GitHub donates private repositories to women learning open source software

Updated to add: As of April 24, 2014, Ada Initiative no longer partners with GitHub.

GitHub logoWe’re excited to announce that long-time Ada Initiative sponsor GitHub has donated unlimited free private source code repositories to the Ada Initiative, to be used by women learning to write open source software. To get a free private repository on GitHub, just email the managers of the Ada Initiative GitHub account with your GitHub account name and ask for one! Updated to add: This offer is far more popular than we expected! Please be patient while we fulfill your requests. Updated to add: Due to unexpected demand, we’ve limited the number of repositories to 600 total. Updated to add: We ended this offer after giving out about 580 free private repositories to women learning open source software development. Thank you GitHub! AdaCamp San Francisco attendees are also encouraged to use GitHub for collaborating during the conference, whether for writing code or words.

GitHub changed how open source software is developed, making it easier than ever before for people to post their code, send changes to other people’s code, and get their code reviewed. GitHub gives anyone unlimited free public code repositories, but charges for private repositories, which only selected people can see. This encourages GitHub users to use open source software licenses and share their code with other people.

GitHub OctocatIn working with women in open source, the Ada Initiative found that many women are reluctant to post their code publicly when they are first getting started in open source software. This reluctance has good reasons behind it: fear of being told they are bad programmers, fear of being publicly mocked or harassed, and even fear of losing job opportunities. All of these are greater risks for women on average than men. But the best way to get better at programming is to collaborate with and get review from other programmers, which is far easier to do with a shared repository like those provided by GitHub. Unfortunately, private repositories are too expensive for most women just getting started in open source software.

AdaCamp logoWe went to GitHub with our dilemma, and they immediately offered us unlimited free repositories on the Ada Initiative GitHub account. GitHub is a long-time supporter of women in open source, and sponsored both AdaCamp DC and AdaCamp San Francisco. We’re thrilled to offer women in open source private repositories for the purpose of learning open source software development. To get a private repository, email the Ada Initiative GitHub team members with your GitHub account name and ask. If you run a women’s open source programming group or event, such as PyLadies or Women Who Code, and could use some private repositories, please ask to become a team member for the Ada Initiative repository so you can create private repositories for your event.

Thanks again to GitHub for their generous donation and support of women in open technology and culture!