Tech Women: Women and Open Source



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    Women and Open Source

    Open Source software is a powerful and disruptive force in the marketplace. Most major companies & organizations have embraced it for internal use or as part of their product offerings.  From Google's Android and Chrome, Oracle's MySQL  and the Whitehouse's Drupal, open source software is seeing wide adoption.

    Whenever you use Firefox, Wordpress, Chrome, or Wikipedia- you're using Open Source (whether or not you realize it).  There's probably a lot you don't know about the benefits of seeking out and using this kind of software.  When looking at software applications, you may be able to make money, save money and/or wow your boss by using a low-cost Open Source alternative to traditional software.

    From past programs, we know that women entrepreneurs and startups are more likely to self fund.  Open Source has lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and easy extensibility.  This makes it ideal for new ventures.

    One concern is that there aren't many women active in the Open Source community.  During this lively panel discussion you'll meet some amazing women who are actively involved and one man who feels the community would greatly benefit from a more diverse group.  You'll also learn about careers and business opportunities in Open Source.

    • Benefits?Business Opportunities?
    • Career opportunities?
    • Free vs. Open Source?
    • Why aren't there more women in open source?
    • Open Source Business Models?
    • Getting involved with open source development?


    Cat Allman, Developer Relations Specialist, Open Source Programs Office,  Google
    is a Program Manager for Google’s Open Source Programs Office, managing the Outreach team and working on programs & events that support the Open community at large. From her first experience with Decus in the 1980s while working for Mt Xinu, and later at Sendmail, Inc, the USENIX Association, and now Google, Cat has loved bringing people together to talk tech and get things done. Current projects Cat is involved with include the Google Summer of Code, and Science Foo Camp. She has also worked as a Systems Administrator, IT Manager, and in marketing, sales, and skate board service.

    Beau Lebens, Wordpress, Automattic, Dented Reality 
    Beau is a web developer who hails from Australia, but lives in San Francisco. He’s been working on the web since about 1996 and developing PHP/MySQL systems since 2000. He has been involved in a variety of technical enterprises ranging from an exclusively-online division at a University to a niche Search Engine Marketing firm, with a short stint building an online scrapbooking network for parents.
    Interested in all things social, tech and web-related, Beau holds a degree in online community, culture and governance, and spends most of his time these days hacking WordPress and related web apps for Automattic.

    Elizabeth Krumbach, Linux Force
    works as a Debian Linux Systems Administrator and is actively involved in both the Ubuntu and Debian Linux projects with a focus on software packaging, community classes, public outreach and governance. She currently sites on the 8 member Ubuntu Community Council which supervises the social structures and community processes of the Ubuntu project and is one of three leaders of the Ubuntu Women project. She is also on the board of the non-profit which deploys and maintains donated Linux-powered PCs in several bay area public schools. Website:

    Alison Chaiken, MeeGo 
    is a recovering physicist who has successfully transitioned to open source development from an earlier career in data storage device research.   She has lived in Sili Valley since 1992 and has worked at Nokia Mobility Solutions, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, HP Labs and Lawrence Livermore.    As a  gradual student at MIT in the 1980's, she came across a strange document called the "GNU Manifesto" in the then-new Emacs Manual which advocated the then-peculiar idea of software freedom.   Alison has preferred BSD Unix and then Linux for her personal systems ever since. is where Alison aggregates notable items, mostly about open source.   You can find her on identica, Buzz and IRC where she unimaginatively uses her real name, and or one of her bikes climbing the Bay Area's steepest hills.


    Janet Fouts 
    is a social media coach, author, speaker and entrepreneur. Her books "Social Media Success!" and "#SOCIALMEDIA NONPROFIT tweet" draw on over 15 years of experience in online marketing and social media, working in the trenches with businesses of all sizes. In addition to her social media coaching practice Janet is founder of the Social Media Coaching Center and Sr. Partner at Tatu Digital Media, a San Jose Web design and development firm.


    6:00 - 7:00 p.m Registration, Heavy Appetizers & Networking

    7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Program / Q &; A


    $0 for Platinum Pass

    (To Volunteer, contact techwomensgroup (at)

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