[Verdebinario] Fwd: Ada Lovelace Day: Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Outreachy

fraticello fraticello a autistici.org
Mer 14 Ott 2015 00:28:28 UTC

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Ada Lovelace Day: Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Outreachy
Date: 	Tue, 13 Oct 2015 18:07:47 -0400
From: 	Free Software Foundation <info a fsf.org>
Reply-To: 	Free Software Foundation <info a fsf.org>
To: 	free software supporter <ciccionoto a libero.it>

Free Software Foundation

Dear free software supporter,

Today is the seventh annual Ada Lovelace Day, a time to celebrate
women's achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was a 19th-century English
mathematician who many consider the first programmer, because she
published the most complete and in-depth description of the Analytical
Engine, an early computer conceived of -- but never built -- by Charles
Babbage. This year, to honor Ada Lovelace's legacy, we want to tell you
more about Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Outreachy.

Zhurakhinskaya and Karen Sandler, co-organizers of OPW (now Outreachy),
with Richard Stallman, accepting the 2014 Free Software Award for
Projects of Social Benefit for OPW./

Marina is an engineer -- she has worked at Red Hat for nearly a decade,
and her work currently focuses on community diversity and inclusion. She
also works with Outreachy <http://outreachy.org/>, an internship program
that aims to bring underrepresented groups into the free software
community, which received the Free Software Foundation's Award for Free
Software Projects of Social Benefit in 2014, under its previous name,
the Outreach Program for Women.

Outreachy offers mentored, remote internships in free software.
Participating projects include GNOME, Wikimedia, and Mozilla. Since
2010, the program has had nearly 250 participants, many of whom have
moved on to jobs in tech, conference presentations, and giving back to
the program by becoming mentors. We conducted an email interview with
Marina to tell us a bit more.

    Talk about your new role as senior outreach specialist of community
    diversity and inclusion at Red Hat. How did your own experience in
    the tech industry influence your career track at Red Hat? And how
    did you become involved with Outreachy (formerly the Outreach
    Program for Women)?

Working as a senior software engineer at Red Hat on the GNOME Project, I
was very impressed by the talent of the project contributors, by how
rewarding it is to work on free software, and by the feeling of
connectedness one gets when collaborating with people all over the
world. Yet, at GUADEC 2009, of approximately 170 attendees, I believe I
was one of only eight women. Of the software developers working on the
entire GNOME project at the time, I was one of only three.

Shortly after that GUADEC, the GNOME Foundation board of directors asked
if I would be willing to lead an outreach effort for GNOME aimed at
bringing women into the community and mentoring participants. I also got
an invitation to participate in the Free Software Foundation's Women's
Caucus <https://www.fsf.org/news/recommendations-from-the-womens-caucus>
and later attended the Women in Free Software track at LibrePlanet 2010.
These events allowed me to learn about the efforts that already had
taken place in free software to increase participation by women and
allowed me to make connections with other people passionate about this
topic. I created the Outreach Program for Women with the help and
support of Stormy Peters – then GNOME Foundation executive director.
Later, the next GNOME Foundation executive director, Karen Sandler,
helped expand the program beyond GNOME to include many free software

As the Outreach Program for Women grew, I switched to a role of
community engagement lead at Red Hat, combining GNOME community
management and coordination of the program. At the same time, I was
gaining more experience in diversity by following the resources created
by the Ada Initiative and others who wrote about diversity issues,
attending AdaCamps, and later joining the board of advisors and board of
directors for the Ada Initiative. In 2015, as coordinators of Outreach
Program for Women, Karen Sandler and I have led the work to rename it to
Outreachy, move it to Software Freedom Conservancy
<https://sfconservancy.org/> as its new organizational home, and, with
the help of four new coordinators, expand it to be open to people of
color underrepresented in tech in the U.S., while continuing to be open
to cis and trans women, trans men, and genderqueer people worldwide.

The vast potential to empower more people from diverse backgrounds
through participation in free software and to make our community
stronger with more contributors motivated me to seek a full-time
position focused on free software community diversity and inclusion. My
senior outreach specialist role at Red Hat involves co-organizing
Outreachy and providing support for Red Hatters who are looking to make
their communities and teams more diverse and inclusive. At the core of
this role is a recognition that while we need participation from all
engineers as mentors and allies for diversity efforts, we should not
primarily rely on minority engineers to take on the work of organizing
these efforts or developing expertise on the issue, as this is an
excessive burden. A major component of the role is organizing structured
and meaningful opportunities to be mentors for all engineers, that draw
on people's specialized skills, help them grow professionally, and only
require a manageable time commitment from them.

    How has winning a Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit
    in 2014 impacted Outreachy?

Winning a Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit was a very
proud moment for Outreachy. It showed that the free software community
valued and supported the effort to bring in more people from diverse
backgrounds. It shone a light on the program and increased its
recognition. Since then, such important communities as the Humanitarian
OpenStreetMap Team and X.Org have joined Outreachy.

I am also thankful to the Free Software Foundation for being a long-time
sponsor of Outreachy.

    Outreachy's scope has continued to expand: what's the latest?

The diversity data
<http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/diversity-in-tech/> for
the U.S. released by many tech companies shows that many of them only
have 1-3% Black and 2-4% Hispanic employees in technical roles. The
population of the U.S. is 13% Black and 17% Hispanic. We don't have any
data like this for free software participation, but we can tell there is
a lack of racial and ethnic Caption: Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Karen
Sandler, co-organizers of OPW (now Outreachy), with Richard Stallman,
accepting the 2014 Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit
for OPWdiversity at conferences we attend.

For the upcoming December round, the program has expanded to be open to
residents and nationals of the U.S. of any gender who are Black/African
American, Hispanic/Latina, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native
Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. It continues to be open to cis and trans
women, trans men, and genderqueer people worldwide.

Cindy Pallares, Tony Sebro, and Bryan Smith joined Karen Sandler, Sarah
Sharp, and me as Outreachy coordinators. With their experience as
African American and Latina free software professionals and with the
disparity shown by the diversity data, we knew that the targeted
expansion to people of color underrepresented in U.S. tech was an
appropriate next step for Outreachy. We know there are many other groups
of people and parts of the world underrepresented in free software.
While we expect it to take several rounds for us to manage the growth
that will come with this expansion, we welcome input on what populations
we should consider reaching out to next.

People in free software work really hard to make their projects
successful and recognizing them for their work shows the appreciation we
have for it. Nominating
a person or a project for a Free Software Award can help bring more
attention to their mission and share with the world an inspiring free
software success story. Finally, the recipients will enjoy attending
LibrePlanet – a fantastic conference – and receiving their award from
Richard Stallman as hundreds of free software enthusiasts cheer.

    What are your hopes for the free software community in the next
    thirty years?

I hope that more developers and other technology contributors seek out
opportunities to work on free software as their job. I would like to see
more business, entrepreneurial, non-profit, academic, and government
organizational infrastructure for free software development. In
particular, all software developed or purchased with public funds should
be free software. I would like to see free software in mainstream
critical devices, such as medical and automotive, and in modern consumer
products, such as mobile phones. Free software solutions need to offer a
compelling user experience, so that people opt for them without having
to compromise convenience. These compelling solutions will also help
spread the message of software freedom. I hope that moving to free
software as a default from the developer and consumer perspective, will
incentivize existing companies to open the code of their core services
and to allow verification and decentralization of them. Finally, I hope
that free software contributors and enthusiasts will come from a variety
of diverse backgrounds, and we will either no longer need Outreachy or
will dramatically change who it's targeted toward.

To get us there, it's vital that free software supporters donate to
organizations like the Free Software Foundation
<https://my.fsf.org/donate/>, Software Freedom Conservancy
<https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/>, the GNOME Foundation
<https://www.gnome.org/friends/>, and others that are advocating for
free software and providing organizational structure to free software
projects we all know and love.

The application deadline for the upcoming round of Outreachy internships
is November 2, and the internship dates will be from December 7 to March
7. Now is a great time to learn about the participating communities
work on the required contribution with the help of a mentor, and apply
<https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy#Application_Process>. You can
encourage others to apply
<https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy/2015/DecemberMarch/SpreadTheWord> by
using the prepared e-mail message, social network updates, and the
flyer. You can get your company to sponsor
<https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy/Admin/InfoForOrgs#Action> Outreachy or
make an individual donation <https://www.gnome.org/outreachy/#donate> to
help it grow and fund more internships.

/Thanks to Marina Zhurakhinskaya for this in-depth conversation. Please
help us recognize standouts in the free software community: To nominate
an individual for the Award for the Advancement of Free Software or a
project for the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, send your
nomination along with a description of the project or individual to
award-nominations a gnu.org <mailto:award-nominations a gnu.org> by
*November 1st, 2015*. Apply here
<https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?gid=325&reset=1> to present a
session at the next LibrePlanet, which will take place March 19-20,
2016, in the Boston area -- submissions are due November 16, 2015, at
15:00 UTC. To read more about more women in free software, check out our
previous Ada Lovelace Day posts from 2014
2012 <https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/happy-ada-lovelace-day>, and
2011 <https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/ada-lovelace-day-karen-sandler>./


Georgia Young
Program Manager

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