It’s Ada Lovelace Day and I haven’t had time to write up something profound about women in tech, because, well, I’ve been too busy coding. Appropriate, no? I’ve been jamming on ThinkTank, a new webapp that will help the White House crowdsource ideas for our country’s scientific and technological goals. It’s also one of the youngest, pluckiest, up-and-coming woman-friendly open source projects around. My partner at Expert Labs Anil Dash explains why:
Besides being created by a woman (Ed: that’s me!), we’ve been able to start up an active, vibrant community that is supportive and inclusive of new members. I think that our habit of mentoring our newest contributors is part of why we were one of the youngest apps to be selected for Google Summer of Code students to participate in, and I think it also explains why we have a mailing list and community that’s never had a single flame war, personal attack or ego battle. It also helps that we’re doing meaningful work that helps government make better decisions every time we fix a bug in our application. Even if you’ve never considered yourself a coder, there are instructions on how to participate that make joining the project as easy as editing a file in Google docs.
ThinkTank hasn’t been around long enough to have accumulated any cruft–either in the source code, or in the community’s politics. If you join now you have the opportunity to make a major impact on early decisions that will shape ThinkTank’s roadmap. I hope tomorrow’s Adas will consider getting in on the ground floor and help us grow these seeds into something amazing in a helpful and supportive environment. Interested? Join the mailing list and dive into the code on GitHub.
Tomorrow’s Adas [Anil Dash]