June 14, 2006

Gnome, Google Sumer of Code, and the Ladies

Category: F/OSS,Politics,Travel — Biella @ 12:27 pm

Hannah Wallach is not only amazing because she introduced me to the trippiest game ever, Rez (and is an amazing player herself), but has worked diligently over the last few years to get more women involved in free software. Not only is she one of the ladies that help ignite Debian Women, she has helped spearhead an initiative to get more women in Gnome via Google Summer of Code. So a double thanks to Hannah and read on below for some more info on the initiative.

BOSTON, Mass – June 13, 2006 – The GNOME Foundation is offering USD$9000 to female students in order to promote the participation of women in GNOME-related development.

The money originates from GNOME’s participation in the Google “Summer of Code” program (code.google.com/soc/), for which GNOME developers will mentor 20 students working throughout the northern summer on GNOME-related projects. This year GNOME received 181 applications to Google’s program, yet none were from women. The GNOME Foundation has therefore chosen to reinvest Google’s contribution into a new program designed to increase the participation of women in GNOME. The program has no official relationship with Google.

“Free software prides itself on being open to anyone with a good idea, yet less than 2% of free software developers are female. We, as a community, need to be actively working to change this statistic, and programs like this one are a much needed step in the right direction.” said Hanna Wallach, a GNOME developer who is involved in several projects that encourage women to participate in free software development.

The Women’s Summer Outreach Program is currently accepting applications from female students. Accepted students will receive a stipend of USD$3000 over a two month period. A pool of project ideas is provided at www.gnome.org/projects/wsop/, though original proposals are also encouraged. Projects may either be related to GNOME directly, or indirectly via projects such as Gstreamer and Abiword. Each student will be assigned a mentor to provide guidance throughout the program.

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