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Tomorrow's first AdaCamp is a ground-breaking event engineered by the two founders of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit group that aims to increase the participation of women in free and open source software and culture.


Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora are hosting the event which will accommodate about 40 participants at the CERES Community Environment Park in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. Aurora said the event had reached its capacity.

The format is not highly structured; after introductions, the attendees will split off into participant-led groups to discuss subjects of interest.

Sessions can include presentations tutorials, hacking sessions or any other format.

At the end of the day, the participants will meet again to discuss what they have learned and to plan future steps.

Both Aurora and Gardiner have spent the first year since the initiative was set up in getting formalities out of the way. The organisation is now registered as a non-profit.

Both are trying to tackle a problem which is enormous; the number of women involved in FOSS projects is very low; figures are not widely available but those available for Europe show a participation of less than two percent.

The Ada Initiative is dependent on donations and while money is coming in, it would be good to see some of big FOSS companies dip their hands in their pockets a little deeper.

The AdaCamp begins at 9.30am and will end at 5pm. It is supported by Google, Wikimedia Australia, Linux Australia and Atlassian.

 

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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