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Call for Organizers: Introduction to Open Source Workshops for 2019

Last year, in an effort to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software (OSS), the WordPress Foundation helped fund four “Introduction to Open Source” workshops in Ghana, India, Colombia and St. Lucia.

The goal of this workshop series is to highlight the potential of open source software in regions where there is less participation in OSS projects.

Last year’s workshops were quite successful, so in 2019 we’re expanding this program to support up to ten separate events.

We are particularly interested in funding event held in regions where there might be less awareness of — or support for — participation in open source, specifically Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia*.

Event title: Introduction to Open Source

Event description: What do people mean when they use the term Open Source when referring to software? This workshop will cover that question as well as what the GPL software license provides, why WordPress is an open-source project, and how this is important for both the users of WordPress and the contributors to WordPress.

Event purpose: Spread knowledge and understanding of the open web and open source through two-hour training events, staffed and organized by local communities, and financially supported by the WordPress Foundation, using training materials here:

Financial support: up to $200 USD per event, available to cover costs associated with event venue, refreshments, and/or videography / photography.

Expectations for organizers: Event should be free of cost, open to anyone, and organized/held in 2019. Strong preference will be given to organizers who are already members of a community group that is part of the WordPress open source project’s meetup chapter program, but has not yet organized a WordCamp.

Organizers should not need to solicit additional event sponsorship. Financial support will be provided via Paypal or wire transfer, and will require documentation. This financial support will be in the form of reimbursement after the event has taken place.

We’ll select and notify our first round of shortlisted groups by the 31st May 2019 and the second round of shortlisted groups by 31st August 2019.

The application form will be closed on 15th July 2019.

Interested in organizing an event like this? Fill out this 10-question application!

*According to a recent study, the majority of Github participation in OSS projects is centered in North America and Western and Northern Europe.

Charity Hackathons in 2018

A few months ago we reported on the progress of the do_action charity hackathon event series so far in 2018 — at that stage of the year, we had supported eight local communities to help them run their own do_action events. By the time the year came to a close, we had worked with a further four communities, making twelve total do_action events for 2018.

As the program grew through the second half of the year, the additional communities that had organised do_action events were Stuttgart, Beirut, Montreal, and Port Harcourt. Montreal and Beirut were both returning communities who held their do_action event for the second year in a row.

Continue reading Charity Hackathons in 2018

Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship for WordCamp US 2019

The WordPress Foundation is once again offering the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship, a travel assistance program. Kim was a valued and committed contributor to the WordPress open source project, and this is the WordPress Foundation’s way of honoring her. This scholarship will be awarded to a woman-identifying WordPress contributor who has never attended WordCamp US before, and requires financial assistance to attend.

The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one recipient every year, and covers travel to WordCamp US from the recipient’s home city, hotel stay for the duration of the event, and a ticket to WordCamp US.  

To be considered, please apply no later than Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12 am Pacific.

For more details, please visit the WordPress Foundation’s About the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship page.


Click here to apply for the scholarship.

Successful Open Source Workshops in Ghana, India, Colombia and St. Lucia in 2018

In 2018, we set a goal of supporting the organizing of four “Introduction to Open Source” workshops in parts of the world with less participation in open source: Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia*.

This was accomplished with events in

Kumasi, Ghana

The Introduction to Open Source workshop in Kumasi was held on November 15, 2018 at HapaSpace.

Albert Opoku, the main organizer for the event, commented that after an introduction to open source philosophy and relevant examples, there was a good discussion amongst the attendees.

The issue of Africa’s low contribution to Open Source was widely discussed, participants discussed what were the challenges and also came up with a few suggestions to increase our participation in open source.

The WordPress Kumasi meetup group was founded a little over two years ago, and currently has 130 members. A few new members signed up for the meetup group during the workshop, to get involved with the community.

Udaipur, India

The Introduction to Open Source workshop in Udaipur was held on November 18, 2018 at CTAE.

When asked about what the impact of the event had on attendees, main organizer for the event, Surbhi Jain commented

A lot of young students from schools and colleges took a keen interest in joining further local meetups.

The WordPress meetup group for Udaipur was formed over 3 years ago. The workshop was attended by well over 50 attendees.

Barranquilla, Colombia

The Introduction to Open Source workshop in Barranquilla happened on November 24 at CUC University.

The main organizer, Fabian Altahona suggested that many of the attendees were not aware of how to go about contributing to open source projects and would get more involved.

Many people thought open source and contributing was not that common, and they contacted the speakers to share their fears and doubts about it. Based on this experience, we would think they will actually become more involved in open source.

After the workshop in Barranquilla was planned, the Barranquilla meetup group found a sponsor to pay for refreshments and was also able to find a free venue — which meant they did not need financial from the WordPress Foundation for this event.

Castries, St. Lucia

The final Introduction to Open Source workshop was in Castries, St. Lucia also on November 24 at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

The organizer, Uriahs Victor, felt that the workshop helped get more attention toward the WordPress meetup group in Castries. A hot topic of discussion at the workshop was security and updates in open source software.

Looking forward to more workshops in 2019

Based on the success of these four workshops, we hope to expand this program in the future. If you’re interested in organizing an event of this kind in your community, please keep an eye out for the next call for organizers, which will be posted in the coming months!

If you’re interested in helping the WordPress Foundation support open source education all over the world, please donate today!

*According to a recent study, the majority of Github participation in OSS projects is centered in North America and Western and Northern Europe.

2018 Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Nidhi Jain

This year’s Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship recipient is Nidhi Jain, a developer who enjoys helping her clients learn how to use WordPress. Over the past four years, she has contributed to the WordPress Core, Polyglots, Support, Community, Themes, Plugins and Meta teams. Jain recently served as the lead organizer of WordCamp Udaipur 2018, and continues to participate actively in her local WordPress community.

The WordPress Foundation created this memorial scholarship in 2015, to honor the memory of longtime WordPress contributor Kim Parsell. This scholarship provides financial support to a woman who contributes to the WordPress open source project, who would not otherwise be able to attend WordCamp US. More information on the scholarship, including information on past recipients, is available here.

You can read more about Nidhi and what led her to this opportunity on the WordCamp US 2018 site.

Open Source Training Events Announced

As part of our continuing efforts to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software (OSS), we’re excited to announce that four local WordPress communities will organize Introduction to Open Source workshops next month!

The following communities have scheduled an Introduction to Open Source workshop, for the following dates:

Once all these events take place, we’ll publish recaps of the workshops. Many thanks to all of the groups who applied for the grant this year! We hope to support even more workshops in 2019.

If you’re interested in helping the WordPress Foundation support open source education all over the world, please donate today!

Charity Hackathons: 2018 Mid-year Report

At the end of 2017 we reported on how the recently introduced do_action charity hackathon event series had been going — by the end of the year, we had worked with four local communities to help them run their own do_action events, which was a great start to the program and one that we were looking to build on for 2018.

Participants at the Bristol do_action event 

And build on it we did! With word getting out about the events and more people in the WordPress community finding out about them, we have already worked seven different communities who ran their own local do_action events — starting with Bristol in February, followed by Pune, Zurich, McAllen, Lagos, Cape Town, and finishing with Harare at the end of July. On top of that, a further three events are scheduled for the rest of the year — Port Harcourt, Stuttgart and Montreal — with another three in pre-planning that are not yet scheduled.

The do_action event in Zurich, Switzerland

At the seven events that have already taken place, there were a total of 220 participants from the local communities, and they built websites for 32 different non-profit organizations in their cities.

Some of the websites built at these events include:

All the participants at the McAllen, TX do_action event

Aside from these fantastic new websites, each organization also received enhanced social media profiles, newsletter integrations and easy to use donation platforms.

In order to make sure the organizations are able to work with their new websites, each event runs training sessions for the non-profits coaching them on how to use WordPress to manage their content and get the most our of their sites.

Cape Town do_action teams hard at work

On the surface these events provide an improved online presence for each of the non-profit organizations, but they really do so much more than that. A website is essentially just code on a server, but what these organizations are getting is so much more than that — what they’re really getting is a platform that allows them to get on with the great work that they do without having to worry about the technical side of things.

With these new websites working for them, each of the non-profits can receive donations, attract volunteers, help more people, and further their work. It is a great gift that goes beyond a bit of programming and really touches the heart of what the founders of organizations like these set out to do in the first place.

Participants at the Lagos event

As we look ahead to the rest of 2018 and beyond, we’re excited to see what our communities do for even more non-profit organizations and where the do_action program will grow from here.

Call for Organizers: Introduction to Open Source Workshops for 2018

Last year, in an effort to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software (OSS), the WordPress Foundation helped fund two “Introduction to Open Source” workshops in Mombasa and Kanpur.

The goal of this workshop is to highlight the potential of open source software in regions where there is less participation in OSS projects.

Last year’s workshops were quite successful, so in 2018 we’re expanding this program to support up to four separate events. We are particularly interested in funding event held in regions where there might be less awareness of — or support for — participation in open source, specifically Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia*.

To learn more about this workshop program, and how you can get involved, read on!

Event title: Introduction to Open Source

Event description: What do people mean when they use the term Open Source when referring to software? This workshop will cover that question as well as what the GPL software license provides, why WordPress is an open-source project, and how this is important for both the users of WordPress and the contributors to WordPress.

Event purpose: Spread knowledge and understanding of the open web and open source through two-hour training events, staffed and organized by local communities, and financially supported by the WordPress Foundation, using training materials here:

Financial support: up to $500 USD per event, available to cover costs associated with event venue, refreshments, and/or videography.

Expectations for organizers: Event should be free of cost, open to anyone, and organized/held in 2018. Strong preference will be given to organizers who are already members of a community group that is part of the WordPress open source project’s meetup chapter program, but has not yet organized a WordCamp. Organizers should not need to solicit additional event sponsorship. Financial support will be provided via Paypal or wire transfer, and will require documentation.

Interested in organizing an event like this? Fill out this 10-question application!

We’ll close grant applications on August 23, and notify the successful applicants no later than September 10, 2018.

*According to a recent study, the majority of Github participation in OSS projects is centered in North America and Western and Northern Europe.

Successful Open Source Workshops in Mombasa and Kanpur

In 2017, we set a goal of supporting the organizing of two “Introduction to Open Source” workshops in parts of the world with less participation in open source: Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia*. This was accomplished with events in Mombasa, Kenya and Kanpur, India.

Mombasa

The Introduction to Open Source workshop in Mombasa was held on September 23, 2017 at Swahili Pot Hub. Though only 10 people signed up online, 38 people attended.

Daniel Joakim, lead organizer of the event, commented that this kind of workshop was a good fit for the Mombasa community because:

Currently, in Kenya and more specifically in Mombasa, the rate of unemployment is extremely high. Thousands of high school graduates normally don’t make it to the university or any higher learning institutions every passing year, so where do they end up? It is so sad, the majority get wasted on the beach and in the local clubs, this is a negative growth to the community.

Introducing open source software to these generations might be the solution to unemployment. The main agenda in mind for that event was to open up minds of the youths to seek other alternatives to tools that are readily available, and build amazing technology on top of these.

The WordPress Mombasa group was founded a little over a year ago, and currently has 168 members. Daniel said that organizing the workshop helped spread the word about the monthly user group, as well as educating the community about open source. Regarding the response of attendees to the information about open source shared in the workshop, Daniel said, “some of the attendees liked the fact of ease of use without the technical background of coding. Others found it to be handy in terms (of) speed in web design compared to other conventional methods we know.”

Kanpur

The WordPress Kanpur user group held its Introduction to Open Source workshop on November 11, 2017 at Allenhouse Institute of Technology. Online sign-ups were counted at 44, but event attendance was estimated at 150-200. Hardeep Asrani, one of the organizers of the event along with Himanshu Awasthi, said that the Kanpur community was interested in organizing this workshop because:

We love open-source and wanted to spread more knowledge about what open-source is, and why it’s important. We’ve been trying to take our workshops to colleges and schools to bring more awareness, and the [Introduction to] Open Source workshop allowed us to do this exactly.

In addition to presenting the material outlined in the lesson plans on WordPress.org, the Kanpur organizers included an open mic session. Hardeep commented that this allowed attendees to talk about anything they had coded and published open-source. “There was a guy who coded a pretty cool application using C++, and he was unsure how to release it, and open-source wasn’t his first choice, but we sat with him and explained him how it can benefit him and the community, and he decided to release it under GPL once it’s finished,” said Hardeep.

When asked about what part of the workshop particularly interested attendees, Hardeep responded, “When we talked about the freedom that open-source and Free Software gives you, a lot of people were interested, as well as when it came to privacy.”

Looking forward to more workshops in 2018

Based on the success of these two workshops, we hope to expand this program in the future, with a plan to sponsor at least four events in 2018. If you’re interested in organizing an event of this kind in your community, please keep an eye out for the next call for organizers, which will be posted early next year!

If you’re interested in helping the WordPress Foundation support open source education all over the world, please donate today!

*According to a recent study, the majority of Github participation in OSS projects is centered in North America and Western and Northern Europe.