Supporting 477 women in open source through GitHub and Ada Initiative partnership

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

Seven women with arms on each others' shouldersWhen the Ada Initiative partnered with GitHub to give away free private source code repositories to women learning open source software, we thought maybe a few dozen people would take us up on the offer. 6 weeks later, we’ve given away 477 free private repositories! (What’s a Github private source code repository? Read more about source control in general and GitHub in particular.)

The goal of this donation was to increase diversity in open source software by giving people from underrepresented groups a chance to practice and grow their programming skills in private before participating in the mainstream open source community, where women often face harassment both online and in person. Hundreds of women took GitHub and Ada Initiative up on the offer and have made hundreds of commits, showing that women in open source see the value of a chance to learn in a supportive private environment before joining the wider community.

GitHub OctocatWe’re thrilled to learn that this program has inspired other organizations to ask GitHub for free private repositories to give away to increase diversity in open source software. Since GitHub has limited hardware resources and we don’t want to hog all the free private repositories, we’ve agreed together to cap the number of repositories given away by the Ada Initiative to 600 total. That’s 123 still left for 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: We ended this offer after giving out about 580 free private repositories to women learning open source software development. Thank you GitHub!

The Ada Initiative and the 477 women who already received GitHub repositories thank GitHub for their commitment to increasing the participation of women in open source software. Companies like GitHub can make a huge difference working in partnership with those dedicated to increasing diversity in open source. Some examples of people and programs to work with are the Outreach Program for Women, which organizes open source internships for women, OpenHatch, which guides newcomers in open source software, and technology diversity consultant Ashe Dryden.

We’re so happy to be part of supporting 477 women in their quest to become open source developers. Thank you to GitHub, all the Ada Initiative donors and sponsors, and the Ada Initiative GitHub management team for making this program possible!

AdaCamp DC attendees (c) Adam NovakAdaCamp DC attendees (c) Adam Novak

Thank you!