Amaya Rodrigo Sastre

Amaya Rodrigo Sastre Website: http://www.amayita.com/
Email: amaya (at) debian (dot) org

How long have you been using Debian?

Since October 1998

Are you a Debian developer?

Yes!

What areas of Debian are you involved in?

  • Packaging. Maintaining my packages
  • QA. Testing and running latest experimental Debian releases
  • Evangelizing. I was in a way responsible for the Spanish government (among others) to choose to use Debian.
  • I keep looking for good prospective DD.
  • I want more women in Debian.

What got you interested in working with Debian?

I must confess I was encouraged by the guys... Santiago Vila and Héctor García. I never thought I'd be up to it until they showed an interest to sponsor me.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Be yourself. Take it with a grain of salt. Stay focused on your goals. Debian is a great community. I wouldn't want to give anyone a hard time. I enjoy being a DD a lot. It's a fulfilling experience. Go for it.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

It's something I have always wanted to do. I started a women oriented mailing list for the Spanish speaking some years ago. It was a huge failure ;-( Nowadays I am involved with:
  • Systers
  • Women and Free Software (Spanish local effort). (Mujeresred-softwarelibre)

A bit more about Amaya...

I was supposed to be an English teacher. Or a technical translator. Free Software gave me a chance to change my destiny, grow up as a person, find new goals and motivations.

Christine Spang

Christine Spang Website: http://frisia.middle-earth.us/
Email: spangarang (at) twcny (dot) rr (dot) com

How long have you been using Debian?

Almost a year now. I started using Sarge (then the testing distribution) around September of 2004.

Are you a Debian developer?

Nope. I'm in NM, though.

What areas of Debian are you involved in?

Packaging, documentation, bug triage, etc. I'm a member of the shadow packaging team. Sometimes I write for Debian Weekly News, or do English translation work (proofreading, etc.).

What got you interested in working with Debian?

A couple years ago, I got involved with an online, text-based roleplaying game, where I was eventually asked to fill an admin position. It was this experience that got me interested in Linux/Debian in the first place. However, the tipping point for me actually getting involved in Debian development was when I began to read Planet Debian, and especially a blog entry of Hanna's about this very group. It piqued my curiosity.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Get yourself to Alioth, find a project that you're interested in, and join their mailing list. See if they need help, and if so, in what way. Joining one of Alioth's teams is arguably one of the best ways to make a real difference in Debian (and learn a lot along the way!), rather than adopting some obscure package that all of ten people use. Also, if there's something you want to learn about, do it! Find a few resources, work out a few things, and consider mailing the mentoring program for some real interactive help. They need more mentees.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

Yes, but not nearly as actively as here. I lurk on a few LinuxChix lists and hang out quite often on IRC with GNOME Women, but there's just not enough time in the day to do everything.

A bit more about Christine...

I'm a high school senior from Central New York, who, thanks to free software, hopes to study computer science or related subjects at university. While not slaving in the classroom or tinkering with computer-related things, I enjoy distance running, hiking, and engaging in a number of music-related hobbies: I play the French horn in band, orchestra, and small ensembles, mellophone in marching band, and trumpet in jazz band. Other than that, I occasionally do weird things like roleplay online or read fantasy novels à la The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire, or even worse - just hang out with my friends like your average North American teenager.

Erinn Clark

Erinn Clark Website: http://double-helix.org
Email: erinn@double-helix.org

How long have you been using Debian?

Since 2003

Are you a Debian developer?

I'm in NM.

What areas of Debian are you involved with?

Packaging, the Debian Women Project, torturing my sparc64 with d-i tests.

What got you interested in working with Debian?

The community has always been, and continues to be, the biggest draw. It has its faults, as any community does, but the fact that it is a volunteer based project that consistently conforms to the highest of standards never ceases to impress me. I've met a great deal of wonderful people through Debian and have been given opportunities that I'd never have had if it weren't for them. It remains a maddening, awe-inspiring, and extremely educational experience.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Certainly. Rule number one: Don't be afraid. The Debian community has acquired a bit of a reputation, and it is always wise to observe before one jumps in head first, but do not be put off by the mailing lists. There are a great many friendly and helpful people to be found. Find a subsection of Debian that you can be a part of which will value your contributions. Participate on the Debian Women mailing list. We will certainly be able to find you many things to do that you might not have thought of yourself. Likewise, look at the involvement page for ideas on how to get started.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

No, not anymore.

A bit more about Erinn...

That's the Debian Women gang sign. ph33r.

Fernanda G. Weiden

Fernanda G. Weiden Website: http://people.softwarelivre.org/~fernanda/
Email: fernanda (at) softwarelivre (dot) org

How long have you been using Debian?

Since the 22nd of November of 2003.

Are you a Debian developer?

Not yet.

What areas of Debian are you involved with?

What got you interested in working with Debian?

Its adherence to principles and the development model. Also, it feels good taking part on the creation of something I use daily.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Do not be intimidated is the first advice, but mainly, have people know about your work and do not let anyone diminish it. Something I've been noticing since I started working with womens groups inside the Free Software community is that many women are there taking part, but just a small number of them expose their ideas. Give priority to that. having an opinion, even if it is not the brightest, is better than having none or hiding it so nobody knows about it. Any idea is a bright idea when people around you get to know it.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

Yes! I am one of the founders of PSL-Mulheres (Projeto Software Livre Mulheres). We work on projects to increase digital inclusion of women, assist feminist NGO's and social groups with understanding and using Free Software.

A bit more about Fernanda...

I work for IBM as a developer at their Linux Technology Center installed at UNICAMP, a university of the State of São Paulo. I became involved with Free Software in 1997. I still haven't finished university, although I've started two university courses, already: mathematics, and computer science, bit I'm planning to start (and finish, this time) a technology-related course real soon now.

Hanna Wallach

Hanna Wallach Blog: http://join-the-dots.org/
Work: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/hmw26/
Email: hanna (at) join-the-dots (dot) org

How long have you been using Debian?

Since April 1999

Are you a Debian developer?

Not yet; I plan to enter the New Maintainer process within the next couple of months, however.

What areas of Debian are you involved with?

My primary contribution to the Debian project is packaging. I currently co-maintain one package and have just filed an ITP (Intent to Package) for another.

I also take an active role in couraging others to use Debian. I believe that one of the most important ways to support the growth of a project like Debian is to encourage people to find out more and, if interested, get involved. Over the past few years, I have initiated both formal and informal discussions about Debian with a variety of individuals, and helped run several Debian installfests.

What got you interested in working with Debian?

Debian has one of the most active and interesting developer communities of any Linux distribution - it was this that originally drew me to the project.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Think about what you'd like to contribute to Debian, and what you hope to gain from your involvement. On a more practical level, help fix bugs, take over orphaned packages, check the WNPP (Work-Needing and Prospective Packages) regularly, and do read the Debian mailing lists - they're all a great way to learn more about the Debian community and ethos.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

I'm part of the Women@CL project, a Cambridge-based initiative that provides local, national and international activities for women engaged in computing research and academic leadership. I'm also a member of CISters, an informal group of graduate women in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Computer and Information Science.

A bit more about Hanna...

I got my BA from the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, after transferring into the Computer Science Tripos from Engineering during my second year. Since then, I've completed an MSc at the University of Edinburgh, where I specialised in neural computing and learning from data, and have started a PhD in Cambridge's Inference Group. When not working on my PhD, I spend an inordinate amount of time drinking coffee, playing with computers, contributing to the Debian project, and updating my blog.

Helen Faulkner

Helen Faulkner Email: helen@debian.org

How long have you been using Debian?

Since about 2000. I'm not exactly sure - it seems like a long time ago. My housemate foisted Debian on me for his own amusement, and it grew from there...

Are you a Debian developer?

Yes.

What areas of Debian are you involved with?

  • I'm packaging several useful and/or funny KDE panel applets as well as a little thing I wrote myself (kdoomsday) and labplot (a great scientific plotter). I may take on a couple of others soon.
  • I'm active on the Debian Women mailing list. I'm interested in seeing Debian become a community that is more varied and more accessible to groups that are currently under-represented.

What got you interested in working with Debian?

Mainly I'm really interested in how it all works. I enjoy learning how to package things, how the system is put together, etc. And I like volunteer work.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Just do it. It's not as scary as you might think. Get into the Debian Women mailing list and ask people, read the information on the website, join us on IRC. There are a lot of friendly and helpful people about.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

Nope.

A bit more about Helen...

I'm a physicist with an interest in technology and programming. When I'm not being those things I'm into music, sailing, dogs and whatever takes my interest at the time. I've done volunteer stuff in all of those areas and others. In my experience you get back more than you put in, if you are prepared to take time to help other people out in a way that you enjoy.

I like the ideals of the free/open-source software movement, not to mention the excellent software you get to use! I would like to see more women involved in that world, and Debian specifically, because I know women have a lot to contribute.

Margarita Manterola

Margarita Manterola Website: http://www.gnuservers.com.ar
Email: debian (at) marga (dot) com (dot) ar

How long have you been using Debian?

Since 2000

Are you a Debian developer?

Nope.

What areas of Debian are you involved with?

Bugreporting, bugfixing, translations, getting more people to use Debian. (I'm really good at this last one).

What got you interested in working with Debian?

The free software philosophy. I liked that it was developed by a community instead of a company, and that my contributions could be accepted if they were worth.

Also, the magic of apt-get and the immense repository. I usually have this perception that if something is not in Debian, it's not worth using it.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Look at the list of bugs and try to find the fix for one. There are lots of easy ones.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

I am the leader of a GNU/Linux user group, and there are other women involved, but it's not like it's only women, there are men too.

A bit more about Margarita...

I got really involved with Free Software by 2002, when my husband (then boyfriend) and I started giving GNU/Linux courses in our University. With these courses we got the chance to teach our ideals to other people. We "brainwashed" them into using Debian, and into saying GNU/Linux as well.

With time, some of the students from our courses began getting together and suddenly we had formed a GNU/Linux user group, without realizing it. We have a very nice group, with a couple of women. The nice thing about the group is that women are not looked upon as a weird thing, even if there are more men than women.

What I'm currently thinking of for Debian is a change in how it regards its contributors. I'd like that contributors got some kind of acknowledgement, so that not only maintainers are part of Debian, but everyone that works to make Debian better is a part of Debian.

Miriam Ruiz

Miriam Ruiz

How long have you been using Debian?

For some years now: I started using Potato. It has only become my main system for the last year and a half or so, anyway.

Are you a Debian developer?

No, not yet, but I maintain some packages for Debian. I'd like to enter NM process as soon as I can.

What areas of Debian are you involved in?

Mainly packaging, writing some documentation and translating a few things. I'm also quite involved in teaching other people how to package things for Debian and trying to get more girls into the Free Software World.

What got you interested in working with Debian?

It's not the first time I have given a bit of my time to a Free Software Project, but I've never been as involved in one as I am in Debian. What I value the most is the freeness of the project as well as the community around it. I think that the most important part of Debian is its social side, both in its development and in its goals.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

First of all, enjoy what you do, or do things you enjoy. Second, don't let anyone scare you, Debian is a big community in which most of the people are very nice and kind, even though there might be some trolls around sometime. You'll have to learn a lot and go through a bunch of documents, so be patient, Rome wasn't built in a day. If you ever have doubts, just ask. Finally, if your English is not so good, try to improve it as much as you can. At the moment English is the main language in which Debian is developed.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

Yes, I've joined some other groups like LinuxChix, Systers or ChicasLinux, and I'm very involved in a new group we're creating called Alixa.

A bit more about Miriam...

I'm a Spanish girl who's always, since I was very little, has been interested in computers and technology. I also like reading a lot, my favourite books are "Momo" by Michael Ende (yes, the author of "The Neverending Story") and "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Apart from that I like a lot being with my friends, travelling and learning things.