FAQ: I am qualified to attend AdaCamp?

AdaCamp DC is a gathering of people working to increase the participation and status of women in areas like online wikis (including Wikipedia and related projects), writing fan fiction, remixing videos, open library work such as advocating open access to scientific research, open government, and open source software – what we’re calling “open technology and culture.” The purpose of AdaCamp DC is to support women working in any role in these communities. Applications close Friday, June 22nd – apply now!

A frequently asked question is “I am not technical/a coder/experienced enough/a woman/a cis woman/too old/too young/etc., am I qualified to apply for AdaCamp?” This is an understandable question, given that some open tech/culture communities do not always value all of their community members. At the Ada Initiative, we welcome and value people of all genders working in any role in any open tech/culture community, from any background, and are working hard to get that message out. AdaCamp is absolutely not limited to “technical” women.

Short version: If you question whether you should apply to AdaCamp because you aren’t “technical” enough – you should probably apply. If you are still doubtful, please read about Impostor Syndrome and consider applying anyway.

Long version: We understand that the assumption that “non-technical” attendees are not welcome or valued at AdaCamp reflects the current mind set of many open technology and culture communities today – a mind set we are dedicated to changing. AdaCamp and the Ada Initiative are explicitly not limited to supporting only women who write software, consider themselves computer experts, or are otherwise classified as “technical” by their communities. We don’t even like to use the words “technical” and “non-technical” because they are so often used to devalue work that women do, regardless of the skills necessary for the work.

We encourage you to look beyond the “technical/non-technical” distinction when thinking about your interests and accomplishments because it is misleading and irrelevant. Ask yourself instead: Do you care about supporting the creation and distribution of freely reusable online works? Is an open tech/culture community or project improved in any way as a result of your work? If the answers are yes, then you qualify as someone with experience in open tech/culture and should consider applying to attend AdaCamp DC.

The Ada Initiative thanks our AdaCamp DC sponsors for making the event possible.

Thank you to our Gold level sponsor the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thank you to our Silver level sponsors: the Linux Foundation, Intel, Facebook, Red Hat, Collabora and Yammer.