March 24, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Penelope Stowe @ 21:15

I’ve spent the day trying to figure out what to write for Ada Lovelace Day and, while I’m not much further from where I started, it’s getting to the end of the day so I figured it was time to just write and worry less about how it sounded. So here goes with a few of the women in tech who’ve made a difference in my life. This will be Ubuntu and Ubuntu Women heavy because outside of those groups there aren’t so many women in tech in my life. Even my college, which was a women’s college, only had one woman instructor in the CS department and I never had her. I’m aiming for some level of chronologicalness in this, but probably not hitting it right.

Lyz Krumbach welcomed me in with open arms when I was shy and attempting to go to some Philadelphia LUG meetings. While I didn’t make it to many, the fact that I knew that there was another woman who would be there did a lot to get me to actually get up and go. Lyz is a member of the Ubuntu Community Council, Americas Ubuntu Membership Board, Ubuntu Women, I’m not even sure what LUGS and LoCos as she’s just moved to California, is one of the people in charge of the Ubuntu Classroom team, and does many other things that I can’t even think of at the moment.

Laura Czajkowski is the person who actually convinced me to get involved in the Ubuntu community after a several month campaign on her part to drag me in for all that I kept protesting that I couldn’t do anything. Laura is on the Ubuntu LoCo Council and is in Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu NGO, and the Ubuntu-IE loco. And if that wasn’t enough when she’s not doing one of those things (or her day job as a software tester), she’s organizing Ossbarcamp and other open source events in Ireland and abroad and working on the fossevents website done by the PDPC.

Isabell L. is one of the most enthusiastic people I know in the open source community, and one of the youngest! Not only has she jumped into work on Ubuntu with both feet, but she also works on fossevents with Laura. In the few months I’ve known her, I’ve seen her become more skilled and she tries to soak everything up and learn everything. If Isabell is the future of women in tech, then I’m excited for what is to come!

Amber Graner may think of herself as a “non-technical end user”, but she’s spent the past year showing that that will not hold her back from being a woman in tech. Amber is head of the Ubuntu Women Project, works on the Ubuntu Weekly News, volunteers for pretty much all jobs out there, and, although her kids may joke about having lost their mother to Ubuntu, is raising two great-sounding kids.

Melissa Draper has been working in the Ubuntu community for years (I’m not quite sure how many, but I know it’s quite a few!). She’s currently on the Asia & Oceania Ubuntu Membership board and in the past has also held a position on the Ubuntu IRC Council. She’s also very active in Ubuntu Women. While I’ll admit we don’t always see eye-to-eye, I always know that she’s coming from what she believes in and has good reasons for her opinions. Melissa is often a reminder to me of the importance of having recognition of women in tech, especially in the open source world.

There are many other women in tech I’d love to talk about, but there’s not enough time. I guess I’ll just have to wait until next year to cover some more!

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