Contributors come in all shapes and sizes. Even though the gathering of those involved with Ubuntu is called the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), it’s not just those that develop code. And the next UDS is May 9-13, 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.
I’m still growing and finding my way in Ubuntu so attended last cycle’s summit remotely. I was really impressed. I already knew the community rocked, but the idea of being able to participate from afar was fantastic. Then I saw that the Community Manager, Jono Bacon, contacted the Ubuntu Women team to make the next UDS even better through diversity. Very nice.
Recently, I watched a presentation about gender distribution in Ruby by Dave Thomas. It illustrated how few women are involved in Ruby and open source. He said that about 47% of the working population are women, and 25% of those that work in computing/mathematics are women. Then, narrowing down further, there are 1.5% women in open source and about 5.6% women attended the conference.
I’m not sure how many women are involved with Ubuntu, but at least 5% of those that have gained membership (a recognition of contribution that one needs to apply for), are women. It’s not 47% but it’s higher than the normal percentage of women in open source.
Alright. Enough with the statistics. What I’m getting at is this: Ubuntu does it right. How can it be even better? For more of the underrepresented community members of Ubuntu to go to the summit. Fortunately, Canonical offers sponsorships for some. And you won’t know if you can get it till you apply.
Why should you apply for sponsorship?
- You’ve been contributing to Ubuntu in some form (not just coding but also community like local teams, design, testing, etc.)
- New this year: an anti-harassment policy (which I hope adds sexual orientation/identity)
- Put faces to the names you’ve seen on mailing lists, forums, and IRC
- There’s sponsorship application help for women by the Ubuntu Women project
I suggest that if you’re interested in applying for sponsorship that you do so soon, especially if you need to get a passport and such!
Here’s to a wonderfully productive, fun, and diverse summit!