hobby with kid though, they tried to discourage him
  • don't be like us! be like a normal person
  • children not letting their parents use the computer because they want their attention, competing with computer
  • Parenting lobby groups?
  • moms rising
  • politics of getting better family support at companies - conservative party in AU supports family initiatives but if you dont agree with the party line do you support?
  • Systers mailing list
  • Is there are structure for sharing case studies of more family friendly work policies worked out with companies so women can share stories and help each other advocate?
  • Do this session tomorrow with a more clear focus?
  • Could Ada Initiative work on putting together plans / proposals / resources for conferences and companies to use to build out better support for family

Session 28VdWqLVkk[]

Building Successful Organizations So That Women (and Others!) Can/Will Join, Grow and Excel

Community organizing for free software activists

challenges with delegating

the founder issue and the bus factor

projects can be dependent on one or two people

"long-range strategic planning" useful for non-profits, good to get outside facilitator

useful to push for outside facilitators

people often conflate management with leadership and they need different policies and different skills

visionary leader is very different from day to day manager - good to identify who can be the right hand man or woman /

Boston Women's Health Book Collective - would be good to connect with about how they work - "Our Bodies, Our Selves"

Look for allies, draft frameworks - don't make it a coup, come up with a set of ideas and recommendations. Evidence -based, case studies - demonstrate commitment and success

Overly spontaneous and overly organic can be problematic

Good to know you are going into a room with support, allies


  • Free Geek - in Portland, Oregon provides computers, education and job skills in exchange for community service; offer real work skills, networking - tangible, something people can realistically commit to
  • Organizations fail to understand why women and people of color can't/don't come in "all ready and wrapped in a bow"
  • Creating roles/job descriptions rather than Exalted Leaders/ Team Members- every leader is unique, we should be looking for people who can fill those roles, do those jobs rather than the carbon copy of the predecessor - unpack what worked and what didn't work from the predecessor and help distill that into the new position
  • "the door is open" attitude rather than creating truly friendly spaces


  • A lot of people hostile to the idea of training - learning by yourself is more "authentic"
  • Ada Initiative put up a resources page


Organizations/Networks to Join - Allies/Support


  • GSoC - Google Summer of Code - some women felt it was very competitive
  • Unpaid internships offered by a lot of free software projects which skews towards people who can afford that
  • Lots of people can come in self-taught - privileged enough to have had these resources; others don't have time and money to waste
  • GNOME Foundation Internships are paid

Session UB8jVFfwK5[]

Fanworks and Open Things

- What are fanworks?

Creative works such as stories, videos, etc. based on already existing media

-Legal Status of Fanworks

- seen as a legal gray area - there is no case law pertaining to fanworks; fanworks may fall under the Fair Use Doctrine of US Copyright Law as "transformtive works"; different countries have differing copyright legislation; certain countries have "moral rights" of authors

- copyright owners/creators have differing attitudes towards fanworks - some welcome them, while others think of fanworks as a violation of their vision, etc.

Organization for Transformative Works (OTW)

non-profit organization devoted to promoting fanworks as legal and transformative in the US

Archive of Our Own (AO3) - fan-owned archive for posting fanfiction, etc; under the umbrella of the OTW

uses open source GPL

Fandom and Open Source

Discussion about whether fans are early adopters of various open source technologies, or is there resistance to change within fan communities.

Wish that fans knew more about open source community, Creative Commons, etc.

reasons that fans may not participate more in the open technology community:

- open technology community is more male dominated and sexist, whereas fandom is female-dominated and functions as a safe space

- there is also a stigma associated with fanworks because they often depict non-normative sexualities, especially from male geeks; fandom as "hidden"

- "bronies" and "machinima" - creative communities/practices that are male-dominated and have received a lot of mainstream attention, when similar female communities and practices (for example, "vidding") are largely ignored

Fanworks and Monetization

- fair use doctrine of US Copyright Law notes that fair use often has to be "not for profit"

- ethical norm within Western fan communities that fan works should not be monetized; monetization of fan works is often met with censure

- However, there are people who "file off serial numbers", ie turning your fanworks into original works for money. Most famous example is the novel "50 Shades of Gray" which used to be a Twilight fanfiction

- In Japan, fanworks are often sold in print form, technically illegal, but copyright holders let it happen because fan community generates a lot of publicity and provides a space where new artists with innovative ideas can grow

Is fandom a good pathway for getting involved in oepn source communities? How can fandom encourage women to be more involved in open technology?

Session hacking-gender-gap[]

Resource list:

Lots of good research being done, for example:

  • NSF
  • U Wisc
  • American Society for professional women [ ??? ]

Middle school tends to be where the gender gap widens. Girls & boys tend to have similar proficiency at younger ages, but around puberty it diverges. Girls tend to have a lower estimation of how well they work. Implicit bias on part of instructors. Once in college, fewer role models. In the workforce, bad work-life balance.

This academic research is good, but there is lots of experience in this group. Exercise to capture this:

  • RED NOTECARD: A bad experience with technology.
  • GREEN NOTECARD: A good experience with technology.

Include age at which and year in which it happened.

[ Cards are placed on a timeline based on age at which it happened; markers at 10, 20, etc. ]

Findings: large cluster of positive & negative around age 20. More positive experiences between ages 10 & 20.

Session hacking[]

Joe Nguyen

Kristin Yeasting

Min Gung

Raphael Baltuth

Lab #8 - 3

query credit card number social security - 17


Online ID


mother maiden name


Account number

Routing number

Date of Birth


Credit card number

Expiration Date

CVV Number

pin number

security questions and answers

email address

Each group will submit to the TA a 2-3 page write-up describing one of their documented discoveries, showing the weaknesses and strengths of the system of that discovery, and offering suggestions for the user and the designer.


What we found was a webpage containing private information of 17 different individuals. These pieces of information were extracted from Verizon account credit card information page. The information included:


Online ID


Home address

Account number

Routing number

Date of Birth


Credit card number

Expiration Date

CVV Number

pin number

security questions and answers

email address

Here's a visual representation of what we found:

To avoid personal information being leaked, use proven encryption techniques, such as SSL and bcrypt for transmission and storage. Store as little personal information as possible. Change authentication details regularly, especially if your security has been compromised.


Our financial system relies on the secrecy of short strings and numbers that are easily distributable and often unencrypted. With full text search from search engines that index any web page with inbound links, once published these can be retrieved and mirrored trivially.

Our process for finding information was one of trial and error. We were counting on someone posting some information such as in a spreadsheet or on a public forum, and this would have to appear in Google search results in order for us to find it.

Strength is not specifically designed to deliver these types of results, so generic queries will typically yield stories pertaining to information leaks, rather than the information itself.

If one gets hold of some valuable information, it is not in his best interest to publish it to the web, rather to use it himself or sell it.

Session 7N6yJEz7H4[]

AdaCamp DC day one wrap-up

Grateful to have been brought together with people with shared goals, meaningful for discussion

Awesome careers women have, influential as much as workshop

Cool how people have such different interests, like fanfiction, inspiring us to get more involved in other stuff

diversity of people that we have here

diversity of viewpoints

love the lightning talks and enthusiasm, energy

would be great to change dynamics, like lightning talks morning and afternoon

appreciated talking to people, rolemodels with concrete examples

how it was great that people would tackle a big idea, problem, and also in that same session talk about concrete actions to take trying to implement

humility is amazing, sitting in a room with successful women

lack of technology in the sessions, no staring at powerpoint slides

surprised by the range of experiences, spectrum from good to bad experiences of women working in open stuff

everyone participated in remembering to listen to folks who haven't spoken yet

having the cards with the roles

all folks said they were tired and having trouble thinking, but really looking forward to insights tomorrow morning

the dynamic of conversation worked well for some topics - like about your boss - but for other sessions that it would be good to have a 10-15 minute overview of state of issue


- microphone situation not ideal - trouble hearing during big sessions; would be great to have wireless

- English isn't everyone's first language

- having a hard time with having women in open source event simultaneously with Hackathon

- everyone participated (+ size, cards, etc.)

- if the organizers could be sure to use microphone during opening session

- repeat questions stated not loudly enough

- have non-gendered bathrooms in the future

- helpful if people wrote a sentence description re: sessions so people are clear on what the sessions are about

- some sessions were very open ended; have 3 bullet points to cover for minimal structure

- schedule in the corner discourages to leave the room (online option?)

- sort issue of people and attribution as related to publicizing event, etc. --> clarity (is it okay to publish schedule online or should there be a passworded private online space? when taking session notes in etherpad, is it okay to post names in etherpad or not, etc., maybe have some intermediate protected space not public )

- have the wiki up a week ago to have ideas down; handles, Twitter, etc.

- organizing via email threads confusing; have online forum as a central organizing structure (+1)

- coordinate dinners, lunches, breakfasts, etc., meet in smaller groups before things start, etc.

- love the dinner organizing by spreadsheet

- remind people at the beginning of session to check in on roles and name/organization name and publicizing

- clarity on email topic threads

- need access to archive of mailing list conversations

- identify folks who had no dinner reservations tonight

- fair number of people had trouble hearing session next door; figure out space

- take big sheets of paper and have it as visual reminders of the conversations

- thank you to people who made this happen :)

- meeting Lady Ada - which one?

- lunch was great! catered Ethiopian

- hot food in a cold space


Session j5UrfmwYvP[]

Burnout / Lifehacking

Most of the participants were interested in both topics.


How do you get to the point of burnout?

  • more than 5 conferences a year + travel
  • doing more than your job
  • trying to have a social life on top of that
  • battle against male directness
  • workaholic in a field with a lot of jerks
  • battling against people not understanding open source
  • too much to do
  • lack of positive feedback
  • abundance of negative feedback
  • same conversations over and over - doing battle. repetition / futility
  • too much invested in job to fight
  • love job too much, enjoy and don't want to stop
  • too tired to do anything else, after long hours
  • if you work for a mission that you're really devoted to, it's hard to know where the boundary is between work and your life
  • don't feel fulfilled - writing code that you know someone will use. feels pointless. don't feel what you're working on is impotant. want to do work that helps others.
  • working out of tenureWfvdxzdgfagewfgtefwrwuc. Grcf.
  • competing with men who have stay-at-home wives
  • have to work to try to change the system on top of everything else
  • manager doesn't understand how long it takes things to do
  • your passion burns you out and you don't want to say no

What helps

  • doing things outside of work
  • stop doing the crazy things - even if you love it - set a strict 9-5:30 schedule
  • have phone ring at intervals to remind you to take breaks throughout the day
  • take regular breaks + exercise
  • don't work over weekends
  • don't work after hours
  • realize if you work less, you can get more done if you work more effectively
  • realize you're the one who fulfills your happiness, not your company
  • don't have work email go to phone
  • consider jobs that aren't 9-5 / alternative schedules
  • systers mailing list
  • evaluate what you want your life to be about and see if what youre doing will get you there
  • ask manager if he/she really wants you to spend x amount of time on y, clarify deadlines and priority for tasks he/she asks for
  • don't assume your manager always knows best
  • the more you say "no," the more respect you get from people
  • don't say silent, let your manager know your boundaries
  • learn how to say "no"
  • turn phone email off
  • don't have internet at home
  • if you see someone else getting burnt out, let them know they don't have to / need to work the late hours, etc. / reach out to others
  • care about yourself / work will go along if you say no and look out for yourself
  • set goals for yourself - figure out where you want to go, and plan out some goals to get there
  • there's nothing in your inbox that can't wait 24 hours
  • the more email you send, the more you get


  • Lose partner
  • do a bad job and let things drop and people yell at your
  • don't have free thought, pure execution
  • RSI / numbness - try standing desk or execise ball chair, sleep in wrist guards... yoga, acupuncture, rock climbing / finger & forearm exercises, nutrition, exercise, keep shoulders back bc laptop/computer hunches you forward


  • Pomodoro technique. Breaks day into 20 minute chunks, encourages breaks.
  • debian community implemented time delay on mailing lists... 30 minutes delay
  • delegation & documentation
  • document how to get the thing done so you can easily pass task on to the next person
  • have a regular schedule of task dissemination works great for organizing volunteers - have a rhythm
  • let people screw up
  • find out what their motivations are, try to delegate people on the same page bc they're interested
  • 73 tips of war book (author greene)
  • becoming a master book (author greene)
  • For every hour busy with people, give yourself 15 minutes to yourself to recharge
  • B-minder... site where you can set goals for yourself and it takes money from you if you don't make goal

burnout/lifehacking tips for doing things you really enjoy / are being passionate about:

  • track your time, be accurate
  • will find all of these places where you weren't being efficient
  • e.g. answering emails all the time is not efficient - you're letting people interrupt you
  • focus

Session ep[]

Session 06VNoMTiV9[]

Setting Boundaries

  • Not easy to change patterns
  • "Personality is your strategy for getting out of childhood alive"
  • It's so hard to get out of it because it triggers the 'i'm going to die' fear - no one's going to love me, etc.
  • It can feel like if you don't do things the way you used to, you'll die
  • Better Boundaries by Jan Black recommended book
  • Clever ways to send boundaries
  • Want to minimize backlash

  • You can say no and delegate to someone else
  • Set a boundary for bullshit corporate stuff you don't want to do
  • Filter out things that aren't explicitly To or CC to you

  • Don't sign the contract if you don't agree with it. Could cross out items you don't agree with and initial.

  • When someone congratulates you on something, the culture at her workplace was that you also mention the others who helped on the project. Had a new employee who didn't seem to get this system - took credit for doing all of a project that she had started and worked on half of. Let it go first time, then it happened again - he claimed credit for her idea on a mailing list.
  • Friends advised - he may not even understand what he did by saying that. He may be totally unaware.
  • Decided this will not stand, he needs to be brought into our culture.
  • She replied to his email, "So glad you liked my idea, great job on implementing it."
  • He seemed to get it after that, they ended up being friends.

  • One person said she tried to leave at a specific time.
  • Co-worker has noticed and started making comments about her leave time. He starts earlier and leaves later.
  • Suggestion, "I noticed that you've said this 3 times now - is something bothering you? What are you thinking when you say that?"
  • He recently transitioned from being an individual contributor to being a manager.
  • Is there something you need me to do that I'm not doing?

  • 6 hours a day could code productively
  • If you go over that can be productive but need extra downtime to recover afterwards

  • Saying no to people who are more senior than you
  • Terrified of upsetting balance
  • Scared of people not liking her
  • Scared of people getting upset / angry
  • Saying "yes" all the time is now not sustainable
  • Practice saying no
  • change order at restaurant eg
  • say no to people more junior than you
  • how do you grow your skill at saying no so other people are still included and part of the decision
  • Try telling the other person what will suffer if you tell them yes.
  • "I don't have the capacity" is a different kind of no than "fuck you"
  • At first people might get mad at you because they aren't used to you saying no.

  • On a disorganized team, got a reputation for being the organizer and the cleanup person. It seems like others have slacked back because they know they can rely on her. Project management isn't my job, but I end up doing it. How do you get out of this situation?
  • suggestion: be the delgator - assign people to take notes during meeting, for example.
  • suggestion: let some things drop. not important things but... never drop a client request... but try to lower people's expectations. If you're not officially organizing a meeting, it's okay if you show up 5 minutes later - other people will step in.
  • If you do too much, others will do too little.
  • If you withdraw information without giving a reason, people will make shit up. You do not want them to make shit up that gives you a reputation for being incopmetent.
  • If you take a vacation or a break, how will they cope without you? Bus factor - if you get hit by a bus...
  • Ask for cross-trianing so others can jump in
  • Have to let go of the personal rewards for being the person who "does it right"
  • but they're really saying by that "im so glad i didn't have to do it"
  • It depends on your relationship with your boss. someone had a friend in a similar situation - told manager, hey, I'm doing all this extra work, I'm cool with doing it but you need to pay me more. Need to ask - if you want that extra work.
  • If you don't want the extra work, could ask for an intern

  • Someone started off as an analyst, small company 25 people - not saying no has hurt her. no recognition that she's taken on a lot more work.
  • boss with unrealistic expectations. he is a workaholic and says no to ask for things to maintain a normal work-life balance.
  • saying no is important and need to do it more often
  • i don't want to be a manager and i'm a manager, but it's the path to advancing
  • without a partner at home to pick up the slack it's really hard to compete
  • feeling trapped, don't have time to develop the skills you'e interested in

  • women tend to feel they need to have all the skills before they come in. men don't seem to be hampered by this
  • should be more about that you have the ability to learn the skill but not that you're 100% brushed up on it
  • as you get past the 5 year mark, it will get harder to maintain development skills after you've transitioned to management. so transition back before 5 years if you can
  • if you haven't had time to do coding / analysis, people should understand when you inteview that it's been some while

  • Someone's manager did nothing else but eat, sleep, breathe at the company. Felt guilty leaving at 6 pm to do her laundry. Heard he didn't go outside to get groceries, ordered grocery delivery. No social plans, hard worker, great guy. Feel guilty leaving early.
  • Feel like she's plateaued in skills at the company, thinking about leaving
  • no one but yourself will say you should stop working. it's his boundary so you shouldn't feel guilty about leaving
  • he probably gets paid more than you
  • it's your life, you have to live it - if you don't set the boundaries, you'll burn out or be unhappy and won't do as good a job.
  • might be able to have a conversation with him, about how his doing that affects other people.
  • he is sending the message that parents can't work here, people with outside lives can't work here.
  • if that is how they really want things, not a good place to work
  • women don't tend to work in startups because work life balance tends to be out of the question
  • pace of decision-making so fast that it's hard to set boundaries on email / etc - hard to untether.
  • recommendation 'sick systems' article / livejournal post

  • Nobody wants to be the company that somebody sued for not treating women / minorities well. There is significant pressure there. If you start talking about the issue, people will recognize they don't want to be that company.
  • Varies a lot by company, sometimes there's no hope at a particular company
  • When you're doing it, you feel you're not doing it right because you're not official given the job title to manage
  • Developer thrown into middle ground between front end and back end development, also tech liasion. Have a system for sending in tech reqs - now its her job to assign these tasks to people, that was never part of her role. Have to do coding wok on top of that.
  • IF working in an agile system, make sure every bit of work you're doing is tracked, including project management tasks
  • People may not even realize how much work you're doing - because it's 'soft' work
  • Books - Women Don't Ask
  • Research for people with MBAs - found that women ask more than men and don't get it.
  • Suggestion: rotate undesirable task around the team
  • Suggestion: if you flaked out, you owe the team donuts or beers. or have visible token so it's clear who missed their task (if co-located)
  • Suggestion: enable people to solve their own problem s- flow chart
  • Suggestion: if co-located, sneaky ways of letting people know all of the things you're doing - keep your full task list on whiteboard or post-its visible
  • Suggestion: if co-located, empty out cube if you're really at the end of your rope
  • Suggestion: barriers to cube if you can't be bothered...
  • Problem: setting barriers to too many incoming IM
  • If questions are repetitive, consider setting up a knowledge base
  • Start out a framework in wiki so they can fill it in themselves
  • Ask them if they considered googling
  • But don't be afraid to ask others for help - you don't have to do it all on your own. It can help build a personal connection with the person helping you. If you looked it up and still are confused let them know you checked the docs / google and still are confused

Session hackerspaces[]

Hardware & Hackerspaces

Some Arduino classes are offered at hackerspaces, but often classes for beginners are still pretty advanced, or may be prohibitively expensive.

Most challenging part of teaching open hardware & microcontrollers is helping people realize their ideas, since Arduinos can enable you to do almost anything.

In terms of academia, there is often a real division between the computer science departments and the engineering departments.

Other kinds of hacking:

Being able to do "almost anything" is sort of too big. There are lots of devices used in everyday life that would be great to hack to get them to do what you want. A great introduction to open hardware would be to hack devices you already use by pulling out the proprietary controllers. E.g. washer, freezer, water timer?

Barriers to entry

  • TIME
  • Having an idea that is exciting to execute
  • Getting a handle on basic electronics
  • Cost (esp. for Arduinos)

Hackerspace dynamics

  • May not be welcoming to newbies, since folks can be heads-down working on their own projects.
  • May not be well-known (e.g. a recent Haverford grad wasn't aware of Philly hackerspaces)

Tips for getting started

  • Make Magazine publications

Examples of projects folks are working on and other stuff that is possible

  • Animated GIF/screen
  • An IR collar on a cat that likes to drink out of a faucet-- lets the proximity of the cat activate the water, rather than leaving it running continuously. [an example from a friend]
  • Hug shirt-- touch one shirt and it's felt on another
  • Personal space shirt -- proximity sensors + LEDs that go from green to yellow to red as people get too close

Session pPe5ueZvu5[]

Lightning Talks

  1. 1
  • Browser security vulnerability: cache timing.
  • LOLcats
  • site sends a copy of image to your browser, saved in the cache
  • When you go back to the site, it'll load faster because of the cache.
  • Cache-timing - if you navigate to a competing site, it can run a series of tests to understand your history. By timing how long it takes for certain pages to load, they can tell if the image is in your cache or not.
  • So then they can know where you've been in your history.

  1. 2
  • Musical aspirations - learning to play cello
  • Me and partner wrote down what we wanted to do
  • cut out a picture of the cello (positive thinking, visualization)
  • cello $4000 + lessons
  • just by thinking about it, went to local music store. got music book.
  • next week, found another store gave music lessons.
  • could rent a cello for $20/month
  • obession became a reality. went and signed the papers, took it home, started teaching herself
  • don't want to pay for lessons, not in budget, started youtubing.
  • kept watching youtube videos, and now can play it
  • if you have a dream, go do it

  1. 3

  • Gender games / lego parts
  • Found Ada Lovelace lego face
  • Wanted to make lego faces, a flickr set called Sci Tweeps
  • as trying to find pieces for them, huge disparity between specifically female and specifically male parts. Earlier this year when on (where you can buy the parts), they represent most of the lego designs ever made.
  • 4:1 ratio of specifically male to specifically female parts (neither counts neutral)
  • Has a twitter, didn't catch address

  1. 4
  • Thank You to everyone here for being so open to solve these problems, plant the seed for expression of gratitude. Transactions of gratitude are win-win. Feel great thanking someone, they feel great feeling appreciated. As we solve problems and focus on solutions, it's easy to forget what you focus on actually expands, focus on positive things and show appreciation - can use spotlight to make better things happen.

  1. 5
  • natural uranium fission reactors in earth's pre history
  • oklo uranium mine. shipment went to france. deficient in natural proportion of uranium 235, fissionable isotope
  • in 1972, found that there had been natural uranium reactors in earth's crust millions of years ago
  • majority of uranium was 3.1% of uranium 235 millions of years ago, not the case anywhere
  • oklo - great wikipedia page

  1. 6
  • behavior = motivation + ability + time
  • graph


hi | |

   |  \\
   |   \\
   |      \\
   |          \\_________

low |--------------------------

 hard                  easy

  • Changing people's motivation is REALLY HARD
  • To change their behavior, more effective to make the right behavior easier

  1. 7
  • Cool facts about DC
  • STatue on top of the capitol dome.
  • statue of freedom. not sacajewa.
  • facing east because that's the front of the building, not because sun never sets on freedom.
  • phillip reed cast her in bronze. phillip reed was enslaved person, casting statue dedicated to freedom when he had no freedom of his own
  • started in 1860... 1863 statues goes up, phillip reed heard salute to statue in 1863 as it went up as a freed man

Session LhS7qNU13C[]

This pirate pad is for brainstorming possible sessions for tomorrow

  • genderfucked and open stuff - how to be genderqueer/queer in a community where the female voice is celebrated - is it okay when my male voice comes out? (or something like that) (Sarah Stierch)
  • isn't making it easier for women to participate making it easier for everyone to participate too? (máirín duffy)
  • you can't have it all? (máirín duffy)
  • Helping women create their first webapp (non-techies welcome) -Connie Berardi
  • How do we encourage people to be leaders - one person often gets the burden, how can others get inspired, invited etc?
  • Fan fiction, feminism and social change
  • How do you bridge the gap between workshops for beginners and b coders/contributing to open source projects?
  • how far have we come in tech
  • Python training
  • Job Seekers Jam
  • Lessons from a Black Belt: 10 moves that could save your life - Connie Berardi
  • Making magic wand goals happen (behavior design crash course)
  • Lifehacking: how we get everything done, find balance, say no, say yes, not go crazy
  • Getting women more involved with open things by showing them how they're already involved

Session softcircuits[]

Reviewed on July 16, 2012 by original author; CC license ok


Resources for soft circuits:

Lilypad Arduino:

Small microcontroller that is good for wearable pieces; lightweight

Lynne Bruning:

Etextile designer


Parts that can be used for soft circuits

Fashion Geek book:


Session q8QqLhYmIn[]

Working your way up the ladder

  • Increased reluctance on women's part to burn bridges.
  • study of huge corps... early mid late career... different strategies for women. If men switch jobs frequently, salaries increase. Doesn't have as much impact for women.
  • Do women just not ask?
  • They addressed some of that. Women who stayed at a particular location. If woman stays at location, start at lower salary, harder to make more.
  • Women have to start from scratch. We have to prove ourselves when we switch a job so we start from zero. For men, don't have to prove themselves as much?
  • Does this apply to women in male-dominated fields like tech? I've always found a bump in salary in switching jobs.
  • Maybe your bump isn't as high or dramatic.
  • Study wasn't domain specific, was probably U.S. specific

  • Are there examples of great women leaders, heads of things, people you admire, people you've seen pull it off without getting pigeon-holded into nicey-nice or bitchy-bitch models.
  • There was a woman in my workplace project manager, everyone liked her, had a magic for negotiating her salary and bonuses. Had a modest salary (academia), but would go into table and come out with ridiculous bonuses that kept her in her job for a while. Ended up at another university. Don't know how she did it or how she made her worth so obvious and made her role so critical.
  • We don't tend to ask other women, this gives us the opportunity to talk.


  • have to be willing to do boring work, but gives you power to negotiate if its a critical thing and youre indispensible
  • very useful to be seen by everybody, work cross-departmentally so lots of people know who you are, easier to get things done this way
  • i use facebook... friend people up the chain, get to know them at a personal level, helps you be visible too
  • one of the really core things to happen is meaning-making around the work you do. sense and context around the work, show how it relates to other peices. that's a really valuable attribute. Helps translate strategy into tactics.
  • Concrete example: Strategic communications, want people to know about what I'm doing and directly relate it to the tech work. Make the work referenceable to clients.
  • Negotiating tip: had to figure out how to price her time, could only work a certain amount of hours, amount she needs shouldn't dictate what she's charging. Pricing websites helped her figure it out. We would never charge only hosting server prices for a website: how do I do that for myself? I had technical expertise no one else had, I started getting confident the more things I was taking care of, once I went to articulate them, I found - writing out the system I knew that others didn't, how many people I taught how to use the system - took the emotion out of it so I got to a place thru enumerating what I did that I had a compelling case. I didn't feel like it was an emotional thing, it was a concrete - this is what your company needs and this is what I'm doing for you. Making it discrete totally changed the negotiation. Started tracking my time, used that to build the list. Segmented it. How much time on education vs SQL vs Ruby...
  • Sometimes it's as simple as just asking.
  • Men will ask for 15%, women 2%. You could easily be making 30k more than you could. If you understand how the HR system works, then you can know what you can ask for. Big companies have mid-year reviews that most people don't know anything about. You might be able to get more money at mid-year because it's more under the radar and budget is more flexible then. Just get someone to explain how your organization works maybe you can find someone do it.
  • If you know HR people at other organizations... ask them how theirs work, arm yourself with information. People should get paid what they're worth.
  • In Norway, what people make is public knowledge, tax records. You can see what they make and how much they pay. In the US, you're not allowed to tell your best friend what you make. How can I close the gap if I don't know what it is?
  • It's just a polite protocol.
  • No it's in the employment contract.
  • Compete against yourself, not just against market trends.
  • Ask manager - are you being compensated on par with others?
  • If women making 30% less than men, it's okay to go over and start balancing the other direction. That's okay.
  • If it's not in your contract, if it's a social contract...
  • You're not just asking for money for yourself - if you're critical you should be able to make a fair wage to do your best and help everybody else
  • Tech workers don't tend to be unionized. Are there tech unions?
  • people are unionized make 19% more than those who are not
  • Denmark and Norway - everyone in a union... in the US union tends to be a negative word. She is a tech union member back home - you get a base salary increase negotiation, free training courses - the union pays for that. You get benefits... was a union representative... removed from resume because it's seen as a negative
  • Some unions use different tactics. Both sides to the story... be cautious about unions. You can't control someone else's perception. Emotional triggers regarding unions can run pretty deep.
  • We've talked about money, power, promotions
  • How do we dismantle the mountain? Instead of fight for top of hierarchy, change it so there isn't a strong hierarchy
  • Treat the person as a human, no matter how high up they are - they'll be nice to you
  • level on a personal level rather than talking about work stuff
  • break down work-personal barrier
  • got a lot of work done at happy hour - but this isn't possible with kids
  • what about over lunch
  • Resent social imperative to get work done. My personal time is precious to me, don't want to work with coworkers in free time.
  • Alternative
  • Listen to people's technical problems, just listening has helped with empathy, interpersonal
  • More about being personable
  • Be aware of the corporate culture
  • different cultures, San Francisco, Houston, etc
  • whole leadership - much more of a flatter hierarchy in silicoln valley than working in an insurance company in salt lake city
  • shouldn't completely dictate behavior but you should be aware of it
  • be friends with your direct reports, grows with your ability to have difficult conversations with them
  • people lead in different ways
  • leaders in leadership positions, but there are people who lead from the bottom or lead through their relationships.
  • Tactics forge tting better at difficult conversations
  • practice.
  • deal with situation as it's in front of you and don't wait
  • examples
  • people working really slowly
  • figure out what you want to outcome to be before talking about it
  • Chris - structure of challenging conversation. start with outcomes, start with assumptions you make about yourself other person and situation... how do you frame conversation.
  • other key - own your own behavior in the middle of it
  • everything is a two way street, have to own your side of it
  • helps to know what kind of person you're talking to. more introverted, more extroverted. had a hard time managing introverted people. if you know the type they are, and how to get them to loosen up and talk... helps everywhere, not just at work.
  • ask a lot of questions, not accusatory. inquiry vs advocacy. have more question marks than statements

  • If you are a boss or have been a boss - what has stood out to you about a person who wants to advance that maked you want to help them advance?
  • encourage them to do stuff that is not in their job description, to build the team across the job descrpition, and manage / utilize people in a different way.
  • one thing that helped me with my team was to recognize when people were ready to move on and give them the resources - have you considered taking management classes, did you realize we have this resource here?
  • if your team isn't successful, you won't be either. if they want to move up, help them, otehrwise let them chill out.
  • in other structures, i've seen that having people know your goals makes all the difference in your ability to accomplish them. not everyone wants to move up. verbalize it to make it more likely to happen. so few likely to say it out loud.
  • sometimes programmers happy where they are, not good idea to push them forward. if you don't see the hunger doesn't mean they aren't good and shouldn't be in the role they're in. in the US people assume you want to go up, but sometimes people happy where they are.

  • alternatives to corporate hierarchy
  • matrixes instead of hierarchys/ladders.
  • really hard to think of from a design perspective
  • reciprocity - successful relationships build on reciprocity... wives and husbands, long term marraiges. how do both parties influence each other... if it's only one way, less likely to survive. similar in mentor relationship. i can be influenced and changed by people i mentor, a useful leadership practice.

  • have you seen programmers successfully move into management roles?
  • have seen people do that and revert back to coding.
  • programmers have a time range like atheletes, where they prefer and enjoy programming, and at a certain point like more strategic roles. also has to do with personality type.
  • a lot of the things we ask from our leaders - think outside of the box, communicating, etc. - higher level of development than our society is good at developing. need to support programmers in acquiring those skills and developing different mindsets. it's hard for anyone to develop that without adequate structural support. we do a poor job of developing that skillset in our society
  • see five of my coworkers go from individual contributors to managers. 5 stages of grief trajectory. shift from isolated and analytical to soft skills... very little training and prep for it. ones who've made it see problems get bigger the further up you go. responsibility is to provide for your team.
  • A little weird to assume anyone can be a manager. it's a bizarre thought. even a personality trait - there are people who won' t be good at it because of their personality, etc. you can't just take anyone. you have to remind people that it's possible for an individual contributor to make more than the boss. a promotion doesn't mean you make more money.
  • some people think they want to be a manager because they want to have control, and that's the last thing it's about. you do not have more control, you have way less. you're managing fights with people than technical development. had to switch from front end development to hacking people.
  • best managers trust people and allow them to do their jobs
  • it's very impotrant... i once worked for a micromanager and lost all of my leadership skills. had to ask for permission before sent out an email. had to relearn all of her leadership skills all over again, was really hard to do.
  • learn that your way isn't necessarily the best way. takes hard work. doesn't come naturally to everyone.
  • if you're a micromanager, you're not doing your job. you're doing everyone else's job and not the job you're supposed to be doing.
  • want to have a separation of your work and your spare time
  • you don't like where you are, but it's safe. sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone and do something dangerous.
  • really hard to give up control.
  • you want to please the ppl working for you, so you spend too much time managing them because you want ot be available to them and approachable. have to learn to set limits. its the only way you can be a good manager.
  • ask people what they need from you as a boss.
  • most powerful thing is for a direct report to say, "i need you to..."
  • ask your boss what they need

Session Gm0q4iCeym[]


session: “Legal”

legal protections for women and mothers

intersection btw govt & social media

IP has same skew genderwise: is it always men who are the “big name” in IP issues? Who gets to decide who’s name is at the top of the patent? Men apply but women assist, it seems.

Women disproportionately patent. Is it b/c of the nature of the things that are patented? STEM?

Patents take years to develop. Corporations own patents, corporations are run by men…

How can we know what can be patented and what can’t? it evolves a little all the time. I.e., a business method. Patent examiners have specialties (i.e. the umbrella patent person).

Patents = inventions. Lasts 20 years.

Copyright = manifestation of an idea, “fixed in a tangible medium”. Life of author + 70 years.

Trademark = commerce, business identities.

Are patent applications on public record? Yes, after 18 months from application filing. This is for “development time.”

Tech obsolescence is a problem for archiving purposes.

Orphan works: copyright holder identity is unknowable or lost. Huge problem in archiving. Institutional risk management seems to be the most common way people address it.

Fair use: available to anyone who wishes to use it, regardless of the scale of publication.

Women as decision makers: Yahoo v. Facebook. Head of Yahoo (male) left after lawsuit was filed for patent infringement, but tried to convince board that there was $$ to be made in this lawsuit. “Beat this competitor, regardless of whether it’s valid.” After he left, the suit was settled.

NPR's Planet Money: search for the episode of patents and trademarks.Very interesting!

Session LM2NidmI11[]

STEP 0- JSFILDDLE - 1 minute

Use this tool to play with Javascript on the fly.

Other option is to use a an index.html file in notepad and open it using your browser.

STEP 1 - HTML/CSS - 15 minutes

Very easy to read and follow for non-techies. Do a few tutorials and then use the TAG References link to explore on your own. Copy into an index.html file on your Desktop. Place that file in a folder of any name you want.

STEP 2 - JAVASCRIPT - 15 minutes

STEP 3 - Validators - 1 minute

When you write a few apps and want to know how to do things "right" use the validators for proper grammar and to learn common mistakes.


Copy the text below to a file called manifest.json file in the same folder as your index.html file


 "app": {

    "launch": {

       "container": "panel",



       "local_path": "index.html"



"name": "My Extension",

"version": "1.0",

"manifest_version": 2,

"description": "A learning application."


Go to chrome://extensions in a chrome browser

Click developer mode Wrench (top right) >> Tools >> Extensions >> Pack extensions (leave private key blank)

If you get errors check your file names don't have a hidden ".txt"

Check your manifest file doesn't have missing or extra "," at the end of every line (except the last)

Remove any .pem file that might exist one level above your choosen folder

STEP 5 - PHONEGAP - 10 minutes

When you get super fancy follow the guide above to get your app on your phone (sans the manifest file)

STEP 6 - jQuery When you get tired of writing document.getElementById("id") and want to just type $("id") use jQuery

Check for an opensource project to help fix bugs with or contribute to. :)

Session Vm333rHzy0[]

Thursday night party at the Newseum -- please register ahead of time!

Open Education


Some non-profit efforts

Some university efforts

Citizen School -


^^^ This is "Communicate OER," a Hewlett funded effort to engage OER people in improving wikipedia content about open education(al resources).

stuff like: Udacity, Coursera

ACM report on k12 computer science education in USA:

Experience in the room

University - in a writing department


Teaching kids that there's more to tech than chatting, internet

Fembot collective - bridge gap with activists and academics, consolidate curriculum & syllabi

National Gallerie

Smithsonian portal for teachers

English professor - use tech in courses (blended)

Open curriculum (github!)

Special education

New america foundation - smart congress

Which universities are supporting "open curriculum"?

Biggest ones:

  • MIT Opencourseware
  • Stanford Opencourseware

Teachers have been doing this forever in small groups

Lots of others.. but...

What's the expectation when you put curriculum online?

  • Increasing use of Creative Commons licenses
  • Univesrity of Maryland -- tells teachers explicitly to copyright their materials

Incentive system in universities -- bias toward sharing?

  • long-term faculty have no incentive to share-- is that true?
  • Feminist scholars frequently share as a political statement
  • Literature reviews -- can be published often without violating university policies
  • Hard sciences -- tend to share, esp when it is nationally funded
  • Anthropology
  • Lots of individuals who support sharing, but their departments aren't caught up (especially junior faculty who have not achieved tenure)

What about publishing a syllabus?

  • course material can be published online pretty easily (low stakes)

Larger umbrella for generalized curriculum?

  • K-12 age level: Boston public schools very restricted by state mandated curriculum
  • Homeschooling communities - big consumer of OER
  • Company that sells the standardized tools for each state: tell you which standards are being met
  • Khan Academy

Paris Declaration

  • UNESCO world congress: all member countries drafted declaration that encourages every country to encourage freely licensed education resources

Scandals of online learning

  • GI bill money: abusive companies bill gov't and give worthless degrees
  • Veterans in writing classes: some for-profit edu are abusing privs
  • Kaplan is a huge lobby for for-profit edu

Having credentials vs not

  • Rosetta stone: ? some subjects you don't need credentials

Hiring - interviewing people in novel ways to avoid getting trapped in

  • Businesses need to train people who have demonstrated that they can think
  • "how you think is more than what you know"

How should things be taught?

  • That style of thinking (creative problem solving) is a side effect of engineering education
  • balance between theory and skills (!!!!)
  • movement: get kids to do projects outside the scope of curriculum using critical thinking skills,
  • Boston sprouts - awesome hacking program for kids and adults

Hope is: Open courseware will enable a base level of education to sort of understand a part of things that previously were inaccessible

Those who are doing open courseware: THANK YOU!

Peer-to-peer university

Robert Miller - port orange, FL

Session imposter-syndrome-day2[]

Imposter Syndrome

"Oh my god, they actually let us have a business." Fear of being discovered as a fraud, of not being qualified.

Guys are vulnerable to this syndrome too, they just don't let on!

Ideas for keeping I.S. it at bay:

  • Keep the "but" inside your own head
  • Removed all of the "I'm new to this" "student," the "I think" from my social media profiles
  • Explaining what I do to people who know little or nothing about it, or to someone a step behind me on the experience ladder "I learned this, I can explain it to someone else"
  • When somebody says they are intimidated by you, it is not a bad thing--you need to remember that everybody sees other people as more experience than them
  • Remembering you are not stupid for having a question, even if you have to ask for an explanation multiple times
  • Strip down language of email communications - direct, without slang or qualifiers
  • Put other people in a position where they have some knowledge that can be shared with somebody else -- encouraging everybody to teach everybody else
  • Dwell on the validation moments rather than the moments when you are stuck in a problem
  • Take time to praise others - instead of saying "you're smart" to young girls, praise hard work
  • IF you ask "what do you think?" to people who think they are better, are likely to take credit for themselves--don't
  • UPDATE YOUR CV ON A REGULAR BASIS - it reminds you that you have done all of these great things
  • Pretend you are 3 again and remember Big Bird's advice - asking questions is how we find things out!
  • Practice accepting compliments
  • "pride thread" on blog - things that you think are awesome, anything you accomplished that you worked hard at or are proud of
  • Reading up, getting more expertise - manager books, user centered deisng books, make you realize it is not you, your manager really isn't that great, the door isn't designed well, etc.

Red Flag phrases:

  • "I'm not real developer"
  • Over apologizing
  • "I think" (no, you KNOW!), or "I don't think," "I don't know if" - edit the qualifiers out of the email before you send it!
  • falling back on our old expertise, boasting on what I used to do, compensating
  • "Theres a lot of X doing better than me."
  • "...but I'm not a (lawyer, or whatever)" discounting all of the experience that I DO have
  • "SHOULD/SHOULDN'T" Don't beat yourself up with what you should be doing
  • "I FEEL" No--I don't feel, I know!

What have managers and supervisers done to help you in the past?

  • Cool idea: "Take a compliment" wall or handout
  • Nomination for an a
  • Having people or managers who accept you, and are sensitive to the fact that you have insecure moments, are an emotional person, can accept you and
  • Use the theatrical catchphrase: "Own it!"
  • ward, public recognition
  • IF I problem solve something, it makes me feel great
  • Listing accomplishments
  • Give out a responsibility a little bit higher than you think the person can take on, and let them know it is important

Tech conferences/speakers - if you have anything at all you think is interesting, propose a talk about it! Overcoming the "freakout" fear of public speaking - "own the freakout"

Assemble "Team You" Surround yourself with people you respect, get feedback "Does my ass look fat in this talk?" The concept of the "beta reader" from fandom, get a perspective check

Session 0Z2dc0XlFr[]

Lessons from a Black Belt: 10 Moves that could save your life

1. Act fast

2. Create space

3. Use your opponents force against them

Hand release

Attack from behind


Kick behind

Escape from wall

Rear choke

Palm to nose


Bear hug

Always check under your car in walking to a dark parking lot.

Don't walk in unsafe spaces on your cell phone. BE ALERT!

If you get a bad vibe, leave!

Carry mace or your car keys in your hand. Mace is $5-10 at Big 5

To help you remember use the anagram HACKER PUB!

Session beginningstuff[]

Resources for Beginners

Python resources: - "Python for Ada Campers," walk-through on how to code in Python

IDLE - development environment for Python,

Urllib - fetch files from the web,

Video on Google - Google Python Class Day 1, Part 1 - best video for teaching yourself how to write Python by Nick Carlante:

PyLadies: "PyLadies is an international mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community. Our mission is to promote, educate and advance a diverse Python community through outreach, education, conferences, events and social gatherings.

PyLadies also aims to provide a friendly support network for women and a bridge to the larger Python world. Anyone with an interest in Python is encouraged to participate!"

Google Online Python Tutorial:

Opencourseware MIT - A Gentle Introduction to Programming Writing Using Python:

Another MIT Python resource:

CodeAcademy: Check out the beta test course section for Python training

For Python syntax:, check out tutorial and library reference


For more advanced Python: Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

Ruby on Rails:

Beginning Ruby is a good starter book by Peter Cooper


Text editor - Sublime, - source code repository for already written programs and can host your program there

Open Courseware: - open courseware (

Fembot Technologists - has mentoring project

Can search for courses on OpenCourseware at http://www/

That Camp: - THATCamp is an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot.

GLAMCamp - Find references on Wikipedia

Web programming:

Mozilla's for developing websites in HMTL and CSS, check out Popcorn, the Thimble project, and Xray goggles

W3C for HTML, XML -

A List Apart, - Eric Meyer, CSS guru

Session adadesign[]

Design: How does it effect your participation in projects

Wikipedia Teahouse

  • The Teahouse project was launched on English wikipedia this year
  • A social space for new editors to get help, a place to ask stupid new editor questions without fear of being shot down
  • A place to get support from peers
  • Idea was it was a strategy that would support new female editors
  • Sarah Stierch + Siko launched this year
  • Didn't want it to look like wikipedia because Wikipedia's design is really boring and not a place you'd want to hang out on the web. We wanted really good design to be part of it
  • Heather got involved in project. She designs spaces that look like they are a living community. Pictures of people, strong colors. Not pink!
  • Teahouse has a really lovely gender-neutral design.
  • As a result of the project, got a lot of feedback, even from hardcore old timers, saying they never thought design amttered but it does, and they liked being in the tea house.
  • No testing, little developer involvement. Quick and dirty pilot.


  • Liked having the calls to action

Design Strategies for Teahouse + Others

  • Process and Visual design
  • Visual design
  • Maybe being a female designer makes design different?
  • Avoid pink
  • Existing design is very boxy, linear, takes up all space possible (little whitespace)
  • Taking up all the space, causes an emotional reaction. People feel that they need more space when they look at things, it's hard to read something that stretches all the way across the page. You need breathing room.
  • Make sure things change and are fresh.
  • One thing we did - the question page:
  • In wikipedia, when you add something new, it goes to the bottom. So if it's a super-long page, it's going to be at the very bottom when it's new. Non-intuitive.
  • They created a special gadget so that went people ask a question on the question page, the newest questions bubble to the top. So when you go to the page, you won't see all the stale old ones at the top right away, you'll always see the newest content on the top.
  • Make it clear that things change so community activity is visible
  • Make is visible that other people are there
  • We have profiles that people can use to introduce themselves.
  • Wikipedia user names are all text
  • We went for profiles that humanize the text, we show pictures of people and post guest profiles on the front of the page in their words
  • It's a lot harder to be mean to a real person
  • people start saying horrible things on the internet
  • I'm interested in ways of combatting that before they happen
  • Make it clear that people are asking and answering questions
  • Provide social media links
  • opt-in to connect to facebook instead of created login on site
  • a lot more valid comments because people are connected to their facebook
  • People are afraid that when there's a big change, you'll lose users to your site. One woman's company saw the opposite - they broke a record in users after the major change of integrating social media in the site.
  • Turned site away from info site to more interactive
  • feedback loop - have txt message campaigns, have a high retention rate to keep people active on the site
  • if you dont have a nice design people won't discover your great functionality
  • most volunteers on her company's site are female - actually have 60% female participation, noted that how they changed their wording changed who participated.
  • cool / hip lingo... adjusted it
  • used to have pastel / light colors to bolder colors
  • tried edgier / darker / hipper to attract even ratio
  • Gender-neutral palette
  • Start with photographs that are appropriate to the situation. Heather started with photos of zen / teahouse things and extrapolated the color palette from that
  • Then asked men and women what they thought about the palette and iterated based on feedback
  • Picked the teahouse name / concept before planning the palette / before design began. But having a good name to start with to riff off of it good.

Will Teahouse changes be integrated into main / core wikipedia design at some point?

  • Brandon will give a talk on wikipedia 2015, on what he is designing and where it's going.
  • It'll probably happen through osmosis and designer interaction.
  • Wikipedia has a real culture of borrow and remix so it's very feasible.
  • People would freak out if the change was made right away.
  • Someone brought up the metafilter design.
  • Someone created a new design, tested it against older version, and the older version was more popular and he wasn't sure why.
  • Users seemed to like the familiar better.
  • Was testing on old users instead of new ones.
  • I've been here 10 years, you can't change this thing.
  • This happened with Facebook. Everyone complains for a short peroid, then they adopt it
  • Compare to MySpace - they never changed - they couldn't keep up pace.
  • Craiglist has had the same layout for so long but there's no competitor.

Designing for power users vs new users

  • Different interfaces or same interfaces?
  • Hope the old timers eventually warm up to the new way?
  • Make it clear who the target users are, expose your research and make it known what users you're going for, who's using it and how many of each type of user
  • Start with a portal kind of front page. Power user can dismiss that easily, the new users can use it as a guide to get started. "Here's all the things you can do. Etc"
  • populate the interface with useful things so you can do something right away rather than forcing users to start from scratch

Who uses which interface

Anthropologist studied the various social networking sites.

  • MySpace was racialized and classed - ghetto
  • Facebook was upward mobility, professional educated white people

LiveJournal - female academics who blog, what does blogging mean for academic practice and gender? Some of them have older LiveJournal or newer Dreamwidth. Thought that they needed to be on WordPress to be more 'professional.' Why is LiveJournal for teenage girls vs. WordPress is more authoritative and semi-professional. One particular community thinking of these platforms differently.

In terms of platform, having your own self-hosted Wordpress looks more professional because there are so many WordPress themes available. Not sure it has so much to do with gender. As a professional, you should have basic website hosted on or self-hosted wordpress, looks better. Maybe because LiveJournal more anonymous. Wordpress looks more professional in design... also the domain name looks more professoinal.

LJ hard to theme, old school HTML and hard to hack. Dreamwidth female population of developers.

Design affects users' perception of the functionality of the site

Did a big redesign of a site, much cleaner look, nicer palette, functionality stayed the same. Did a lot of usability testing. People think it works better and is faster than the old website. Perception of functionality just based on design.

Universal Principles of Design

If you make something beautiful before it's fast. It feels faster. E.g., a well-designed spinner.

If it's Flash, I'm gone! Too slow.

Guide for Projects to Encourage Women?

Put together a guide for designing your project's / community's website to help bring more women to your project?

Are there pictures of only men on your site?

Could women looking at your community see themselves there? Thinking about how realtors stage houses to neutralize the house, you want the buyers to feel like they could live there to help sell it.

Sometimes messiness is more welcome, because people feel there's a space for them.

"Rockstar" and "Ninja" language.

Wikipedia Feedback

  • Two different designs needed for two difference audiences and purposes:
  • Use as a reference, a resource, like having it using information. For readers.
  • Teahouse not functional if I'm looking up what year someone was born. For editors.
  • Editor base is stagnant or declining as readership keeps going up and up.
  • 9% women are editors.

Part of the design question is how you convert the reader to an editor.

People are learning how to use the internet by Facebook teaching them, so maybe switch to their norm.

How do you on-ramp newcomers, and redesign the newcomer experience

  • A huge % of people connecting to wikipedia with just a phone outside of the US.
  • A lot of time we think about how other americans experience wikipedia when it's totally international.
  • There are entirely different language people, but each article on any given language's wikipedia could have translations on top of that.
  • Mobile has the opporutnity to pull in a lot more contributors if it's not terribly hard to do.
  • Visual editor - could make it easier for new people to contribute - learning the wiki syntax is a barrier to some contibutors

Session where-mentor[]

Where is my mentor?

Key mentors people have had:

  • Cool Aunt, installing my first Linux - a mentor open doors for you!
  • Introduced self to motivational speaker
  • University PhD advisor, bosses - in a university it is more

Difficulty with geek men who are not strong at communicating, sharing information, mentoring a woman; needed to go outside of her work group, joined different community groups, introduced self to motivational speaker

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” - Mark Twain

If you try and look for a mentor, if it doesn't fit, keep looking. Get through the awkward situations, keep looking.

How do you keep the mentor engaged? 1) Keep it short, 2) ask the mentor "what can I do for you?"


Sometimes they see reflections of themselves in you--they also get something out of the relationship

Having a woman mentor is very different from male. Sexual tension is an issue, as well as how you relate to authority (if mentor is out over you in power structure)


  • Won't take advantage of you
  • Like a friendship, you will both help each other
  • Doesn't lord over you, makes you feel like a genius
  • Keep it professional, not too personal...though there are advantages to having some personal connections too
  • Having more than 1 mentor is a good idea, so you don't burn out your one mentor
  • Teaches you things you don't knowj
  • Ideally not be your direct boss, so that the relationship doesn't impact your job

When a mentor helps you, "it is not about paying it back, it is about paying it forward."

"Don't tell me why I can't do it...Tell me that yes, it is, hard, but don't discourage me...tell me how to get there."

ONLINE MENTORS: Facebook group that assigns Wikipedian mentors to new editors

Find a person that you are impressed by, that everyone respects. Ask if you can talk to them for 30 minutes, ask them how you got to where you are, what are you passionate about, what stumbling blocks did you encounter along the way, and then saying "can we meet again."


  • Male leadership can be weird or awkward about the relationship, people can question why a younger woman is working with an older man, "Is going to get coffee together weird?"
  • Reasons why I am not promoted: my mentor tends to identify more with young men than he does with me.
  • Feels she has to dress less feminine when with male mentor
  • Accused of non trusting men as mentors, "Why are all your mentors women?"

"When you give (mentor someone) the universe comes back to you in some way"

If you are not being promoted: shout your dreams to the rooftops. Let everyone know that you want to be promoted, because more people are aware of what you want. Know what is your dream job, and then recognize it when it pops up!

You have the right to talk to people, to network, to talk to people 3 levels up!

Why don't women ask for more money? Because we are less motivated by dollars, more by job satisfaction and recognition.

FIND YOUR H.R. PERSON - and go find them, just to talk. Pick their brain, find out information from them. If you have an existing relationship with them, if they know who you are, when something bad (sexual harassment) happens, you are already ready.

Session RP19yZTTTs[]

Changing Our Language

More women applicants

Data recruiters

Removing Language from Job Applications

Unix, code jockey, hot-shot, American sport analogies

dude, assuming mostly men

People don't realize that they're doing it

Tone vs Specific words

You are a ______

Compare job descriptions to how they describe themselves

Bulleted Lists

People think that they must have every single one of those qualifications

Unintended implications


i.e. when men do something they say they got it because "they're smart"

vs. women attributing success to themselves "I'm lucky" or "you had a good education" vs "you're really got at that"

Self-Evaluations for raises

Women are more likely to use plural pronouns like "we" instead of men who used "I"

Effective Language in Recruiting Women

Women who were already working there

Career Development

People would have a lot of roles in their job, and it appealed to a lot of women that they would do a lot of things and bring lots of skills

People want to learn = you don't have to know everything right away

On-call, traveling = how it fits into family life

Telling people if they're encouraged to

Work Environment

Compromise between being welcoming and being honest

Brogrammers = something to laugh at? vs offensive

Token Female Engineer


represents something very real

would like the world/phenomenon to go away

People want "as a woman..." experience

Response to "As a woman..."

Culture - young, go out and party vs. having kids

Customer support/relations as a woman


not getting the same discussion -> possible panel tomorrow

Young = you're wrong, or assume you don't have experience

young = more desirable?


Of language we're using

"we need to recruit diversity"

constructive positive ways to tell people when it


Pay attention to the nuances and how people talk, you can pick what people do/don't appreciate hearing

don't make gender assumptions

tough language / destructive language = having to suffer through challenges, we should be joining otgether and problem solving

Speaking up / defending

What do you say to correct them?

Session 0fKk01c6EI[]


Only about 9-13% of Wikipedia editors are women internationally. The foundation has the goal to close this gender gap. How can we close this gap?

What drives you to edit as a woman? Is there a Wikipedia personality type - obsessive personality types, is this more common in men?

Women need to be asked to run for office; similarly, women need to be asked to edit Wikipedia-- Power of INVITATION

WIKIPEDIA CAN'T BE NEUTRAL IF WOMEN AREN'T EDITING!! Core idea. If only men are writing about topics, it is not going to be balanced representation of the world.

Women don't have the confidence, overcorrect themselves, don't have the same level of hubris, authority, that some men have.

Check out the many articles about women--they are terrible! When you see how bad they are you will want to start editing!

Parallels with curatorship--is there something we can learn from museum curatorship? Only recently did women come into the into the profession of museum curators. Need to develop this analogy/metaphor

We need a social movement. For whatever reasons that women don't edit.


-How long am I going to have to exert ownership over the text?

-How fluid will my texts be?

-As a writer, what are the benefits/rewards/incentives of editing a wikipedia article?

-No scholarly incentive

How do we start a network of support - network effect is underleveraged among women

OP-ED PROJECT - similarly questions about what impede women in writing op-eds. Movement about getting women to write more op-eds in news outlets.

Workplace/lunchbag idea - reaching out to women through work networks,

This is just about "women women women" building curriculum for empowerment "this is like fight club rules!"

I want to be respected not because I'm a woman, but because I have good ideas. It can't be just about women, but about ALL UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS

How do we make social aspect on a non-social platform; Wikipedia is not a social community. Lack of persistance after real life edit-a-thons. Idea: need an online equivalent of persistent online social action space, with calls to action....

IDEA: Tool/widget to invite people, esp. women, to participate--embed social media. Firefox bookmarklet-style extension - when reading something online, a way to invite the author to edit an article.

Survey results, question put to women about why they edit/don't edit:

1. Not editing = not enough time

2. Frequent editing = enjoy sharing their knowledge

Wikipedia as a space for "literature reviews" for academic/scholarly writers; private space

"When you have not been affirmed in your real life, it is hard to participate in a space where you also don't expect to be affirmed"

In WF, the developers are men, product managers are men, so how can women be involved in creation of the tools and the future of the platform. ("We are desperately trying to hire women at the foundation"

Women have created roles in the movement--outreach, management -- they see the big picture.

Challenge for regional language wikis - women are reluctant to admit they are "wikipedians," "Oh, I edit, but I am not a wikimedian." Men are proud, but women are not....

What if we offered to "Wikify" your content for you? For people who don't have the confidence in the markup, let them partner with a content person. Is that scalable


  • Invitation
  • Validation
  • Widget/embedded social interaction - a "stealth social network" - it could create a new community