Author Archives: Ada Initiative

Ada Initiative no longer partnering with GitHub

This week, GitHub published the results of an investigation into credible allegations of harassment and intimidation against one of its co-founders, the co-founder's wife, and another unnamed employee. It reported that its investigation had found no evidence of illegal actions but did find mistakes and poor judgement by unnamed persons, and announced the resignation of the co-founder in question. It was shortly followed by a blog post from the resigning co-founder which included a clear threat of legal action against anyone who said he or his wife had engaged in gender-based harassment or discrimination.

The sum of these events make it impossible for Ada Initiative to partner with GitHub at this time. One year ago, we partnered with GitHub to offer free private repositories to over 500 women learning to write open source software. This offer ended in December 2013, but these repositories are still in use by many of the recipients. We will work to wind down the free private repository partnership in a way that causes minimum harm to the women using them. GitHub also sponsored AdaCamp DC and AdaCamp San Francisco, our conferences to support women in open technology and culture. We will not accept future sponsorships from or partnerships with GitHub unless the situation changes significantly.

Many resources are available for people wanting to prevent these kinds of problems in their own companies or communities. The Geek Feminism Wiki has a wide range of resources such as an explanation of why sexualized environments are harmful to women. Ashe Dryden offers consulting on increasing diversity at your corporation. Model View Culture regularly publishes insightful pieces on tech culture and the systemic factors affecting it. “The No Asshole Rule” is a management book on creating a culture that repels abusive people. The Ada Initiative Allies Workshop teaches men simple, everyday actions to support women in their workplace.

We are working hard to create a world in which women can participate in open source software, Wikipedia, and other areas of open technology and culture without harassment, intimidation, or discrimination. Sometimes this means refusing to partner with or accept sponsorship from specific people or organizations. It is also contrary to our principles to be silent when our existing sponsors and collaborators' actions consistently do not support our mission.

New Relic, Simple, Spotify and Pinboard sponsor AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

Simple logo
New Relic logo



The Ada Initiative is pleased to welcome silver sponsors Simple and New Relic, bronze sponsor Spotify, and supporting sponsor Pinboard as the first sponsors of our 2014 AdaCamps. AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture. In 2014, the Ada Initiative will hold three AdaCamps located in technology hubs on three continents: Portland, Oregon, USA; Berlin, Germany; and Bangalore, India.

Simple is a bank that offers all electronic consumer banking services integrated with budgeting and savings tools. The bank, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2009 and partners with Bancorp Bank, an FDIC insured bank, to hold account funds. Simple is hiring in the Portland, Oregon area.

New Relic makes tools that allow developers of web and mobile apps to monitor and analyze the performance of their applications, all the way from user experience, through servers, and down to the line of application code. New Relic's monitoring tools and platform support Ruby, PHP, .Net, Java, Python, iOS, and Android apps. New Relic has offices in Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington. See New Relic's list of job openings to learn more.

Spotify makes it easier to discover new music, share music with friends, and follow your favorite artists. Spotify uses Python extensively and hosts PyLadies meetups at their offices. Spotify has engineering offices in New York, San Francisco, and Gothenburg and is hiring.

Pinboard is a bookmarking and personal archiving site ("Social Bookmarking for Introverts" is their tagline). Pinboard's design is about speed and functionality with a focus on personal management and archiving. In addition to bookmarking and archiving your favorite web sites, Pinboard runs one of Twitter's wittiest accounts. Built by Maciej Cegłowski in the summer of 2009, Pinboard had just over 22,000 active users in 2013. Ada Initiative is a happy Pinboard user.

On behalf of women in open technology and culture, we thank Simple, New Relic, and Pinboard for their generous support.

About AdaCamp

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

In 2014, the Ada Initiative will hold three AdaCamps located in technology hubs on three continents: Portland, Oregon, USA; Berlin, Germany; and Bangalore, India. Applications to AdaCamp Portland are now closed. Applications for AdaCamp Berlin and Bangalore will be open soon.


Your organization has the opportunity to join Simple, New Relic, and Pinboard in sponsoring AdaCamps in 2014 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture on three continents. Contact us at for more information about becoming a sponsor.

Thank you to the AdaCamp 2014 silver sponsors New Relic and Simple.

AdaCamp is coming to Berlin and Bangalore in 2014

Women in open tech/culture

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them. Learn more by reading our AdaCamp San Francisco final report.

In addition to AdaCamp Portland scheduled for June 21-22, 2014 at the New Relic offices in downtown Portland, Oregon, the Ada Initiative is planning to hold AdaCamps in Berlin and Bangalore in 2014. The Berlin AdaCamp will be October 11-12, 2014 at the Wikimedia Deutschland offices. Planning is underway for AdaCamp Bangalore will be on November 29-30, 2014.

To be the first to know when applications open for AdaCamp Berlin and AdaCamp Bangalore, follow us on social media, read our blog, or sign up for our mailing list.

About AdaCamp

Five pointed star with a rainbow of colors and the word "AdaCamp"

AdaCamp is the world's only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Attendance at AdaCamp is by invitation, with applications open to the public. Attendees will be selected based on experience in open tech/culture, experience or knowledge of feminism and advocacy, ability to collaborate with others, and any rare or notable experience or background that would add to AdaCamp.


A limited number of conference sponsorships are available. Benefits include making a public statement of your company's values, recruiting opportunities, and reserved attendance slots for qualified employees, depending on level. Contact for more information.


If you have any questions, please email us at

Welcoming Camille Acey, Annalee Flower Horne, and Andromeda Yelton to our advisory board

The Ada Initiative advisory board is a group of volunteers from across open technology and culture who have the passion, knowledge, and time to actively support women in open technology and culture. The advisors play a crucial part in the Ada Initiative's work: sharing their knowledge of communities like open hardware or Wikipedia, helping organize AdaCamp and other events, reviewing and writing policies and articles, taking a key role in fundraising, sharing their expertise in areas like law and non-profit governance, and, of course, giving advice.

In order to keep in touch with open tech/culture communities and avoid burning out our volunteers, we actively recruit new advisors and encourage existing advisors to step down when the time is right for them. We're very pleased to introduce the latest additions to our advisory board:

Photograph of Camille AceyCamille Acey
Camille Acey works in sales and operations at Boundless (formerly OpenGeo), an industry leader in enterprise open source geospatial software solutions. She has also worked with FLOSS Manuals Foundation, an international organization devoted to providing documentation for free software projects, and the free culture non-profit She holds a BA in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. and she has spoken about race and social justice at conferences in the US and Canada. She writes about race, motherhood, and tech on her blog and tweets about much the same on Twitter as @kavbojka.

Photograph of Annalee Flower HorneAnnalee Flower Horne
Annalee Flower Horne is a science fiction writer, Django developer, and open government advocate. She's passionate about diversity in tech, the science fiction and fantasy community, and geek culture as a whole. A former congressional staffer, she takes a particular interest in transparent, accountable, and effective access to elected officials. She works for an open government startup in Washington, DC, blogs irregularly at Geek Feminism, and tweets as @leeflower.

Smiling woman with glasses, by Molly Tomlinson
Andromeda Yelton
Andromeda Yelton is a self-employed librarian and software developer who's passionate about promoting coding, collaboration, and diversity in library technology. She has a BS in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, an MA in Classics from Tufts, and an MLS from Simmons. Before her MLS, she taught Latin to middle school boys; after, she did library outreach, software, and communications at the ebook startup Her notable honors include winning the 2010 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award; being selected as an ALA Emerging Leader, class of 2011; being a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker; and having been a listener contestant on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. She is a member of the LITA Board of Directors. You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAndromeda.

Thank to all our Ada Initiative advisors, past and present, for your incredible support of women in open technology and culture! And thank you to the open tech/culture community at large for your hard work and commitment to supporting women in open tech/culture.

Allies Workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area

Want to spend an afternoon learning how to support women in your workplace and community? The Ada Initiative is running two Allies Workshops open to the public in the San Francisco Bay Area: one on Friday, March 7th in Redwood City and one on Tuesday, March 11th in San Francisco, from 3pm to 5pm.

A woman explains while a man listensThe Allies Workshop is a fun 2-hour discussion-oriented workshop focusing on simple, everyday ways people can use their power as an ally to make their workplace or community more welcoming and attractive to women. We discuss what to do in practical, real-world scenarios ranging from how to welcome a woman attending a conference for the first time to speaking up when a co-worker makes a sexist joke at the office party. People usually leave the workshop feeling ready to take action and eager to learn more.

We usually teach this workshop at a company or conference, but are experimenting by running two workshops open to the public. Register now to attend the workshop on Tuesday, March 11th in San Francisco (both a few blocks from BART or Caltrain). The workshop focuses on what men can do, but works best when about 50% of attendees are men and 50% people of other genders. We provide drinks and snacks during the break (including vegan and gluten-free options).

Registration fees range from $200 to $0, depending on your economic situation. Many employers have personal development or training budgets for their employees. Ask your manager if your employer will pay for the registration fee for the Allies Workshop.

Allies Workshop San Francisco
Date: Tuesday, March 11th, 3pm-5pm
Location: San Francisco Paramedics Association
657 Mission St Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94105

Transit: 2 blocks from Montgomery St BART station, 1 mile from 4th and King Caltrain station
Bicycle parking: Bring your bicycle inside to the conference room, plenty of room for multiple bikes
Car parking: Driving not recommended, but metered street and garage parking are available for around $10/hour nearby
Accessibility: ADA accessible, email for any other ways we can make attending easier

We invite you to join us at one of these two Allies Workshops! You can also schedule an Allies Workshop at your workplace. Email us for more information at

Several people in discussion around a table

Allies workshop discussion

Support Ada Initiative when you shop on Amazon

There's a new simple way to support Ada Initiative for Amazon users. People who shop through Amazon can now automatically donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the Ada Initiative through the Amazon Smile program.

How to sign up:

  • Go to
  • Type "Ada Initiative" in the search box
  • Click "Select" button on the first result
  • Install a browser extension to auto-redirect to the Smile URL (Firefox) (Chrome)

Now you should see "Supporting: Ada Initiative" in the top left-hand corner of the Amazon web page whenever you go to Amazon. You are only donating when you shop at Amazon using the URL and you see "Eligible for Amazon Smile" above the "Add to Cart" button.

We understand that people do or don't shop at Amazon for many good reasons. If you already shop at Amazon, and would like to support us through Amazon Smile, thank you!

Ada Initiative keynotes at Code4lib

Code4LibWe're excited to announce that both Ada Initiative Executive Director Valerie Aurora and advisor Sumana Harihareswara will be giving keynote addresses at this year’s Code4Lib 9th Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 24-27, 2014. The Code4Lib community is "a volunteer-driven collective of hackers, designers, architects, curators, catalogers, artists and instigators from around the world, who largely work for and with libraries, archives and museums on technology 'stuff.'" Valerie and Sumana were honored to be elected keynote speakers by an open vote of the Code4Lib community.

Valerie’s keynote address will be in the form of an on-stage conversation with Roy Tennant. The discussion will be about improving diversity in the Code4lib community, and will include questions from the Code4lib community. Roy is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research and author of a monthly newsletter and numerous books about technology in libraries, as well as one of many people calling for improved gender diversity in the library technology community.

The Code4lib community was formed in 2003 to allow library, archive and museum developers and technologists from around the world to informally share their approaches, techniques and code. Registration is currently closed, but if you are interested you can register for the waitlist . The conference will also be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.

If you have a question for Valerie about diversity in the Code4Lib community or library tech in general, please email We look forward to working with and meeting more people in the libtech community!

Open source company Inktank sponsors Ada Initiative again in 2014

InktankWe're thrilled to announce that Inktank is sponsoring Ada Initiative again in 2014 at the Bronze level!

Inktank took a leading role in supporting women in open tech/culture when they became the Ada Initiative’s first-ever sponsor at the Bronze level in 2012. Inktank’s mission includes encouraging the equitable representation of women in open source projects like the one Inktank supports, the Ceph open source file system.

CephCeph is a massively scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Delivering object, block, and file system storage in one self-managing, self-healing platform with no single point of failure, Ceph ideally replaces legacy storage and provides a single solution for the cloud. Inktank’s mission is to ensure the enterprise-wide adoption of Ceph so that businesses can decrease their storage costs, increase their operational flexibility, and effectively manage their rapidly growing data.

"We're happy to again support the Ada Initiative’s mission to support women in open technology and culture," said Bryan Bogensberger, Inktank CEO. "Ada's objective—to make open source communities and companies more accessible to, and inclusive of, women—benefits all of us who are forging ahead based on an open source philosophy. We encourage women engineers, tech writers, QA specialists, and so on to contact Inktank or participate in the Ceph community to be part of an open source community that strives to be inclusive, caring, and respectful. This sponsorship is part of our work to improve gender diversity in Ceph and open source in general."

Seven women with arms on each others' shoulders

AdaCampers CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

Inktank is our first 2014 Bronze sponsor, joining our recent sponsors
HerokuRackspaceBloombergDreamwidthPalominoDB, GaloisLincoln Loop, and Oddbird. These companies generously sponsor all of Ada Initiative's work, including our work fighting harassment at conferences and online, running the AdaCamp conferences for women in open tech/culture, and teaching the Allies Workshop to people who want to support women in open tech/culture directly.

Inktank is hiring people to work on open source around the world—so please check them out! From wherever you live, you can help contribute to open source software and the open source community at large with Inktank job openings that currently include storage developercommunity manager, and storage consultants.

Progress for women in open tech/culture in 2013: End of year wrap-up

CC BY-SA Adam NovakOur 2013 wrap-up of progress for women in open tech/culture is a little earlier than usual since the Ada Initiative will be experiencing some "downtime" from December 11 through January 1. (Computer metaphors are super useful, especially just after a nation-wide news story about a certain important web site in the United States…)

Overall, 2013 was a year of continuing progress for women in open tech/culture. Three recent high-profile incidents show how far we've come as a community: the controversy over removing unnecessarily gendered language in the open source project libuv, the debate over Chelsea Manning's name and gender in her Wikipedia entry, and two sexist presentations at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

While these incidents highlighted sexism and transphobia in these communities, their resolutions were incredibly positive. The libuv project not only removed the gendered language, it also adopted a formal policy against exclusionary language. Chelsea Manning's Wikipedia entry was eventually correctly named in English as well as most other languages, and the editors who fought against the renaming were banned from editing pages related to trans issues. And TechCrunch not only repudiated the sexist presentations, it adopted an anti-harassment policy for all of its events. Still not impressed? Just read the timeline of sexist incidents in geek communities for 2010 and see how many incidents turned out this well back then!

CC BY-SA Adam Novak. Woman with pink hair speaking and gesturing

CC BY-SA Adam Novak.

Thanks to your support, the Ada Initiative is working hard to accelerate this change in direction. Since our last progress report in mid-2013, we have published more resources for conference organizers, organized conference scholarships for 21 women in open tech/culture, taught two more Allies Workshops, shared best practices for fighting harassment with the skeptic/atheist and science fiction & fantasy communities, spoken at women in open tech/culture conferences, and much more. The anti-harassment policy movement continues to grow beyond our wildest dreams: recent adopters include all TechCrunch conferences (an organization formerly notorious for sexism under previous leadership), the Entomology Association of America's conference (bugs!), and live action role playing (LARP) groups. And we did it all in between raising over $100,000 for women in open tech/culture, hiring a new Director of Operations, and filing our taxes (groan).

AdaCamp logoOur plans for 2014 include running several AdaCamps around the world, teaching dozens of Allies Workshops, more Wikipedia-related work, and online community codes of conduct. In early 2015, we hope to have our first AdaCon – a 400+ person conference for women in open tech/culture and the people who support them. If you'd like to sponsor AdaCamp/AdaCon or hold an Allies Workshop, please contact us at for more information.

The progress we've made together over the last three years has only been possible because of people like you – the donors and sponsors of the Ada Initiative. By making it possible for us to work on supporting women in open tech/culture full-time, you are making a difference!

Here's to the progress we made together in 2013, and to more in 2014!

Donate now

For those of you making end-of-year donations to charity, the Ada Initiative is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit. Your donation may be tax-deductible in the U.S. (consult your tax advisor, we are not tax advisors, yadda yadda required lawyerese). For more information, see our donation FAQ.

Heroku sponsors Ada Initiative

Heroku logoWe're thrilled to announce that Heroku is the newest Ada Initiative corporate sponsor! Contributing at the Bronze level, Heroku joins our other 2013 corporate sponsors: Heroku, Rackspace, Bloomberg, Dreamwidth, PalominoDB, Galois, and Lincoln Loop. These companies generously sponsor all of Ada Initiative's work, including our work fighting harassment at conferences and online, running the AdaCamp conferences for women in open tech/culture, and teaching the Allies Workshop to people who want to support women in open tech/culture directly.

Heroku provides a cloud application platform for applications written in a variety of languages, including Python, Ruby, Java, and many more. Heroku supports many popular open source software services and tools, and uses open source software extensively. Improving the health and diversity of the open source community is important to Heroku for both practical and ethical reasons. As a practical step in that direction, in addition to supporting our efforts, Heroku has committed to not funding conferences that don't have, and refuse to adopt, a code of conduct. Read more about Heroku's work in this direction on their own blog.

Photograph of Matt Zimmerman

Matt Zimmerman, VP Platform Engineering

Matt Zimmerman, Heroku VP Platform Engineering and former Ada Initiative board member, was part of the team working on the new community code of conduct, aimed at reducing hostile and unwelcoming behavior in the open source software community. "The Ada Initiative has made great progress in providing templates and guidance to help address this problem, and I'm proud that my colleagues at Heroku want to make a difference too."

Heroku is hiring for a variety of jobs, including working with open source software. Heroku and its parent company Salesforce is a Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Heroku is working hard to create a supportive and positive working environment for everyone.