Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome

This is only the second blog I’ve written for, the other being my personal blog.  I’m still getting the hang of it, and look forward to learning a great deal from the other contributors here.  I’m excited to see how quickly things are picking up, and grateful to Skud for inviting me here.

After quietly using free software for some years, I became personally involved with the free software community when I joined the Debian project in 1999.  Through my work in Debian, I met and collaborated with developers of many other free software projects, and became a founding member of the Ubuntu project in 2004.  I presently work for Canonical as Ubuntu CTO.

Earlier this year, I began writing about problems affecting women in the free software community, inspired in part by friends in the Debian Women and Ubuntu Women projects.  Along the way, I have found the geekfeminism wiki to be a valuable resource in exploring feminism, and have tried to help improve it with references and information from my own experiences.  I have never lived as a woman, and have only very basic knowledge of feminist history, theory and ideology, and so am conscious of being out of my depth at times here.

I hope that by being a part of this conversation, I can help to promote higher standards of behavior and dialog in geek communities, especially in free software, which is my passion.  I would like to see more men listening, questioning themselves and their peers, and recognizing the necessity of change.  Many discussions about women in geekdom seem to revolve around changing women to bring them into the community: inspiring them, instructing them, converting them.  Instead, I think we need to focus on changing our community, to make it a place where women are welcome, to stop excluding and driving away women who are already interested.  This begins with changing ourselves, and setting an example for others.