Ada Lovelace Post 2010 – Women in Ubuntu
Sitting down to write this Ada Lovelace post I counted the number of women I deal with on a regular basis in the Ubuntu Community. There are a lot of great people in this project. It’s great to see more and more women taking part and using Ubuntu and I can see that since this time last year there are more present, vocal, taking part and contributing. Firstly for those not familiar with it Ada Lovelace
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine; as such she is often regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.
This time last year I was as active member of the Ubuntu community and helped where I could. In May I attended UDS Karmic and met some great people and was encouraged to go for my Ubuntu Membership. Since doing so I’ve encouraged other women to do so also when I’ve seen them join Ubuntu and contribute in their way to the community. This is how I help and encourage other women to take part.
There are many women in Ubuntu who contribute daily to making it what it is. It’s more than just an operating system, more than a community. It’s become a place where you can meet more like minded people, discuss and take part in healthy debates and work on projects with people you never would have had the chance to do so. I thought I’d mention in this post some of the women I’ve met in Ubuntu and who’ve helped me. As I said, Ubuntu is more than an Community and more than a system we use, equally the women involved in Ubuntu participate in both areas.
Below are some of the women I’ve dealt with while using and being a part of the Ubuntu community. They are both community and canonical, one without the other cannot exist. Both have helped me in different ways and been helpful and interesting to talk to and work with. Some you may have heard about or know of, others perhaps not, they all have one common goal together they work within the Ubuntu community.
Ivanka Majic – works on the design team, her team is responsible for making Ubuntu sleeker and rather snazzy! New to the community, she’s jumped in and rolled up her sleeves and is making an impression, and I’m not just talking about the button moment! Ivanka is approachable and there to help if she can. When I’ve asked for help she’s been there to aide and offer advice and put me in contact with the right person, which is a valuable thing to be able to do.
Ara Pulido – Works on the QA team, Ara has helped me in the past when I’ve logged bugs and need help in finding out who to poke about, she’s friendly, helpful and if you need a hand wiling to help you. As a software tester myself it’s great to meet a fellow QA and Ara offered useful advice when I asked about other testing techniques which was great!
Maria Randazzo – You may not see her or know her, but she’s there making things run smoothly, she’s responsible for the ShipIt programme. It didn’t always work so smoothly but it’s improving and this is down to her following up and chasing after correspondence. If you’ve been to UDS, she’s there, if you’ve issues she’s the one that you can go ask and she’ll help you.
Penelope Stowe – I’ve yet to meet Penelope even though we were both at the penultimate Lugradio live in 2008 we never actually met, we’ve been in the same IRC channel for some time and gradually chatted more, it wasn’t till I encouraged her to joined #ubuntu-women and get more involved in Ubuntu we got to know one another more. She has been great to bounce ideas off and help on some of the projects I’m involved in. She jumped straight in taking on tasks and giving valuable feedback and helping where she can. It’s great to see new people working within the teams and bringing new people together.
Amber Graner – We met over IRC while I was at UDS and she was remotely participating, now we chat most weeks over the net on Skype and work on projects together. It’s great to be able to say what I like to her and she does the same to me, and we can thrash out items. She does an amount of work in the Ubuntu community, I’m not sure how she manages it but does a great job! She is making it more accessible for new users to come and take part in the project.
Issabell L – I’ve not met her, but her enthusiasm knows no bounds. We both work on freenode community areas and I knew she lived in the UK, loved open source and gradually poked her to join #ubuntu-uk and get involved in there, it’s been great working with her. She is great at taking on projects and trying new things out and asking for help but also her enthusiasm is catchy and you can’t help but get caught up in the projects she is working on.
These are just some of the women I’ve been lucky to meet and work with in the Ubuntu community, there are more. This post is to mark Ada Lovelace day 2010 and the remarkable women that take part in the Ubuntu and the Community and make it what it is. A great project to be a part of.