Today is the last official day of OPW, but certainly not my last day with OpenMRS. It’s been a whirlwind summer and I can’t believe it’s already over. School has started back up for me, so the past few weeks haven’t been as tangibly productive as I would have liked. I have had a lot of time for reflection on this amazing opportunity I’ve had to work in the F/LOSS community. Here are few parting thoughts for this blog:
- Gender: I have such respect for the work of OPW to make women, gender-queer, and non-male-identifying people feel welcome in the world of technology. It’s definitely been a challenge for me to recognize the ability in myself to break down gender norms in tech. I’ve often been afraid to assert myself, to apply for things, to recognize my own skills and abilities. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with my own internalized, subconscious ideas about myself and my gender. (Imposter syndrome anyone?). I cannot begin to explain how incredible it is to have an opportunity like OPW empower me to have the confidence to compete in a male-dominated field.
- Community: I’ve fallen in love with the community element of open source. From IRC to wikis, having a framework of people who all care about, develop and use the same product is amazing. I’ve never experienced software in such a personal way. I never know software could be personal. My relationship with the software I interact with has always been indifferent and clinical. Now, I don’t just see and interact with a piece of software, I see and interact with the community behind it.
- Future: I’m not ready to stop here. I want to spread the word about the power of F/LOSS, and the potential for everyone to be involved- regardless of gender. I’ll be sticking around OpenMRS to work on documentation, and I’m forwarding OPW information to every lady I know. I just got an OpenMRS sticker in the mail and it’s proudly on display on my laptop case. [I’m just sitting here waiting for someone to ask me about it.] It’s a testament to my incredible summer, and the incredible future ahead of me.
Thanks to everyone involved in OPW. You’ve positively impacted me in ways I cannot begin to describe. Keep up the amazing work.