Valerie Aurora was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Ada Initiative. Along with Mary Gardiner, she co-created and implemented projects like the Ada Initiative conference anti-harassment policy, now adopted by hundreds of open tech/culture events. Aurora co-created and taught the Ada Initiative Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches men simple ways to support women in open tech/culture. After leaving the Ada Initiative and founding Frame Shift Consulting, she expanded the Ally Skills Workshop to cover other systems of oppression.
Aurora, an experienced software engineer, was a leading file systems developer, researcher, and consultant for over a decade. She invented several new file systems concepts, including a widely used power-saving feature in file systems called relative atime, and co-founded the Linux Storage and Filesystems Summit. Her contributions to the field were recognized by invitations to speak at or serve on the program committees for many top file systems and open source conferences, including USENIX File Systems and Storage Technology, OSCON, and linux.conf.au. Her contributions to open source software were recognized with the O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2013.
Aurora holds a double B.S. in computer science and mathematics. She can be found on Twitter at @vaurorapub.
Mary Gardiner was the Deputy Executive Director and co-founder of the Ada Initiative. With co-founder Valerie Aurora, she created and implemented projects like the Ada Initiative conference anti-harassment policy, now adopted by hundreds of open tech/culture events. Gardiner created and organized the world’s first conference for women in open tech/culture, AdaCamp.
Gardiner is formerly a software developer and computational linguistics research student. Gardiner was the keynote speaker at Wikimania 2012, the world-wide conference for Wikipedia, the world’s 5th most popular web site. Her work has been discussed in Slate, the Huffington Post, and the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a major contributor to the influential Geek Feminism blog and wiki. After more than 10 years of service to the open source community in Australia and worldwide, Gardiner’s contributions were recognized with the prestigious Linux Australia Rusty Wrench award in 2012.
Gardiner holds a B.S. with honours in computer science and a major in mathematics; a B.A with majors in linguistics and philosophy; and a computer science PhD. She is based in Sydney, Australia and you can find her on Twitter at @me_gardiner.