For those not familiar with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, a.k.a. Grace Hopper or GHC, it’s the world’s largest conference for women in Computer Science and related technical fields. It’s well worth taking a look at the history of the conference to learn more about how GHC got started and has evolved through its ten year history. I’m excited to be attending for the first time this year.
For the first time ever, the conference features an entire track dedicated to Open Source software. The track includes panels on Career Opportunities in Open Source and Open Source for Good, an examination of how Open Source has been used in global disaster relief and humanitarian efforts. For those new to Open Source, there will be two introductory focused panels, including the one I’ll be moderating on Getting Started in Free and Open Source Software.
The day caps off with an Open Source Codeathon for Humanity, a hands on session where participants will collaboratively learn about and improve Sahana Eden. Sahana is an Open Source Disaster Management Platform, created in 2005 in response to the Tsumani’s effects in Sri Lanka. Since then software has been used in disaster relief efforts in Haiti, Pakistan, Peru and beyond.
For those attendees who’d like to learn more about Free and Open Source Software prior to the track, there will be a booth in the exhibit hall Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday where you can talk to knowledgeable women working with Open Source in the academic, industry and non-profit arenas. The booth will also be open all day on Thursday during the Open Source Track. Many of the track’s speakers will be staying for the entire conference, so keep your eye out for colleagues wearing “Ask Me about Free Software” and “Ask Me about Open Source” pins. When you see the pin, please do come over, introduce yourself and find out more.
On Saturday, I’ll be speaking on Open Source for Pre-University students at the K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop along with Bill Madden and Anita Verno, two colleagues from the Humanitarian FOSS project. Feel free to stop by after the session.
Many thanks to the NSA for sponsoring the Open Source Track, to the Program Committee for making the track a reality and to the wonderful Grace Hopper organizers for welcoming the new track idea and providing a booth for attendees to learn about FOSS. Kudos to Cat Allman for originally proposing the idea of an Open Source Track at GHC and to Avni Khatri, Jen Redman and the Sahana project for organizing the Codeathon. And finally, many many thanks to Selena Decklemann, Greg Hislop, Deb Nicholson, Terri Oda and Pinar Yanardag for agreeing to participate as panelists for the Getting Started in Free and Open Source session.
We’ll be rockin’ Atlanta, Georgia, USA in less than a week. Hope to see you there!