2018 Women in Open Source Award

Honor. Celebrate. Inspire.

We believe open source is the future of technology. It's time to recognize the contributions women are making and inspire a new generation to join the open source movement.

Congratulations Dana Lewis and Zui Dighe!

Our judges narrowed down your nominations to 10 finalists and turned to you, the community, to choose the winners. Thanks to everyone who nominated women from your communities, helped spread the word, and voted to determine the winners. Read on to learn more about the award winners and finalists who are making a difference using open source.

Red Hat is proud to recognize the 2018 Women in Open Source Award winners

Dana Lewis, founder of the Open Artificial Pancreas System (OpenAPS) movement, and Zui Dighe, student at Duke University, are the winners of the 2018 Women in Open Source Award.

Dana Lewis

2018 Community Award winner

We went from ‘Should we do this?’ to ‘Could we do this?’ to ‘Done.’ in the course of about two weeks—way faster than anyone expected. And it’s really a testament of that #WeAreNotWaiting spirit and people being willing to help out.

Dana won this year’s Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to revolutionize care for people with Type 1 diabetes. Frustrated with the diabetes care industry’s failure to provide a device that worked for her, Dana created one of the first DIY artificial pancreas systems. Her efforts grew into the Open Artificial Pancreas System (OpenAPS) community, a free and open source software (FOSS) project that empowers people with diabetes to make a device that works for their needs. Dana played nearly every role possible in this community.

Aside from serving as community manager, she’s designed, coded, and tested features for the community’s algorithms. She’s also facilitated and contributed to the design, testing, and implementation of new hardware projects. And she’s made more than 800 commits and more than 15,000 lines of content additions to documentation. Now more than 600 people worldwide use various DIY systems based on her work. Through Nightscout Data Commons and OpenAPS Data Commons, she facilitates research projects and regularly presents the community’s efforts to doctors and researchers in hopes of spurring innovation along. Not content with advocating for the diabetes community alone, Dana is a passionate champion for using open source principles to transform healthcare for all.

Zui Dighe

2018 Academic Award winner

There’s so much untapped potential…that untapped potential is also new ideas and different points of view, and really incorporating that is the mindset of open source, and that’s the mindset of this award as well.

Zui won this year’s Women in Open Source Academic Award for her efforts to make data open and accessible to all, particularly with regards to healthcare. As a biomedical engineering major at Duke University, she got her start in open source using a mobile development kit for health applications called Sana. With Sana, Zui built an app to use with a low-cost colposcopy device for low-income communities. That work sparked a passion for using open source to serve communities in developing countries. Zui joined a team of students from Duke University and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to remodel a vaccine carrier, introducing innovations using the Arduino, Particle, and Adafruit open source libraries. She and a Duke classmate then expanded into the sustainable energy space. By applying this Arduino system to monitor environmental factors in remote areas to determine energy needs, they won third place in Schneider Electric’s 2018 Go Green in the City international competition. Zui’s work seeks to bridge the gap between innovation and need, while identifying endless possibilities along the way.

Finalists profiles

Community Award

  • Dana Lewis

    Dana Lewis
    Founder, OpenAPS and creator, DIY Artificial Pancreas System

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 4

    Projects or communities: OpenAPS, OpenAPS Data Commons, Nightscout Data Commons

    Summary of contributions:
    Dana Lewis is the founder of the OpenAPS community and a creator of the DIY Artificial Pancreas System. She started the project after becoming frustrated by her diabetes devices. She couldn’t access her own blood glucose data in real time, and the glucose monitor designed to alert her when her blood sugar dropped was not loud enough to wake her up at night—putting her life at risk. Her first exposure to open source was when she found someone on Twitter who had found a way to get data off a device she was using. From there, she was able to build a louder alarm, progressively building algorithms and features, and has since worked with others in the open source community to create an automated insulin delivery system, or Artificial Pancreas System (APS).

    In the past year, the OpenAPS community has grown to 500+ people using Dana’s original system designs worldwide. The community has amassed more than 3 million hours of real world experience with this technology. Dana has played nearly every role in the community, including designing, coding, and testing features for some of the algorithms. She has also facilitated and contributed to the design, testing, and implementation of 2 open source hardware projects in the past year alone. She has made 800+ commits and 15,000+ lines of content additions to the open source documentation, as well as serving as an informal community manager, encouraging and facilitating others to get involved in various ways, regardless of prior experience or skill sets. Additionally, she facilitates research projects through the Nightscout Data Commons and the OpenAPS Data Commons, and has also developed several open source tools to help encourage researchers from all backgrounds to engage with the data sets, expediting research efforts.

    Dana has presented her work worldwide to make doctors and researchers aware of the system so they can use it in their own work. She also shared her story via TEDx and other talks, to help the wider public understand how they can use open source tools to help others with health conditions who may benefit from the same patient-driven approach. Not content to stop with diabetes research, Dana is using the success of OpenAPS to advocate for using open source to help other healthcare patient communities.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Dana plans to continue iterating on open source software and hardware for the diabetes community, with the goal of making it more accessible to people worldwide. She’s also working to encourage traditional diabetes device manufacturers to evaluate and use open source code to improve commercially available products that will eventually go to market.

    Dana hopes to use open source principles to continue changing the way healthcare is done. Some of her goals include: Speeding up iterations of research, design, and innovation; applying more transparency to these efforts; and increasing collaboration between patients and outside experts. She is actively working toward helping others use open source to improve both quality of life and health outcomes for all kinds of patients.

  • Rupa Dachere

    Rupa Dachere
    Founder, executive director, president, and chairperson of the board at CodeChix

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 20+

    Projects or communities:
    CodeChix, DevPulseCon

    Summary of contributions:
    Rupa is the founder and president of CodeChix, a grassroots nonprofit focused on retaining women engineers in the industry through open source technical and cultural advocacy programs. She built CodeChix into an active community of 400+ women engineers in the Bay Area over the last 8 years.

    In addition to founding the organization, Rupa created the CodeChix Technical Curriculums, which are a unique CodeChix program that provides open source technical tutorials for anyone to use, learn, or teach technical topics. Some of these topics include: Android development, natural-language processing, security, big data, and open hardware. She brings together masters and doctoral students from top universities with industry professionals to build these open source curriculums hosted on the CodeChix-OpenSource GitHub repository. Rupa piloted this program for VMware in 2016, resulting in a 30% increase in recruitment of graduating women engineers.

    Rupa also founded and runs DevPulseCon, a unique, hyper-technical microconference for women engineers in industry and academia. She grew the conference from 80 women engineers in 2015 to 300 attendees in three years with an international representation.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Rupa is focused on growing CodeChix worldwide by establishing the first DevPulseCon in India and including open source culture advocacy as a mainstream program along with technical tracks and safe space panels. She is committed to continuing to be a catalyst for onboarding women engineers from the proprietary source mindset into the open source mindset through her programs and stewardship at CodeChix.

    Over the next 3-5 years, Rupa expects to grow DevPulseCon into a larger conference in the U.S. and expand it to Europe and Asia. This growth will feature additional tracks dedicated to onboarding women engineers in open source communities and helping women contribute to open source projects.

  • Beth “pidge” Flanagan

    Beth “pidge” Flanagan
    OpenEmbedded/Yocto project contributor and CTO of Togán Labs

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 20+

    Projects or communities:
    Yocto Project, Oryx Linux, OpenChain, Open Source Applications Vol II, OpenEmbedded, Open Source Entrepreneur Network

    Summary of contributions:
    Beth “pidge” Flanagan is the co-founder and CTO of Togán Labs, a women-led open source tech startup in Ireland, and 1 of the first 5 OpenChain partners. Togán Labs has a mission to build a robust Linux platform for IoT applications, and to do so while creating and maintaining a diverse workforce.

    The company board of directors is gender balanced, with the company workforce composed of over 50% women. Beth performs outreach to her local community, training promising software developers who enter the field through non-traditional means.

    This has cemented her reputation as a community advocate for guiding, developing, and helping other women in tech. Togán Labs has also joined the Linux Foundation's OpenChain project, where Beth and her company work to help companies build GPL compliance into their software development processes from day 1.

    As an open source contributor for over 20 years, Beth has worked as the build and release engineer of the Yocto Project for several years. She also contributed a chapter for the Architecture of Open Source Applications Vol II, and is an OpenEmbedded core contributor.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Beth will continue to grow and expand Togán Labs’ technical portfolio to include key portions of the embedded Linux ecosystem. She is also working to maintain Togán Lab’s existing gender-balanced workforce, as well as promoting workplace use of the Irish language with a goal of over 50% internal communications in Irish by 2021.

    She is currently working on making open source license conformity and clearing easier for those using OpenEmbedded, the Yocto Project, and Oryx Linux. Her future plans include incorporating OpenChain processes into these projects to help end users improve their ability to comply with their legal obligations.

  • Karen Sandler

    Karen Sandler
    Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy/cyborg lawyer

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 12

    Projects or communities:
    Software Freedom Conservancy, GNOME Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center, Outreachy, Free Software Foundation, Free as in Freedom, Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS)

    Summary of contributions:
    Karen Sandler is an attorney and executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Inspired by her personal experience with proprietary software on her implanted defibrillator, she now works toward creating a world that respects user freedom. Through the Software Freedom Conservancy, Karen leads a team that provides all kinds of support for growing free software projects.

    The Conservancy also carries out outreach, copyleft enforcement, and new initiatives to strengthen the global free software movement. She has donated her expertise free of charge to multiple open source software organizations, and has appeared as a speaker at many conferences, including OSCON, SCALE, and LinuxCon.

    While at the GNOME Foundation, she helped reboot and expand a successful diversity initiative, called Outreachy, that has turned hundreds of diverse individuals into ongoing, dedicated contributors to free software projects. She also leads an initiative advocating for the use of open source software for medical implant devices.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Karen plans to keep fighting the good fight by supporting free software projects and copyleft compliance, and building a diverse, successful community.

  • Katie McLaughlin

    Katie McLaughlin
    Site reliability engineer, Divio

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 5

    Projects or communities:
    BeeWare, Django Software Foundation, Open Source Initiative, PyLadies

    Summary of contributions:
    Katie has been an incredibly active participant in many open source communities throughout the last 5 years. She currently works as a senior apiarist with the BeeWare project, contributing her system administration and infrastructure knowledge as a core developer, as well as reviewing and triaging contributions and making significant improvements to documentation.

    She has a considerable history as a volunteer, acting as community liaison, coordinator, committee member, and host for numerous events, including PyCon US, DjangoCon US, and OSCON. She has served on the Linux Australia council, the Open Source Developer’s Club, and is currently a Director of the Django Software Foundation. Katie is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world, including a keynote at 2017 PyCon AU. She is also an advocate for the recognition of non-code contributions in the open source projects, such as documentation, bug reporting, triage, and community organization—drawing particular attention to GitHub's practices that emphasize public code contributions. Her octohatrack project provides an extended list of all the contributors to a GitHub repository.

    In 2016, she organized a "fake" conference called KatieConf to highlight the frequency of tech conferences with few or no female speakers. KatieConf was a two-track virtual tech conference consisting entirely of women whose name is Katie, or a derivative. This evolved into a real mini-conference called Women Of Open Technology (WOOTConf), held as part of Linux.conf.au. In 2017, Katie received an O’Reilly Open Source Award, which honors “exceptional contributions to open source software.”

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Katie plans to continue speaking on topics of technical and social importance, while sustaining contributions to the BeeWare project as an organizer and maintainer. She wants to carry the mantle of PyCon AU as the site chair for the conference in 2018 and 2019, with the goal of maintaining and expanding the platform for Python developers in Australia.

Academic Award

  • ​Ann Barcomb

    ​Ann Barcomb
    Ph.D. candidate, free and open source software communities, University of Limerick

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 24

    Projects or communities:
    Perl

    Summary of contributions:
    Ann Barcomb is a Ph.D. candidate with a research focus on free and open source software communities. She has published many research papers and articles on the topic of open source community management, including a recent Opensource.com article about effective, research-backed approaches to managing casual contributors.

    Ann started programming when she was 10 years old in BASIC. When she got to university, she picked up UNIX and utilities like vi and LaTeX, which led to installing Linux on her home system. Ann has been an active open source contributor throughout her career. She started working as a programmer after graduation, and was inspired to get involved with open source when a new job required her to learn a new language she had not used before—Perl. The welcoming she received within the community led her to participate actively. Because she was programming 8 hours a day in her job, she decided to contribute through community-focused work, like organizing conferences, speaking, and summarizing mailing lists. This experience has driven her research interests as she pursued a master’s degree, and now a Ph.D.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    In the next year, Ann hopes to publish 2 academic articles and submit another on the topic of managing episodic volunteers in open source communities. She also plans to submit her dissertation. Ann continues to speak at conferences, most recently at Open Source Summit Europe and the London Perl Workshop. She also hopes to write another Opensource.com article. Following the completion of her degree, she will continue to study problems that are relevant to open source communities, either in a post-doc position or while working for a non-academic organization.

  • Emily Shannon

    Emily Shannon
    Duke University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 2

    Projects or communities:
    Duke eNable, Given Limb Foundation

    Summary of contributions:
    Emily Shannon serves as president of Duke eNable, a group that uses open source designs and 3D printing to create recreational prosthetics for amputees, free of cost. She initially learned about the power of open source when she began working with Duke eNable, an offshoot of the global volunteer network with the same name. The student group uses open source designs as starting points for their devices, and shares the design file for the final products on their website. Through this work, Emily realized how critical collaboration is to achieve success in any field, especially since the pace of technology mandates open innovation practices.

    Under Emily’s leadership, Duke eNable has grown from a small team of 6 to 30+ members, and has successfully produced devices for multiple clients. Emily was also the catalyst for the team’s first international project: She applied for and was awarded a grant from the Given Limb Foundation to travel to Haiti twice in 2017 to construct and deliver a printed arm for a child using open source files.

    Emily has shared her experiences working in open source on the Duke eNable blog (dukeenable.wordpress.com) and Opensource.com.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Emily plans to attend graduate school to earn a master’s of science in prosthetics and orthotics, with the goal of becoming a certified prosthetist/orthotist. She is eager to use her experiences with eNable and the open source community to contribute to this field. Once she becomes a licensed practitioner, she aspires to spend half of her time in Haiti continuing the open source work she began with Duke eNable.

  • Jona Azizaj

    Jona Azizaj
    Bachelor’s degree in business informatics, University of Tirana

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 3+

    Projects or communities:
    Fedora, LibreOffice, Nextcloud, Open Source Diversity

    Summary of contributions:
    Jona Azizaj is a contributor to Fedora, LibreOffice, and Nextcloud, and a member of Open Labs Hackerspace in Tirana, Albania. Open Labs Hackerspace is a local community in Tirana that promotes open source software and organizes events in the city. Thanks to the community and in part to Jona’s welcoming leadership, most members of Open Labs Hackerspace are women. For many women in Tirana, open source is a way to change their lives by learning computer science skills, and Open Labs Hackerspace is a place for them to overcome negative stereotypes and discouragement through a network of support and mentoring. Jona is also 1 of the founding members of Open Source Diversity. She is a core member of the Fedora Diversity team and co-founder of LibreLadies.

    Jona was first inspired to participate in open source by the supportive, empowering community she found at at the Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL), a group for which she is now a lead organizer. This past year, the conference of 300 people had 57% female organizers, a 92% female volunteer team, and 64% female attendees. In addition to organizing OSCAL, she has spoken at many open source conferences across Europe, including OpenFest Bulgaria and EuroPython, about diversity and inclusion, and how to involve more women in open source projects.

    Jona and the Open Labs Hackerspace community are working with the local municipal government in Tirana to help them adopt open source in the public sector. They have partnered with the city to release geospatial data into OpenStreetMap, create an open data portal with city metrics and urban data, and help support a migration to the Nextcloud open source cloud storage software. In the last 6 months of 2017, Jona focused on helping the municipality transition to LibreOffice instead of using proprietary software. She is playing an instrumental role in the activism and engagement of officials in the public sector to support these changes, and along with the Open Labs Hackerspace team, has invited municipal employees to participate in OSCAL.

    During the summer of 2017, she was part of Rails Girls Summer of Code, working on Nextcloud. Later in 2017, she was named a Linux Foundation Training Scholarship winner, and her course of choice was Linux System Administration people.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Jona’s goals for the next year focus on getting more women involved in open source, deepening partnerships with the local community, and sharing the power of open source abroad. She plans to organize more local workshops to teach women basic programming languages like Python, Django, and Ruby on Rails. She also wants to share her experiences at events like Rails Girls Summer of Code to motivate others to get involved.

  • Nikki Stevens

    Nikki Stevens
    Arizona State University, pursuing a doctorate degree in human and social dimensions of science and technology in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 18

    Project or communities:
    Drupal, Open Demographics Initiative, iMentor, Mozilla

    Summary of contributions:
    Nikki has been a contributor to Drupal for the last 10 years. She has given numerous talks at local Drupal meetups, mentored junior contributors, contributed documentation, lead sprints, and volunteered as a trainer. After realizing the common thread between these contributions is helping people get involved and feel safe in the community, she focused her efforts and founded the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion (DD&I) Initiative in 2016. In the last 2 years, the DD&I team has grown the community from 5 to 500 members, organized a booth at DrupalCon Baltimore, and mentored new speakers and contributors. In 2017, Nikki was awarded the Aaron Winborn Award, the Drupal community's highest award for community service.

    At Arizona State University, Nikki is studying ways to make open source communities healthier and make their data more inclusive. As part of this work, she founded Open Demographics to help community leaders ask about the demographics of their contributors in an inclusive way. She's recently consulted with Mozilla to improve the project and launch Mozilla’s open source survey. Nikki also spent 2 years as an iMentor mentor, working with high school girls at a STEM magnet school in New York City.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Nikki hopes to complete a first release of the Open Demographics project and partner with the Linux Foundation or OpenStack to test it with their users. Academically, Nikki will be focused on 3 related areas: 1) a politics of demographic data collection in open source communities, 2) an exploration of the relationship between access to ethical engineering options and social and cultural capital, and 3) the epistemological parallels between data structures and human networks.

  • Zui Dighe

    Zui Dighe
    Duke University
    Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and computer science

    Number of years as an open source contributor: 3

    Projects or communities:
    SANA, Particle, Arduino, OPeN

    Summary of contributions:
    Two and a half years into her studies at Duke University, Zui Dighe has used the power of open source to make an impact on her campus and abroad. Zui is a primary collaborator on an open source, low-cost system that tracks vaccine temperatures and GPS locations as they enter developing nations using an Arduino-based device. Zui is the technology lead on a transcontinental team of Duke and Makerere University engineering students that branched off of an engineering course taken through both universities in 2016. Zui was named a Katsouleas NAE Grand Challenge Scholar for her work on vaccine carriers and is passionate about bridging the gap between medical innovation and need. Zui also recently placed third in Schneider Electric’s International Go Green in the City competition with her IoT solution for energy access development. The technology, named Illuminate, can survey environments to provide important data and analysis to determine rural communities energy needs.

    In industry, she has collaborated with medical device platform Via Global Health to create an end-user review system that encourages feedback on medical device products, which drives user dictated change in medical innovation. As an intern for Syapse, a precision medical software company allowing for data democratization across hospitals, she created algorithms to translate complex molecular lab data into an integrated system for easy hospital use. On campus, Zui was the chief technology officer of Campus Enterprises, where she restructured the backend and tech stack for a product with 6,000+ users. She also co-founded and continues to contribute to startup Campus Wallet, a mobile application which makes loyalty cards and rewards so students can purchase food and drink on campus. This allows for students to maximize rewards and for businesses to garner important information on their clients.

    What she hopes to accomplish in the next year and beyond:
    Zui will continue working to make data open and accessible in the health space and beyond. She plans to use her Grand Challenge Scholar Fellowship to implement the vaccine carrier device, and she will open source the data to encourage collaboration with her peers. She also plans on patenting Illuminate as a product and maintaining the code as open sourced.

Award process

Recognizing women's contributions to open source

We’re looking for women who make important contributions to an open source project or the open source community, including:

  • Code and programming.
  • Quality assurance and bug triage.
  • Involvement in open hardware.
  • System administration and infrastructure.
  • Design, artwork, user experience, and marketing.
  • Documentation, tutorials, and other communications.
  • Translation and internationalization.
  • Open content.
  • Community advocacy and community management.
  • Intellectual property advocacy and legal reform.
  • Open source methodology.

Nominees qualify for 2 distinct awards

  • Women in Open Source Academic Award: Women who are enrolled full-time, earning 12 or more credit hours, in college or university, for any degree level
  • Women in Open Source Community Award: All other women

We encourage you to work with the nominee to complete the nomination form. This ensures that we get the full picture and accurate details about her contributions. If you find that your nominee is reluctant or unable to recognize her competence, here are some ways you can help her see the value in her accomplishments that are so clear to others.

2017 Award Winners

Congratulations Avni Khatri and Jigyasa Grover, our 2017 Women in Open Source Award winners!

Our judges narrowed down your nominations to 10 finalists and turned to you, the community, to choose the winners. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word, nominated women from your communities, and voted to determine the winners. Read on to learn more about the award winners and finalists who are making a difference using open source.

Past winners

Learn more about the women who have achieved this notable award for open source contribution.

Our 2017 winners

Our 2017 winners and finalists are organizers, mentors, program managers, engineers, presidents and vice presidents, and executive directors. Their work impacts areas ranging from open source education to web literacy and learning technologies. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

Avni Khatri

2017 Community Award winner

I've helped set up these labs with the hopes that kids will be able to utilize the technology and get access to educational content that they don’t otherwise have. We’re hoping the kids will see what’s possible, and then come back and help improve their own lives, their families’ lives, and their communities’ lives.

Avni won this year’s Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to empower kids to change their lives through technology. Avni’s dream is for everyone—especially kids—to have unlimited access to education so that they have more autonomy over their lives and the ability to improve their communities. She sees free and open source software (FOSS) as instrumental to realizing this vision, and has worked to bring technology to underserved communities around the world with the nonprofit Kids on Computers. As a volunteer since 2010 and the organization’s president since 2012, Avni has traveled to remote communities in Mexico, India, and Morocco to install school labs with Linux computers, FOSS applications, and open content such as offline Wikipedia and Khan Academy, and to enable local volunteers to support the labs. She recently co-founded For a Living, a new open source platform that will allow students to learn about different careers by interviewing professionals based on jobs, interests, and skill sets.

Jigyasa Grover

2017 Academic Award winner

I believe that we rise by lifting others, and helping others step into this alluring world of open source has not only impacted them, but it also has created a ripple effect.

Jigyasa won this year’s Women in Open Source Academic Award for her contributions to the open source community. Early in her university days, Jigyasa began working in competitive algorithmic C/C++ programming, Java, Python, and more, which led her to explore open source. She began working on Pharo, an open source Smalltalk IDE, and eventually became one of the top contributors to Pharo 4.0 released in 2015. Since then, she has participated in Google Summer of Code in 2015 and 2016, and was awarded research opportunities by the National Research Council of Canada and the ESUG at Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France. She is working to inspire others by sharing her work and experiences through blogs, code sharing on GitHub, organizing code labs and tech talks, leading teams of women in major hackathons, speaking at conferences, and participating in mentorship programs. She is the director of Women Who Code Delhi, and she participates in GDG, Google WTM, WiSE, and Systers IWiC.

Meet our 2017 finalists

Community Award

Amira Dhalla
Lead, Women and Web Literacy, Mozilla Foundation
Avni Khatri
Program manager, Knowledge and Learning Technologies group, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital
Heather Kirksey
Vice president of NFV, Linux Foundation
Jessie Frazelle
Software engineer, Google
Karen Sandler
Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy

Academic Award

Aastha Vijay
Student at Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Dawn Foster
Ph.D. candidate at University of Greenwich
Jigyasa Grover
Student at Delhi Technological University (formerly known as Delhi College of Engineering)
Nabanita De
Student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Safia Abdalla
Student at Northwestern University

Our 2016 winners

The 2016 Women in Open Source Award winners and finalists are engineers, developers, community managers, mentors, entrepreneurs, educators, and pioneers. They're making an impact in areas ranging from CPU power management to diversity outreach in communities and open source education. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

2016 Community Award winner

Jessica McKellar

Jessica won the Women in Open Source Community Award for her efforts to create more inclusive environments in open source communities and the technology industry. Jessica’s introduction to open source in 2006 was a positive experience and she aspires to make open source communities more welcoming to new contributors, so that their first experiences are as good as hers.

As the diversity outreach chair for PyCon, the annual Python community event, Jessica reached out to her network of women in technology to increase the number of women speakers at PyCon from 1% in 2011 to 40% in 2016. Jessica won an O'Reilly Open Source Award for her diversity outreach work in the Python community in 2013. She also coordinated the participation of Twisted and Python in Outreachy, a program that helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source. Under her leadership, Dropbox increased representation of women in engineering. She is also a senior technical advisor for the HBO show Silicon Valley.

2016 Academic Award winner

Preeti Murthy

Preeti won the 2016 Women in Open Source Academic Award for her contributions to open source. As an undergraduate, Preeti was part of a team that introduced students to open source. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she worked for three years as a Linux kernel developer, where she contributed code, documentation, tutorials, open content, and other communications. Preeti has nearly 60 commits and reviews in the area of CPU power management. She also volunteered as a co-mentor for the Outreachy internship program. Preeti is pursuing a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon, where she and her team are working on a programming toolchain for energy-harvesting systems that they hope to open source soon.

Meet our 2016 finalists

Community Award

Heidi Ellis
Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at Western New England University
Valerie Aurora
Co-founder of the Ada Initiative and Linux kernel developer
Carrie Anne Philbin
Education pioneer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation
Julia Lawall
Senior research scientist at Inria

Academic Award

Ankita Shukla
Student at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Divya Upadhyay
Student at National Institute of Technology, Patna, India
Lynnette Ng
Student at National University of Singapore
Dawn Foster
Ph.D. candidate at the University of Greenwich

Meet our 2015 winners

The first class of Women in Open Source Award winners and finalists have contributed to projects ranging from open medical content and legal reform to code for many open source projects. Read on to learn how these inspiring women are changing the world.

2015 Community Award winner

Sarah Sharp

Sarah won the Community Award for her efforts in improving communications and inviting women into open source communities. Sarah coordinates Linux® kernel mentors for Outreachy (formerly the Outreach Program for Women), which helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source software projects. An outspoken proponent of improving communications among kernel developers, Sarah helps make open source communities more civil, collaborative, and welcoming. Sarah was the author and former maintainer of the Linux USB 3.0 host controller driver. She has also developed open source amateur rocket software and hardware—built by the Portland State Aerospace Society—and open source software to power her garden's automated water systems.

2015 Academic Award winner

Kesha Shah

Kesha, a full-time student, won in the Academic category for her outstanding coding and mentoring work while studying information and communication technology. Being part of Google Summer of Code program multiple times, Shah contributed to three open source organizations, Systers- an Anita Borg Institute, BRL-CAD and STEPcode. She also mentored at Season Of KDE, Learn IT Girls! and Google Code-In, helping pre-university students from across the globe develop their first open source contributions, and is currently director for Women Who Code in Gujarat. Shah was a recipient of prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial Asia-Pacific Scholarship and Anita Borg Pass It On winner for teaching basic computer and smartphone technologies to middle-aged women, especially mothers in her province. Shah has mentored many students' initial open source development contributions and guided many of them toward becoming regular contributors.

Meet our 2015 finalists

Community Award

Shauna Gordon-McKeon
Program director at OpenHatch
Elizabeth K. Joseph
Systems engineer at HP
Deb Nicholson
Community outreach director at MediaGoblin
Karen Sandler
Executive director, Software Freedom Conservancy

Academic Award

Charul
Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
Sophia D’Antoine
Student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Studying Computer Science and Computer System’s Engineering, bachelor’s and master’s degree
Emily Dunham
Oregon State University
Studying computer science
Netha Hussain
Government Medical College, Kozhikode, University of Calicut
Earning a bachelor of medicine and surgery

Winners will be announced at Red Hat Summit in May

Download the complete 2018 rules [PDF] for the Women in Open Source Award.