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Grace Hopper Open Source Day 2013 Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is Grace Hopper Open Source Day?

The purpose of Grace Hopper Open Source Day is to give attendees of the conference and some of our friends from the local community the opportunity to code, network, build their portfolios and contribute to the greater social good. The event had its genesis in the code-a-thon for Humanity held at the 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where more than fifty women gathered contribute to humanitarian focused open source projects. From that initial event, Grace Hopper Open Source Day has grown into a daylong codeathon, welcoming more than 200 women at each gathering to collaborate on a variety of projects.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) adoption and usage is becoming widespread and many employment opportunities require experience on FOSS projects. It can be daunting to know how to contribute to an existing FOSS project or release your individual software tool or application under an open source license. We hope to help attendees gain more experience in these areas, as well as the chance to network with more like-minded technical women and to encourage you to take your first steps as an open source contributor.

You may also be interested in reading more information about past events, including the the 2012 event website, our overview blog post from last year, or the 2011 website.

I have a question not answered in this FAQ. Where can I find more information?

You can send a message to the Grace Hopper Open Source Day organizing committee email list and one of us will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Alternatively, you are welcome to edit this wiki page and leave your question in this section of the document. We're monitoring the wiki and will update this FAQ with a response to your inquiry as soon as we can.

When and where will the event take place?

Grace Hopper Open Source Day will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2013, immediately following the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Minneapolis, MN. The event will run from 10 AM - 5 PM in the Minneapolis Convention Center. We will update this FAQ with further details on schedule and room information when they become available.

Mentor Project FAQs

What kinds of open source projects would be a good fit to apply as mentoring project for Grace Hopper Open Source Day?

Any open source project that would like to increase diversity amongst their participants is welcome and encouraged to apply as a mentoring project for GHC OSD. We strongly encourage projects with a humanitarian mission to participate. In the past, we have welcomed projects from a wide variety of technical areas, including GNOME A11y (accessibility), Google Crisis Response, Humanitarian Open Street Map and the Sahana Software Foundation (disaster management) and the Shared Learning Collaborative (education). 

The program committee would also like to see the attendees have the opportunity to give back to the local community at each location where Grace Hopper takes place, so projects from the Minneapolis, Minnesota area are especially encouraged to apply.

How does my organization apply to become a mentoring project?

You can fill out the application online at

What is the time commitment expected for mentoring project members? What advance preparation is required on the part of mentoring projects?

We ask that accepted mentoring projects commit to attending regular organization status meetings (~1 hr, bi-weekly) prior to the event. We require that mentoring projects send representatives to Grace Hopper Open Source Day to help our attendees during the event. Mentoring projects are required to send representatives to Grace Hopper Open Source Day to help our attendees during the event, though you are not required to attend the Grace Hopper Conference to participate as a mentoring project. (Though we certainly hope you will be able to do so!)

We also ask that mentoring projects commit to being new contributor ready, as defined as having a public source code repository (like github), having a public bug tracker or other way to track tasks and issues, having at least some documentation on how to setup a build environment for your project, and have a clear list of bite-sized tasks for beginners and those at intermediate and advanced skill levels. 

Depending on where your project is in its evolution, taking care of these tasks could be trivial or require a great deal of time. You know where your project is in terms of its progress in these areas and whether or not you'll collectively have the time to make any needed changes in your processes or infrastructure to effectively participate.

Are male mentors allowed to participate in the event?

We welcome mentors of all genders at Grace Hopper Open Source Day, but we do ask that mentoring projects commit to sending at least one female-identified mentor to the event.

What are the benefits of participating for mentoring projects?

  • Gain additional visibility for your project
  • Attract a more diverse contributor talent pool
  • Coding tasks as accomplished on the day of GHC OSD
  • Gain potential long-term contributors for your project

When are mentoring project applications due?

Applications from mentoring projects must be received by 11:59 PM PST on May 31, 2013.

When will mentoring projects be notified about the results of their application?

We will begin notifying accepted mentoring projects on May 3, 2013. As we receive additional applications through May 31, 2013, we will continue accepting mentoring projects that are a good fit for the event and notifying would-be participants of their application status.

Attendee FAQs

I'll be attending the Grace Hopper Conference in Minneapolis. How do I register for Grace Hopper Open Source Day?

If you have registered to attend GHC, you will receive a link to sign-up to attend Grace Hopper Open Source Day in your registration confirmation email.

I am not attending the main Grace Hopper Conference but would like to just attend Grace Hopper Open Source Day. Can I do that?

Yes. The Grace Hopper Conference Registration page has instructions on how you can be register for just GHCOSD.

I have never worked with open source software before or participated in an open source project. Should I attend?

Absolutely, yes! We welcome participants at all levels of experience including none at all. This event was founded to give everyone, regardless of technical background or skill level, the experience of contributing to an open source project.

Which projects are participating in 2013?

We are still in the process of accepting mentoring project applications. Meanwhile you can take a look at the list of participating organizations from 2012 to get an idea of the types of projects and tasks that were offered.

We'll update this FAQ with further information once mentoring projects are announced.

What skill set is required to participate in Grace Hopper Open Source Day?

We'll have mentoring projects from a wide variety of technical areas participating, so there will be something for everyone who wants to collaborate at GHOSD. Specific skill sets will be posted by each accepted mentoring project so you can find the project that's right for you.

What advance preparation is required?

Each accepted mentoring project will publish getting started guidelines so that you're ready to code when you arrive at GHOSD. The amount of time required will vary from project to project, but will be spelled out in detail once projects are accepted.

What is the time commitment expected from attendees?

Other than a few hours getting prepared for the event and the commitment to attend the full day's festivities on October 5, 2013, no other time commitment will be required. Of course, we hope that you'll leave Grace Hopper Open Source Day excited about continuing your contributions to whatever project you worked with during the event.

What are the benefits of participating in the event for Grace Hopper Conference attendees?

At the end of the day participants of all skill levels will walk away with new confidence when engaging with an existing FOSS project or starting their own community developed software project. They will also walk away with the satisfaction of  knowing they helped make the world a little bit better for those in  need. Even better, attendees may find a project that they wish to contribute to long term and a community of like-minded participants where they feel welcomed, engaged and valued.

ghc13faq.txt · Last modified: 2013/05/07 17:03 by lhawthorn