Stormy’s Update: Weeks of February 15th and 22nd

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

I think the number of different projects and conversations I am having has maxed out my multiprocessing capabilities. This week I am going to spend more time logged out of email and working on one project at a time.

Last week I:

  • Presented at IASA. Great conversation. Very interactive group. Made a couple of local government contacts – people involved in promoting open source in government IT infrastructure.
  • Attended OSS Watch phone Advisory Board
  • Worked on GUADEC sponsorship. It’s coming along well. Still waiting for a lot of people to finalize plans through.
  • Advisory board meetings. Met with several more adboard members – still haven’t met with everyone though!
  • Board meeting.
  • GNOME Foundation IRC meeting.
  • Several good meetings with Rosanna.
  • Updating the Friends of GNOME gifts spreadsheet for Rosanna (ping her a lot with questions.) I sent her the list of Friends of GNOME Adopt a Hacker folks who have earned their tshirt!
  • Sent new Adopt a Hacker folks contact info to people that will send them post cards.
  • Settled on date and location for Meet the Funders in California. Need to finalize date for New York.
  • Looked into adding conversion tracking to our GNOME ads on Google Adwords.
  • Attended Women’s Caucus meeting. They will have an all day track Sunday at Libre Planet.
  • Attended the Grace Hopper Open Source track committee meeting.
  • Didn’t attend the OpenWorld Forum meeting as they only dial in number was an international number.
  • Agreed to give GNOME keynote at LinuxTag. Johannes Schmid agreed to put together the GNOME track. Please contact him if you are interested in speaking about GNOME at LinuxTag.
  • Sent out thank you email to Friends of GNOME.
  • Worried about all the GNOME folks in Chile.
  • I think we are almost ready to launch the Friends of GNOME ruler. At least it looks very good and I wrote an intro email for the launch!
  • Students on Project Possibility picked several GNOME projects – work on Caribou and Orca.
  • Worked on GNOME’s participation at Idlelo 4. Vincent is also working on this.
  • Had a gazillion email conversations on a trillion different topics.

This week:

  • Letter for annual report.
  • Friends of
    & Google ads: conversion tracking codes and landing pages.
  • Finish Friends of GNOME gift spreadsheet update.
  • Make sure all GNOME events are on track and well represented by speakers. Help if I can. (Finding people, not attending them all!)
  • Catch up on all my email conversations and make sure nobody is waiting on me …

I get very little feedback to these updates. Feel free to leave feedback, ideas or comments!

How does Malaysia encourage so many women in software?

 In 2003 I gave a talk in Malaysia. What I noticed immediately is that my audience was well over half women. This was really noticeable because they were all wearing brightly colored hijabs. Usually I scan the room and count how many women I can find – usually on my fingers even in a room of hundreds. Hijab-programmer-womanYet here were hundreds of women attending a talk about the economics of open source software!

I've wondered ever since what they do so differently in Malaysia that they get so many more women involved in software. Is it something we could do as well?

A recent study offers a theory:

in Malaysia jobs in technology
are seen as appropriate for women: Men do not perceive indoor work as
masculine and much of society stigmatizes women who work outdoors as
lower class. Computing and programming are seen as “women-friendly”
professions, with opportunities opening up since men are not
interested in competing for these types of jobs. “It’s a woman’s world
in that respect,” said Mellstrom.

So women that work in software are higher class. Where as in my experience it's often been insinuated in the US that if you are attractive or social, there are better careers for you. "You're a programmer?? You don't look like one!"