OpenHatch at Grace Hopper Open Source Day

by Shauna January 31st, 2014

OpenHatch at GHC Open Source Day

Last fall, at the end of our tour of the midwest, OpenHatch had the pleasure of participating in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing’s Open Source Day.

Open Source Day is an open source hackathon taking place on last day of the conference, a smoothly run event which draws hundreds of attendees and dozens of participating projects. This was our first time at Open Source Day, and definitely not our last. You can see our pictures from the event here.

We got a chance to teach: we ran our Practicing Git activity several times, first for our own volunteers and then for volunteers working on other projects. We also learned from the event organizers. They put a great deal of emphasis on preparing projects for the event. We were asked to provide set up instructions, identify tasks for attendees covering a range of skills, and were assigned a technical facilitator. This process was wildly successful, for our project as well as the others at the event. The experience has pushed us to focus on building relationships with a smaller number of interested projects rather than trying to have tasks from all the projects in our tracker.

Two events – one past, one future – have come out of Open Source Day. Sri Raga Velagapudi, our technical facilitator, invited us to Rutgers. Within two weeks we were able to pull together a great event! We’ve also been in touch with Andrea Frost, Director of Leadership Development for Western Washington University’s Association for Women in Computing, who hopes to run an Open Source Comes to Campus event at her school sometime this year. Andrea emailed us soon after the event to say “thank you so much for taking the time to walk us through the tutorial. My classmate and I were attending our first open source event ever in our lives, and we were a bit intimidated at the beginning. It was great to meet your team and to have some fun in a group setting.” Needless to say, this is the kind of email that makes our work feel worthwhile.

Many thanks to the event’s excellent organizers. We’re also grateful to Sri, and to volunteer mentors Carol Willing and Dan Flies, for helping us participate in the event. Most of all, thank you to the thirteen wonderful attendees who worked with us to improve OpenHatch!

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