Last week, I attended the Open Source Bridge conference in Portland. It’s a volunteer-run conference that came about because OSCON moved to San Jose this year. They had a great turnout and the organizers did an amazing job, especially for a first time, volunteer conference.
I was most impressed with Selena Deckelmann (co-chair of OSBridge) and her ability to network and organize this event. She had an initial goal of 50% female speakers (and to think this is for an Open Source conference). She was able to get 30% female speakers using the same quality bar as the guys. Now that’s networking.
To Selena, THANK YOU!!! Finally someone who truly, truly, truly gets the Women in Technology issue. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone really do something about this.
- I started off my CodePlex talk mentioning how Selena accepted my talk because “peeking into CodePlex might give you ideas that you can embrace and extend.” I said, “Because of this, Microsoft has instructed me that you all will have to sign these NDAs.” The room erupted in laughter. I am the stuff of legend, trying to get an OSS audience to sign Microsoft NDAs.
- Got called “the queen of open source at Microsoft” after my talk: http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2009/06/welcome-to-codeplex.html
- Spent 2 hours at lunch chatting with faculty and staff of Ohio State University doing research into OSS communities and their behaviors. This area of HCI is like crack cocaine to me, so I definitely enjoyed chatting theories of human behavior and gaming the system.
- Had a geek dinner in Portland for the local .NET User Group to share my stories of the day.
- Only real lowlight was that I could only spend a day there. Our boss gives us one day a week to work on a pet project, so i used that day to drive down to Portland to give talks. =)