Debian Women in Curitiba
~ 4 min read
This post is long overdue, but I have been so busy lately that I didn't have the time to sit down and write it in the past few weeks. What have I been busy with? Let's start with this event, that happened back in March:
Debian Women meeting in Curitiba (March 10th, 2018)
At MiniDebConf Curitiba last year, few women attended. And, as I mentioned on a previous post, there was not even a single women speaking at MiniDebConf last year.
I didn't want MiniDebConf Curitiba 2018 to be a repeat of last year. Why? In part, because I have involved in other tech communities and I know it doesn't have to be like that (unless, of course, the community insists in being mysoginistic...).
So I came up with the idea of having a meeting for women in Curitiba one month before MiniDebConf. The main goal was to create a good enviroment for women to talk about Debian, whether they had used GNU/Linux before or not, whether they were programmers or not.
Miriam and Kira, two other women from the state of Parana interested in Debian, came along and helped out with planning. We used a collaborative pad to organize the tasks and activities and to create the text for the folder about Debian we had printed (based on Debian's documentation).
For the final version of the folder, it's important to acknowledge the help Luciana gave us, all the way from Minas Gerais. She collaborated with the translations, reviewed the texts and fixed the layout.
The final odg file, in Portuguese, can be downloaded here: folder_debian_30cm.odg
Very quickly, because we had so little time (we settled on a date and a place a little over one month before the meeting), I created a web page and put it online the only way I could at that moment, using Github Pages. https://debianwomenbr.github.io
We used Mate Hackers' instance of nos.vc to register for the meeting, simply because we had to plan accordingly. This was the address for registration: https://encontros.matehackers.org/pt/projects/60-encontro-debian-women
Through the Training Center, a Brazilian tech community, we got to Lucio, who works at Pipefy and offered us the space so we could hold the meeting. Thank you, Lucio, Training Center and Pipefy!
Because Miriam and I weren't in Curitiba, we had to focus the promotion of this meeting online. Not the ideal when someone wants to be truly inclusive, but we worked with the resources we had. We reached out to TechLadies and invited them - as we did with many other groups.
This was our schedule:
09:00 - Welcome coffee
10:00 - What is Free Software? Copyright, licenses, sharing
10:30 - What is Debian?
12:00 - Lunch Break
14:30 - Internships with Debian - Outreachy and Google Summer of Code
15:00 - Install fest / helping with users issues
16:00 - Editing the Debian wiki to register this meeting https://wiki.debian.org/DebianWomen/History
17:30 - Wrap up
Take outs from the meeting:
Because we knew more or less how many people would attend, we were able to buy the food accordingly right before the meeting - and ended up spending much less than if we had ordered some kind of catering.
Sadly, it would be almost as expensive to print a dozen of folders than it would be to print out hundred of them. So we ended up printing 100 folders (which was expensive enough). The good part is that we would end up handing them out during MiniDebConf Curitiba.
We attempted a live stream of the meeting using Jitsi, but I don't think we were very successful, because we didn't have a microphone for the speakers.
Most of our public ended up being women who, in fact, already knew and/or used Debian, but weren't actively involved with the community.
It was during this meeting that the need for a mailing list in Portuguese for women interested in Debian came up. Because, yes, in a country where English is taught so poorly in the schools, the language can still be a barrier. We also wanted to keep in touch and share information about the Brazilian community and what we are doing. We want next years' DebConf to have a lot of women, specially Brazilian women who are interested and/or who are users and/or contribute to Debian. The request for this mailing list would be put through by Helen during MiniDebConf, using the bug report system. If you can, please support us: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=895575
Pictures from the meeting:
Our breakfast table!
Miriam's talk: What is Free Software? Copyright, licenses, sharing
Miriam and Renata's talk: What is Debian?
Renata talking about internships with Debian
Thank you to all the women who participated!
And to our lovely staff. Thank you, Lucio, for getting us the space and thank you, Pipefy!
This has been partly documented at Debian Wiki (DebianWomen/History) because the very next day after this meeting, Debian Wiki completely blocked ProtonVPN from even accessing the Wiki. Awesome. If anyone is able to, feel free to copy/paste any of this text there.