Yay! I was selected! I'm in!
I felt, and still am, really happy about being selected as a participant in the GNOME Outreach Program for Women. I think is a wonderful opportunity, not only for the participants to learn a lot and get to know a vast community (that otherwise we may never would have explored, out of not noticing we could), but also an opportunity to create tiny "ripples of expanding information" and awareness amongst our contacts and personal circles. "Hey, if she could, I could too!" or "Contributing to an opensource project would also look great on my resume".
I think this video about Google summer of code sums up very well at 8mins 52 sec how intimidating the first steps into an opensource project can be. I felt that way for sure!
That's another reason this program is so great, by offering mentorship to participants in this way everything is really less scary.
(Those are screencaptures of the video I linked above, by the way).
It is even more difficult (to not be scared) if you are a woman. The topic of women in computing is a can of worms, but inavoidable: this is an outreach program for women after all. Why do we need extra encouragement? Ah, how I would like to be able to explain the complexities of being a woman in this world.
If you are a male, has anyone ever told you "Oh, so you are interested in doing X even when you are a BOY? Cool, I'm sure you can do it as well as any woman!" Implying X is made/done by and for women by default. Would you feel confident after that?
We say that ourselves: "Hi, I can do this as well as any man!". Yep, it's true, but why do we need to say it? Because it was drilled into our heads, culturally, all our lives, that we are "the others", that if we do X (code, for example) that's uncommon and surprising. Lots of young school-age girls start to drift away from math, science and technology because of this perceived "that's for boys" thing. And they miss the opportunity of having better income as adults, they settle, instead, for boring and worse-paid "female" jobs.
Yep, I told you it was a can of worms ;)
I hope no one gets offended by this, it's not meant to. :)
So! I will be working on Cheese Project with Daniel Siegel as a mentor, he has been very nice and helpful. I really like the application and I'll try my best to add new cool features, it's a lot of fun. I'd also like to thank everybody else for being so friendly, welcoming and encouraging. I'm really grateful to everyone involved!
I'd also like to say "Congratulations!" to the other seven participants, and "Stay around, don't go away, apply again next time!" to all other applicants.
So, what else can I tell you about myself? I live in Buenos Aires, I have a five month old son (that's an extra challenge: to find time and energy to code while taking care of an infant, but also a possibility to all technical mothers out there, as Marina Zhurakhinskaya said to me a couple of days ago, to participate in opensource projects if they are at home with their kids).
I started to like computers in the BBS era, I was a sysop of my own BBS back then 15 years ago, receiving calls in my 14400 modem. I'm working towards my bachelor's degree in computer science. I worked the last five years as a Visual C++ software developer in different companies.
And that's all for now, this was my introduction to people at http://planet.gnome.org where these posts will be aggregated. I will be reporting my experiences and progress weekly, so stay tuned! :)
See you around!