Open source communities have been paving the way for innovation for years, and recently they've been paving the way for diversity in the IT fields, too. For some women, the way into technology was clear and well-lit. Others faced harsh criticism from their families, friends, and society. Thankfully, open source communities are creating a level playing field, enabling women from all over the world to learn, contribute, and make their mark in technology.
Alicia Gibb has a passion for hardware hacking—she founded and is currently running the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Also a member of the ADA Initiative Board, Defensive Patent License Board, and the Open Source Ecology Board, she got her start as a technologist from a combination of backgrounds: informatics and library science.
Alicia formerly worked as a researcher and prototyper at Bug Labs where she ran the academic research program and the R&D lab. Her work is fascinating and she graciously agreed to this interview.
The second part is of this question is why these issues are especially important for the open source community. Accessibility gets to the vary core of what open source means. If we really want to make software that is freely available for people to use, share, improve and modify, we have to make sure that that software doesn't exclude some people because it is inaccessible. That defeats the core purpose of open source. As a side benefit, accessible software is software more people can use, and if you can have more people working on your project, your project will be better for it.
As a preview of next week’s LinuxCon in Seattle, we asked keynote speaker Michael Miller of SUSE to answer some questions about openness in IT infrastructure and what it means for Linux and SUSE.
For more from Michael Miller, check out his keynote presentation at LinuxCon, “Open Source Code: It's in our DNA,” in which he will talk about open source, the progress that has been made, and why now is the perfect time to be building the future of open source together.
HashPlex is a company that specializes in hosting miner services, allowing home miners access to industry standard electricity rates in order to stay competitive. While their main focus is indeed the mining aspect of Bitcoin, the people over at HashPlex understand the importance of the Bitcoin network, which is especially seen by the debut of their new open source lightning hub. I talked to Bernard Rihn, CEO and founder, as well as Jasper Hugunin, their leading Lightning Dev, over at HashPlex regarding the Lightning Network and Hubs.
My work at OIN involves a lot of research. I read academic papers on litigation trends and try to stay on top of who’s getting sued this week. It also involves a lot of behind the scenes emailing. I have lots of informal conversations with people about how you run a free and open source software project. Sometimes, they don’t realize that lots of other companies are succeeding with FOSS business models and shared community resources. Once they see that it can be done, they often feel more confident.
At 18, Patricia is a feminist with a growing list of tech achievements, open source industry experience, and her sights set on diving into her freshman year of college at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. She works for Puppet Labs in Portland, Oregon, as an intern, but soon she'll head to Durham, North Carolina, to start the fall semester of college.