[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Women in Linux

Via Slashdot

The Fedora Project, the project behind the Fedora Core Linux distribution, has introduced Fedora Women, a program to reach out to women who are interested in using and contributing to Fedora Core.

The post also mentions a few other sites as well. Though as a Fedora user myself, I guess I have a little bias when I say "ladies, go get yourself some Linux goodness".

In all seriousness though, the Linux world is a testosterone-charged boy's playground. In fact, the technology world at large is a testosterone-charged boy's playground. We need more women-folk. I'm not saying this because I'm one of those sad geek-dudes who almost never sees a member of the opposite sex. Just the opposite, in fact. The ITSS branch of the department I work in has a surprisingly large number of women. They are smart, talented, funny, and wonderful people who add SO much to the workplace. You ladies
do have a place in the technology world, despite the stupid stereotypes. And hey, the more people that use Linux, the better. Nobody's stopping anybody from embracing the penguin of freedom.

So, to all of you wonderful chicas who read this blog: check out the sites mentioned here (if you aren't already a Linux user, and are interested in checking it out). Using Linux is definitely geeky, and you know what geekiness means on this site. If you are a Linux-Woman, give us a shout-out! The comment board is open.


Read the original Slashdot article.


  • At work, we use Suse, Mandrake, and White Box Linux as flavours of Linux to develop on.

    For those of you looking to mix Linux with Windows, I recommend using one Physical drive as an NTFS volume - and another as EXT2 volume (dual boot).... and using either SUSE or Mandrake as your linux flavour... these two offer mounting an NTFS partition right outta the box!! Not all linux builds do that...

    By Blogger AlRo, at 3:39 PM  

  • Fedora Core does a decent job mounting NTFS volumes (read-only) out of the box as well. I've played a bit with Suse (liked it) RedHat (was okay) as well. I've also heard some good things about Ubuntu for desktop use. At work, we predominantly use RedHat Enterprise and CentOS for our Linuxing.

    By Blogger theMatt, at 8:46 PM  

  • Actually I find acquainting oneself with Linux requiring a lot of attention to details, which a lot of women are supposed to excel at...

    But, Linux does seem like a "testosteron-charged boy's playground". Take my alma mater's LUG; five years ago, I was the only female around. I think there are more women using Linux than it seems, but most seem more comfortable interacting behind electronic identities than to turn up at all-guys Linux events. Quite a few women are also contributing to open-source projects (I contribute to a few developer mailing lists).

    More are always welcome...

    By Blogger Antonia, at 3:29 AM  

  • I disagree with Alro's suggestion of Mandriva. I've heard it's rather horrible at package-handling. Ubuntu, however, is very nice for beginners. It's totally free, and the cd is a Live CD, meaning you can boot right from it to test it out and make sure that all of your hardware is compatible. While you're playing around with it, you can install directly from it as well. It partitions easily, and almost everything works out-of-box, except for that which requires a license agreement (pure open source, eh?...just download the plugins for proprietary things like mp3 and accept the agreement yourself). It also handles installing/removing dependencies extremely easily.

    I just started using Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake a few weeks ago, and I love it. I will never go back to Windows.

    I agree about the lack of girls, though. I was the only girl in my programming classes in high school. It's not just Linux. I think throughout the computer world girls are sadly outnumbered. I have a friend who I first met online that double-checked that I was a girl when I asked him a coding question (he's a computer science major). It's really weird. The guys go "wait...a girl does this?" and the girls just wonder why there aren't more of us.

    I encouraged a friend to try Visual Basic in high school, but she couldn't do it. I've been told by friends who are programmers that you can't program if you can't think algorithmically and break things down into simple steps. Is it possible that males are trained to think differently than females? I'm not speaking of innate differences. In our society, boys are encouraged in math more than girls are (see: here). The lack of encouragement may cause girls to lose interest in math and therefore not exercise their ability to think algorithmically while boys are "kept on their toes" when it comes to thinking in small, logical steps.

    By Blogger Mackenzie, at 3:13 AM  

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