ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

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PHPUK 2009 Review

Mar 06, 2009 GMT

Looneytunes posted a detailed review of her trip to PHP UK 2009 over on the PHPWomen site. She says: Surely such an eminent group of knowledgeable people would have little time for someone as inexperienced as me, and how was I ever going to follow any of the talks without suffering some kind of brain meltdown mid talk? Well I’m very pleased to say that I was wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, could not have been more wrong! She also encourages anyone who has ever wanted to attend an event to just do it: If you work on your own or in a team they are a great opportunity to meet new people, get new ideas, get help and advice and get a look into some of the exciting things that...
Putting Open Source to the Mom Test

Mar 05, 2009 GMT

I stumbled across Amber's blog by accident today – she's writing a series of posts that document her experience installing and using Linux distros and a variety of open source applications. I hope open source developers are following along as stay-at-home-mom Amber shares her adventures in Linux and open source. She eloquently points out usability issues that make it hard for your average mom to race out and embrace open source. Developers: Take note. For that matter, publishers should take note – I hope Amber gets a book deal out of her blog series. Amber is a self-proclaimed average mom, which means that she juggles many tasks and has a limited amount of time and patience at the...
Accenture Report: Untapped Potential

Mar 03, 2009 GMT

Thanks to a tweet from, I found this report from Accenture called "Untapped Potential: Stretching Toward the Future." I'm in the middle of downloading a ginormous file, so I didn't download the report pdf; instead, I checked out the handy summary and key findings (the good parts). One part that jumped out at me was this: The research found that women are challenging themselves: more than eight in 10 (81 percent) who consider themselves “very successful” said they take on additional responsibilities and complexity to advance their careers, and 75 percent reported that they regularly stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone. In my recent SCALE talk, I...
Savvy Geek Chix event: Weathering the Economic Storm

Mar 02, 2009 GMT

If you're out in the Palo Alto area (or want an excuse to go there), you might want to check out the Anita Borg Institute's inaugural Savvy Geek Chix event, Weathering the Economic Storm, on March 24, 2009. The event is only $25 and you can register online in advance. The event includes a resume clinic to help you polish your resume and a "Strategies for Survival in the Current Economy" panel, which will focus on: Strategies for retaining your job How to effectively utilize your network to find a job Key steps to take before a potential layoff What to do immediately after a layoff Learn the things not to do when you’re laid off
NYTimes Article: Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?

Mar 02, 2009 GMT

The New York Times recently ran an article by Hannah Fairfield called "Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?" Although one theory is that women choose lower-paying jobs, I'd argue that another problem is that women aren't as aggressive about salary negotiations, a point I discussed in my recent talk at SCALE 7x. Check out the interactive wage gap graphic for more details about salary differences between occupations.
Book Review: The Manga Guide to Databases

Mar 01, 2009 GMT

Recently I requested a review copy of The Manga Guide to Databases. Without a doubt, The Manga Guide to Databases was the most enjoyable tech book I've ever read. Although I'm not a manga expert, my daughter is and she said that the manga quality was excellent. (Well, her exact words were, "I'm impressed. It's pretty good, despite being a boring book." But she's only 12 and can be a bit of a manga-snob, so I took that as a ringing endorsement.) But what about the content of the book? I'm happy to say that The Manga Guide to Databases was a quick, easy read on a lazy weekend afternoon. After a brief preface, the book starts...
SCALE 7x: Women in Open Source report

Feb 25, 2009 GMT

Friday, February 20, I attended the Women in Open Source day at SCALE 7x. This year's event saw increased attendance and a nice mix of men and women. And a couple of Moms: Speaker Danese Cooper and attendee Beth Lynn Eicher (see photo) each brought their mothers to the event. Danese kicked off the event with her Women as Alpha Geeks talk. She discussed some early alpha geeks, including Ada Lovelace, Adele Goldstine, and Grace Hopper. Danese outlined principles of open source, including: participate, release early and release often, SHARE, be inclusive, innovate, build community, go...

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