Monthly archives: April 2013

GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW) internships – application deadline on May 1

The upcoming round of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women internships will have an application deadline on May 1 and internship dates from June 17 to September 23.



Background Information

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is software that gives the user the freedom to use, copy, study, change, and improve it. There are many Free and Open Source Software licenses under which software can be released with these freedoms. FOSS contributors believe that this is the best way to develop software because it benefits society, creates a fun collaborative community around a project, and allows anyone to make innovative changes that reach many people. FOSS contributors do various things: software development, system administration, user interface design, graphic design, documentation, community management, marketing, identifying issues and reporting bugs, helping users, event organization, and translations.

Many people work on FOSS as a hobby in their spare time and some are employed by companies and non-profit organizations, including ones that are sponsoring this program! Elego, Google, Mozilla, Rackspace, and Red Hat have been the corporate sponsors of the program. GNOME Foundation, Open Technology Institute, OpenITP, OpenStack Foundation, The Tor Project, and Wikimedia Foundation have been the non-profit organizations sponsoring this program. Hobbyist FOSS experience is highly valuable in the professional world because seeing the publicly available contributions and history of collaboration gives confidence to employers when making hiring decisions.

Outreach Program for Women (OPW) internships were inspired in many ways by Google Summer of Code and by how few women applied for it in the past. This was reflective of a generally low number of women participating in the FOSS development. The GNOME Foundation first started the internships program with one round in 2006, and then resumed the effort in 2010 with rounds organized every half a year. In the May-August 2012 round, the Software Freedom Conservancy joined the Outreach Program for Women with one internship with the Twisted project. In the January-April 2013 round, many other FOSS organizations joined the program.

By having a program targeted specifically towards women, we found that we reached talented and passionate participants, who were uncertain about how to start otherwise. We hope this effort will help many women learn how exciting, varied and valuable work on FOSS projects can be and how inclusive the community really is. This program is a welcoming link that will connect you with people working on individual projects in various FOSS organizations and guide you through your first contribution.


Application Process

The application process is highly collaborative. You are expected to start working with a mentor and ask many questions during the application process.

If you have general questions at any point during the application process, you are welcome to email them to or ask them on the #opw IRC channel on GIMPNet ( , where you are encouraged to hang out throughout the application process. is a private list and your inquiries will only be visible to the coordinators and mentors for the program. Please start the subject line for all your e-mails to this list with a string [INQUIRY]. For organization-specific questions, please use the communication channels described on the page for each organization. Each project you will consider will have its IRC channel, and you should join it for the fastest way to get your project-specific questions answered and communicate with your mentor. It’s easy to connect to IRC.

You can see further information about the internships and application process here.

OSHUG – Open Source Hardware User Group – Meeting on Thursday – April 18th

OSHUG #25 — Is Three (Writing AVR Firmware, Panel Discussion)

Thursday 18th April 2013, 18:00 – 20:00 at Centre for Creative
Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG.

Sponsored by Quick2Wire:


The twenty-fifth meeting marks our third anniversary, and will feature a talk on writing embedded firmware and a panel discussion that will explore the future of open source hardware.

Writing firmware for the AVR: A Morse Code Beacon

In this talk we will look at a number of techniques for making the most of the miniscule MSP430 and ATTiny embedded microcontrollers.

Explaining how to approach the task of developing software for constrained systems such as those with only a few hundred bytes of RAM or a few kilobytes of Flash. Predominantly writing in C and using Chris Swan’s Morse Code Beacon as an example, revealing why code needs to be structured in ways that may initially seem counter-intuitive or undesirable, as well as how the resources are used and allocated.

Such techniques are essential for getting almost any useful program to run in small systems, and when applied to slightly bigger machines such as the ATmega — found in platforms such as Arduino — they can allow really comprehensive programs to be executed successfully.

Andy Bennett is an engineer that likes to inhabit the void between hardware and the software that runs on it. After graduating from
Imperial College with a degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering, he joined Access Devices Digital Limited where he designed software and FPGAs for the UK’s first Dual Tuner Personal Video Recorders. He continued working on Advanced Product Development at Pace Micro Technology before leaving to build distributed database engines at GenieDB. One year ago he founded Knodium where he applies his finely honed ability to produce software on a shoestring.

Panel discussion: The Future of Open Source Hardware

Interest in open source hardware continues to grow unabated and the movement has come a long way in the three years since our first
meeting. However, could it ever provide opportunities on the same scale as those afforded by its much older and now well understood
cousin, open source software? What are the barriers to growth? How are the intellectual property and economic considerations different to those of open source software? These are just some of the questions
that we plan to explore as part of this panel discussion.

* Moderated by: Paul Downey.

Professor Cornelia Boldyreff is Visiting Professor in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich, and Chair of the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. She is a Fellow of the BCS and HEA, and a member of the ACM and the BCS Women’s Committee. She has over 30 years experience in software engineering and has lead extensive research within open source software.

Sukkin Pang is a design engineer and a director at SK Pang Electronics Ltd. He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire and has over 20 years of industrial experience. He is passionate about open source hardware and has four Arduino shields published. He used to tinker in assembler on the Z80, 6502, PIC and AVR, but nowadays he mainly uses C and C++.

Alan Wood originally trained in systems engineering, got lost in software engineering and open source for a decade, before returning
back to his hardware roots via the open source hardware and makers movement that has gathered momentum over the last few years.

Nigel Rix is Director of Electronics at the ESP KTN, part of the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. Nigel has over 30 years experience working with a variety high tech companies from multi-nationals to start-ups and on hardware and software based products from electron beam lithography and laser systems to solutions for the security sector.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 – 18:20 as the event will start
at 18:30 prompt.