Special guest article by Sean Roberts (@sarob). The OSI would like to thank Sean, Erich and Zack for all their help in promoting and staffing the OSI booth during the Bay Area ACT-W, and their support of open source software and women in technology. The OSI frequently reaches out to our membership and local open source software advocates to help organize and staff local events—if you’re interested in volunteering too, please contact us.
What Was This
I had the privilege of volunteering for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) table at the ACT-W conference at Galvanize, San Francisco this last Saturday with Erich Clauer and Zachariah Sherzad. It was an event focused on giving women the best information on advancing in technical careers. Keynotes and talks sounded excellent on paper, but I missed out on them, as I was in the career fair part of the event for the day. There were many volunteering tables set up in the career area. OSI was one of them. Pyladies, Chicktech, Docusign, among others were there to support technical women. I answered questions about OSI and open source. There was a mix of experience levels, but most were just starting their technical careers.
What Was Happening
Everyone was networking, which is always a good practice. The energy was positive and welcoming. I was able to talk with many women on what OSI stands for and what I could help them with. Describing the benefits of open source is very enjoyable. Especially relevant there were a lot of opportunities to engage people directly. I felt my mentoring on how to join public open source teams was good and valuable information. However, I wasn’t helping with the most important need of all, a paying job.
How To Improve
I should have had a list of open source positions from all the OSI affiliates. Through the ACT-W organizers, I should have asked for digital resumes and LinkedIn URLs before the event started. As people came forward, I could have looked up their resume and matched them with possible openings. Then I could counsel them on their experience and plans.
So, I am going start working with OSI to figure out how we can add these and additional services.
Originally posted at sarob, April 14th, 2017, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.