October 11, 2016

Today, October 11, is Ada Lovelace Day and we’re joining people around the globe in celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math. There are a number of events taking place today. See here to find an event in your area.

In keeping with today’s celebration, please take a look a few of things we’ve been working on to recruit more women to the Project.

As you may have read in our latest newsletter, we again sponsored and attended womENcourage. WomENcourage is a yearly conference organized by ACM-W Europe, for women in computing. It was held this year on September 11-12 in Linz, Austria. We had a good turnout of students and professors stopping by our table to talk about FreeBSD. Many attendees were PhD students who talked to us about their research projects, and asked how they could incorporate FreeBSD into their research. We recently created new fliers on promoting the Google Summer of Code program and TeachBSD.org, to promote internships and teaching with FreeBSD at conferences like womENcourage. We handed out these fliers, and the Getting Involved in FreeBSD flier to almost all the attendees. The interest from the attendees in FreeBSD, was significant and supported our decision to attend this conference. During a slow period, a woman stopped by to talk to me about FreeBSD, since she was familiar with it. It turns out that she was a journalist for Austria Public Radio. We talked about FreeBSD for a long time and I ended up doing an interview with her. She used a snippet of it in her story about the conference a few weeks ago. She’s also planning on doing a segment on FreeBSD using my full interview. Next year, the conference will be three or four days, which will offer us opportunities to give a workshop and presentation on FreeBSD. We’ll reach out to FreeBSD contributors to volunteer for this next year, as we anticipate this being a larger event, with more attendees, and more opportunity to increase awareness of FreeBSD and recruit more women to the Project in Europe!

Next week, Dan Langille and I will be attending The 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, taking place in Houston, TX, to continue to spread the word about FreeBSD. Dan will also be holding a “Contributing to Open Source Software” workshop at the conference. We’re looking forward to introducing attendees to FreeBSD and sharing experiences and the benefits of being involved with this community. The new FreeBSD How-tos, combined with the getting started, and research materials not only help showcase the wide array of opportunities FreeBSD presents, but also makes the on-boarding process easier, thereby expanding our reach to the thousands of women attending the conference.

We’re very excited to continue our efforts towards reaching our recruitment goals. We will continue to work with others (both women and men) within the Project and outlying communities to discover more areas for outreach, improvement, and growth to help make working on the Project a positive experience for everyone involved.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has donated to the Foundation to help us move forward with our goals. Your support allows us to continue our mission to advocate for, improve on, and grow the FreeBSD Project.

Deb Goodkin
Executive Director
FreeBSD Foundation