The deadline for Outreach Program for Women applications is very imminent and a range of applications have now appeared on the OPW wiki
It is great to see Debian has attracted a diverse range of women who all appear to have coding experience. Code samples have been submitted in Java, C++ and Python among other things and they come from a range of locations around the globe, including Brazil, the UK, Iran and India.
Looking through the records of some of these applications, it is interesting to see a range of experience and connections in industry and the wider open source family:
- translator for O'Reilly
- IBM internship
- Linux module programming
- Working alongside one of the Mercurial contributors in a previous role
Recent emails from the OPW organisors and DPL have highlighted the need to raise more funding to ensure that Debian can offer OPW internships to the selected applicants.
Solving the biggest problem of GSoC 2014
Many of these applicants are students and will be eligible for GSoC 2014. According to the Google FAQ, even students who graduate in 2014 are eligible as long as they are enrolled in a course on the cut-off date 21 April 2014
One of the biggest challenges facing GSoC mentors is the selection of students who are capable of completing good work and have a long term interest in open source.
One of the best ways to overcome that challenge is to start forming relationships with potential GSoC students well in advance and get to know them as they make small contributions over an extended period of time. The interest that these candidates have expressed in Debian and OPW suggests that some of them may well be suitable for Debian to help them get onto this track for the next GSoC.
Not only will this make the GSoC 2014 selection process easier but it may help us to select more GSoC candidates with a long term outlook.
Women in science, engineering and the wider business world
More news items have appeared recently about women in science and engineering and other leadership roles:
- America's first female rocket scientist, with a 3 minute video
- BBC Newshour looks at the lack of women in Silicon Valley, asking why the 20% ratio of female graduates is not reflected in the industry leadership
- The woman sacked twice from leadership roles in Wall Street and what she is doing now