Last year, I spoke at my first tech conference, Open Source Bridge, mostly thanks to encouragement from my partner and some of his rad tech lady friends. I’m not a coder. I know some html and have an extremely basic understanding of CSS, but I haven’t had confidence in my web development skills since Geocities. I presented on open source citizen science efforts, focusing on Mushroom Observer. I might not know much about the technical languages used to build these citizen science sites, but I know what they can and should do.
I expected Open Source Bridge to have a good gender ratio. As I scanned the rows of attendees each morning during they keynote speeches, I was delighted to see, not only a good gender balance, but incredible gender diversity (and that’s really what the goal should be). I knew I’d be back.
This year I volunteered to be the Marketing and Outreach coordinator, since I have years of experience with social media management. I’m the voice of #OSB15 on Twitter and Facebook and many of the blog posts. Open Source Bridge 2015 is June 23-26. Just slightly more than a month away. I’m going to try to convince you to come.
All three of our keynote speakers are women and two are women of color.
Our keynote speakers:
Kronda Adair—Put Up or Shut Up: An Open Letter to Tech Companies Seeking Diverse Teams
Carina C. Zona—Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm (ethical algorithms & consent-driven data mining)
Stephanie Morillo—Opening Up The Current Open Source Blueprint (Accessibility, diversity, and open source holding itself accountable to its own standards of what it means to be an open community.)
There are many, many talks on making the tech world more inclusive. You can see the full schedule here.
Here are five talks I’m excited to see.
- Objectivity is a Myth: Your Data is Not Objective and Neither Are You
- Community Moderation: you can’t always halt a flamewar with one raised eyebrow (but it rarely hurts to try)
- Building Diverse Social Networks
- How you tell the story matters: telling better stories and making better technologies
- Catalyzing Diversity: Practical Advice for Navigating Minority STEM Communities to Open Up Open Source
Tickets are available here. If the price of the conference is too steep, you can volunteer and get a pass for free. (Like I am.) Limited access community passes are on a sliding scale starting at free. You’re all invited.