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MiniDebConf Prishtina 2017

On 7th of October in Prishtina, Kosova’s capital, was hosted the first mini deb conference.
The MiniDebConf Prishtina was an event open to everyone, regardless of their level of knowledge about Debian or other free and open source projects. At MiniDebConf Prishtina there were organized a range of topics incidental to Debian and free software, including any free software project, Outreachy internship, privacy, security, digital rights and diversity in IT.

I was happy to be the first speaker and open the presentations with my talk: “Outreachy”

It was the first MiniDeb conf where naturally 50% of talks were held by women(without having any goals for that number) and it feels always so good when diversity in Free Software events are diverse in any perspective and happens by default.
Part of the event were also a group of women from Prizren (codergals.com). In August they successfully organized a hackathon with more then 25 women involved. The Mini DebConf was a great environment and opportunity to spread the word for Outreachy and other internships opportunities for women and people from underrepresented groups.
I was not the only one Outreachy alumni in the audience, Renata Gega was also part of the audience and speaker.
We both shared our experience and gave tips on how to make a successful application and how to explore which project was best for them and fit their level of knowledge.
I presented also the work that I did with my mentors and other Mozilla interns in my round, working for the “Diversity and Inclusion” team, how our work was structured and the product we came out with after 3 months and how it is going now.
Personally, I thought that a presentation with this topic would be with a high interest since the call for applications in Outreachy are still open and giving a hand in this moment would be helpful for everyone who aspired to have a spot.

It is definitely one of the talks that I have enjoyed the most, talking about something for which you have been working to improve and empower for the last 4 years is always a wonderful experience, where words can hardly describe the feelings I have when I see women inspired after watching examples that WOMAN CAN DO IT TOO!

See you in the next “Outreachy”  experiences( hopefully next time as a mentor)

#FreeasinFreeSoftware.

FSFE Identity process!

One of the most recent projects that FSFE is undertaking is to help the community define itself and for everyone to come on a common understanding of what are the values and what are it’s mission and goals.

Since its founding in 2001, individuals engaged in the FSFE, from coordinators and volunteers to full-time employees, have come to develop their understanding of what FSFE is and what our shared values are. Sometimes the views expressed by individuals have been similar to one another, sometimes they have diverged. That’s all fine, since people’s thoughts and perceptions are constantly changing.

A strategy review in 2014 identified at least seven different ways that people describe and communicate what FSFE is. This phenomenon is a result of the process of evolution and is fine. Moving forward, we see a need for us to come together under a common identity; a shared understanding of what FSFE is, what’s important in our work, what values we have and share, and how this shapes FSFE for the future.

With the FSFE in 2020 project, we are looking to define and renew the identity of FSFE, a process similar to one we undertook when founding the organisation.

Now, 15 years later, we will be able to reflect on our work over the years and come to an understanding of what aspects of our identity have remained genuine and guided the organisation through these 15 years.

Our primary focus will be on taking interviews from volunteers, coordinators, employees and others who feel that they have a connection with FSFE. We will also talk to people outside of the FSFE who have come in contact with our work and will be able to reflect not only on how we perceive the FSFE inside of it, but how we’ve managed to convey our identity to the public over the years.

We will ask individuals to participate in interviews, sometimes directly, sometimes by asking for people who are interested in participating. We’ll conduct surveys circulated through our community and newsletter, and we will share our findings regularly, on our web pages, and on our team wiki (https://wiki.fsfe.org/Teams/FSFE-in-2020)

Click here if you would like to take part in the survey.

We’re starting on an exciting adventure, and we hope you will join us on our way forward!

Debian Meet-up Tirana!

Yayyy! For the first time we had a meeting in OpenLabs and a presentation dedicated to Debian.
In our hackerspace we have various GNU/Linux communities that are quite active such as Fedora,Redhat, OpenSuse and we were only missing Debian.

As soon as we got to know that Daniel Pocock (Debian Contributer and a big supporter of OpenLabs)  wanted to organize a presentation: “Intro to Debian”, we immediately proceeded with creating the event and promoting it.
Even though it was summer and  people usually go at the beach, a considerable number of people were highly interested to get to know how things really work in Debian and how their community is built. We were so happy to have someone who was willing  to share with us his experience in this community.
I was fascinated by the way that the community was build: the inner structure was very horizontal, and in my opinion it’s quite unique on it’s own way.

We also had the chance to listen that people can contribute in such a variety number of fields, for those who come from technical background who can contribute at coding and those who come from social science fields who can very well start building communities or any other activity that they feel like they do best. This meetup was very constructive and we are sure that this won’t be the last one, other Debian presentations will soon start in our hackerspace from new contributors.

Stay tuned!

 

 

The final goodbye to Outreachy.

I knew that we would arrive here at some point. While I was was worried 3 months ago if I had what it takes to deliver good work during my upcoming Outreachy internship, the empty feeling on how my daily routine would look like without all this, has started to overwhelm me. What if this was a one-off thing? Maybe I was just lucky to have this and might not have the needed ingredients to continue such work in other environments. While I don’t think that any sign of an imposter syndrome might have caught up to me, doubts start to arise frequently when you have to think about “what do I do next?”.

So here I am, 3 months later, but the amount of experiences and skills I gained during this 3 months, would sum up to a much higher timeframe, would I not be part of Outreachy. And I am really grateful for this. Sometimes a small opportunity to get stuff done is all what it takes to have some impact on your life. While I do think that the world doesn’t revolve around Outreachy, the program has a special place in my heart, as it was encouraging to be working with likeminded people, where everyone is more or less on the same page.

Admittedly, my work at Diversity & Inclusion at Mozilla is rather unique, compared to the mostly technical positions most other Outreachy projects have. I do however feel that this was a refreshing change, which offers more Inclusivity for non-programmers contributing in open source project. I hope to see more of that in the upcoming editions, especially from Mozilla, which reflects a diverse culture of contribution opportunities. It would be great to see such culture adopted by more open source projects in the future. Judging from my own experience, there are a lot of non-technical people who are already contributing in open source, whose value is often not lesser than the one of a programmer. I’m looking forward to see projects coming closer to this mindset.

I hope to see Outreachy doing more efforts in the transition phase after the internship though. Mentoring interns in what they can do in their upcoming endeavours would be something which would have a great impact on them. In my example, I already had a few years of background in the Mozilla communities. Someone else might not be that privileged however. This is where mentoring would make a rather big difference.

I want to thank everyone who has helped me during the past months, regardless if it was for a Focus group, or actually a few nice reassuring words which are always great to hear on an adventure like this. I hope you will stick around, as I definitely will.

Outreachy Diary Update #4

I must say that the start of February was quite intense. After finishing some tasks in outreachy, FOSDEM was waiting for a full weekend. This year I was lucky enough to be a speaker at Mozilla Dev Room, talking about Women in Open Source and Outreachy, together with Gloria Dwomoh who presented “Diversity user research, how to become a better listener”. FOSDEM is a also a great place to gather and meet with mozillians from all over Europe. I got a really positive feedback and also gained some valuable contacts from people with whom I met after the talk. I also helped at the Mozilla booth which is a fun experience since you talk, share and educate people about mozilla’s mission on a large scale.


AS FOSDEM was coming to an end, I also prepared myself for a very busy week that would be waiting for me. I had a great focus group with women who are also part of the local community. I gained some interesting insights and experiences from them and also three other 1:1 interviews from women who are part of other FLOSS communities like Wikipedia and Fedora. Other interviews and focus groups will also be conducted within a couple of weeks.

Soon we will have also the FAQ on First Language Interviews and how to make them successful.

Stay tuned!

Outreachy Diary Update #3

I must say that this week has been quite intensive, productive and rewarding, especially when you see that things are starting to take shape and you start getting into the flow of things.

You can see this quote unfolding its truth especially during focus groups, which we had a couple of during the last week. Being faced with different prespectives and views is a pleasant process since its a big contribution for our research but also us in terms of increased empathy towards others.

After reviewing the materials on “How to conduct a focus group” I am starting to shape the idea on holding some of them in our local hackerspace with fellow local Mozillians. That is something quite special in my daily work, as it will be held in our native language. This might require a different approach for obvious reasons.

I also got the chance to read some helpful material related to our case study work lately. ”Interviewing for Mozilla”made a huge difference in how we perceive the interview, the interviewer and the interviewee. It proved to be an outstanding guideline on how to build a successful framework for interviewing, conducting the interviews and establishing them.

During the call we also discussed the main points of it and exchanged our thoughts on how to make the implementation in different Mozilla communities successful.
Last but not least, if you are reading this blogpost and think that you or someone you know has interesting perspectiv to share about diversity and inclusion, please do not hesitate to nominate them (or yourself). Every opinion counts, yours too! Help us make Mozilla a champion of Diversity & Inclusion in the digital era!

 

Having said that, our team is currently working on “Building the library of case studies“. Stayed tuned if you want to be updated in the upcoming weeks!

Outreachy Diary Update #2

“If you work for something you love, you won’t need to work a day.”

This is one of my favorite quotes that also expresses my positive feedbacks and happiness of being able to get more in touch with topics about Diversity and Inclusion and to have a broader understanding of its meaning. The last two weeks have been crucial for me to understand the situation and while it also helps recognize the great range of problems we need to face nowadays, it’s motivating to have been equipped with the right tools to have an impact in this field.

My first week was spent reading and researching new strategies on how to help grow the diversity within Mozilla. Also I had the chance to read a lot of valuable articles and blogposts which gave me the needed background to understand the process to of developing a program in the long term.

Mozilla offers a quite diverse environment with people joining from various ways of life. It’s not even a “politically correct” thing to do, as it has been scientifically proven that greater diversity increases empathy in a work environment, and therefore also productivity.

I had the chance to have a call with my mentors and other Outreachy interns from Mozilla working with the same project as I do. Furthermore I learned that Interviews and focus groups are two of the most succesful forms of qualitative research. People are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards different concepts and strategies.

I am really so excited to the upcoming work, doing the interviews and the focus groups. More to this soon!

Outreachy Diary Update #1

Update from my first week at Outreachy

I am extremely happy and excited about being accepted to the Outreachy Program organized by GNOME (formerly known as Outreachy Program for Women), where I will be working closer with Mozilla projects in the next 3 months (aside from my usual Mozilla activities). In the following are some quick thoughts and updates from me about the program and my upcoming involvement.

Outreachy connects and helps people from underrepresented groups with equal opportunities to participate and get involved in various free and open source software projects.It’s organized by GNOME and many Open Source Projects take part to mentor interns as part of their organization in these 3 months, twice a year.

I was hooked to find out I was accepted to the program from December 6, 2016 to March 6, 2017. With so many applicants I’m humbled to have the privilege to work on”Build a Library of Inclusion Best Practices and Case Studies” throughout my internship at Mozilla.

The project consists of identifying and documenting examples of successful inclusive teams and communities within Mozilla. In this endeavour, we highlight our strongest points regarding Diversity & Inclusion at Mozilla and point out where we can improve.

As a Rep and Tech Speaker I have been involved at Mozilla for several years. However, it was good to refresh my knowledge by rereading the manifesto and Mozilla mission in a different light, now as an existing contributor. The best part is that besides being able to participate in the internship, I am also volunteering with Mozilla on different tracks and I consider myself lucky to get the best of both the worlds.

I had the chance to watch a couple of townhall meetings related to some of the major initiatives at Mozilla, which was refreshing and helfpul to understand multiple perspectives of fellow Mozillians. During times of confusion on how and where one should get involved with, it brings quite some clarity.

I am waiting impatiently for the upcoming weeks (apart 2016 being finally over).

Stay tuned!
#spreadlove