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Re: Debian participation into GNOME Outreach Program for Women

[ continuing the discussion on -women ]

On Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 12:18:35AM +0100, Mònica Ramírez Arceda wrote:
> > To go forward we now need (quickly!) a couple of things:
> > 1) a coordinator for Debian participation into OPW
> I volunteer for (1). I'm very motivated on this topic but I'm aware that
> I've never done a task like this inside Debian and, although it's not so
> much work, I'd prefer if someone else could join me. Another reason is
> that I'll be VAC for about 15 days during July but, above all, I think
> it's funnier not to work alone. 
> So... who wants to join me? I promise to be a nice co-worker ;-)

That's great Mònica, thanks for volunteering! I very much AOL your
request for co-workers but, it no one else shows up, I'll be happy to
help, although I'd love if you could take the lead (with some guidance
if you want it, of course).

> * I understand that GSoC projects are those that are technical and
> non-GSoc projects are the non-technical ones. But what happens if a
> woman wants to apply for a technical project and she is not a student?
> She could apply for OPW but not for GSoC, but all technical projects are
> in GSoC list... I think Debian should have women everywhere, not only in
> the non-techie side. How could we fix this?

Right, that's the main difficulty we *might* face; the general answer is
that the Debian OPW coordinator and GSoC admins should talk and decide
where to better direct the student. It will require good coordination
between the teams and coherent answers to the students, so it'd be best
if you ensure you're subscribed to the soc-coordination list on Alioth
and, maybe, start getting in touch with the GSoC admins [1]. FWIW, I've
already verified with them that they're fine with some overlap between
OPW and GSoC, but talking more and getting to know each other before
going forward *never* hurts :)

[1]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2013/02/msg00006.html

> * I don't completely understand how GSoC and OPW are combined. Do you
> have more details about it?

More specifically, here's what I think about the relationship among the
2 initiative. They are similar, with identically intern "salary", and
happen during the same period for this round. But. GSoC is only for
students and only for coding(-like) tasks. OPW is only for women but
much more general in all other respects, no restriction on being
students, no restriction on coding tasks.  I totally agree with you that
we should refuse the cliché "women = non-coding tasks", but I also think
we should take all the opportunities that OPW offers us to *also* work
on non-coding tasks.

So I think the right approach is the one suggested by Marina, taking
inspiration by GNOME's page. A page that clearly separate coding tasks,
pointing to the GSoC idea list, and points to another page listing
non-coding internship topics for the rest.

If we have OPW applications which are in the "non-eligible for GSoC"
category, then we're lucky in the sense that there is no doubt about
which process the applicant should follow. Otherwise we do have some
overlap, and we'll need to discuss with GSoC admins whether to encourage
the applicant to stay in the OPW track, or rather follow the GSoC one.

Does the above make sense?

> * 5000$ is a lot of money. If this kind of positive discrimination
> works, I think it's worth to do it but I would like to know if you feel
> most Debian contributors agree with this. Note: I have no idea about the
> current Debian finances status.

Regarding Debian finances, I did verify that we can afford this before
proposing it. It is my responsibility as DPL to ultimately approve using
those money for OPW and, as mentioned already, it is my judgement that
it would be totally worth to do so; this year as an experiment with
budget for 1 intern, in the future maybe more (but that would be up to
the next DPL to decide). I've no magic ball but I do feel that general
project feeling on this is that it is an acceptable usage of money; but
I've also mentioned this publicly on -project and on this list *before*
actually using the money this way, so I do expect people to object to my
decision (even trying to override me on this if needed) if they feel
strongly about that.

Regarding the amount of money, it is not *that* much for an internship
of such a duration. In fact, it is meant to be exactly the same salary
of GSoC, only acting on a different kind of positive discrimination
(students in one case, women in another). So I do think the amount is
totally fine.

> > If noone else volunteers for that, I will *consider* doing it myself,
> > but I'd rather not --- mainly because the timeframe of this OPW round
> > coincides with the DPL change of guard and I'd rather devote my Debian
> > time to ensure a smooth transition than joining new activities.
> If noone else wants to join me, could I count on you if I feel lost in
> the way? :-)

Deal ;-)

I think the next step is preparing a draft of the landing page, adopting
the same structure of the GNOME one, or even KDE (see Laura's mail). Do
you think you can try a first stab at that?

I'm now subscribed to -women, so we can continue discussion here for
further coordination. For quicker interaction it might be useful to chat
on IRC too, feel free to /query me about this anytime. Also, I suspect
it would be useful to hang around Debian's GSoC channels.

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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