GNOME Women: work on Pitivi!2 min read

Do you love Python (or C)? Interested in video editing? Then you should definitely consider working on PiTiVi as part of the GNOME Outreach Programme for Women! Feel free to email me or Thibault about it, or catch us on IRC (some details about the program and how to get in touch with us are on this page)
Wait, let me give you an even better incentive. If you feel like email or IRC is too dry to carry complex discussions/questions, and would like a more personalized approach, I (and/or Thibault) will be glad to make an appointment with you for a live audio/video call over Empathy (through Jabber/XMPP/GTalk), Google Plus or even Skype. Just ask and we’ll make sure to be available to discuss every concern you may have.
PiTiVi is currently in a heavy state of flux and it is a bit tricky to list out the exact features that you could work on for the time being. This is one of the reasons why I’m offering an audio call. In the meantime you could take a quick look at the roadmap, pitivi love, but keep in mind that some of these items may be outdated or blocked by the transition to GES. The feature that we probably need the most right now is completing the implementation of the user interface for editing text/titles in PiTiVi: the work is partly done, your mission (if you accept it) would be to finish the UI and integrate it with our new GES backend.
Get in touch with us ASAP, there’s loads of stuff to be done and you only have until Halloween to apply for the GNOME Outreach Programme for Women!
Note that you will have to make a small patch/fix as part of your application, but we’ll gladly help you with it.



18 responses to “GNOME Women: work on Pitivi!”

  1. Steve Patricks Avatar
    Steve Patricks

    Why does this blog posting specifically mention women? What does the type of sex organs that somebody has have to do with software engineering? Why even take someone’s gender into account at all? Why do you need to know someone’s gender to collaborate with them on Gnome? If you don’t, then why do you need to know that there are an even number of males and females? If gender doesn’t matter for software engineering, why is anyone looking at this ratio?

  2. Hello Steve,
    I understand that you feel like this particular programme is gender descrimination towards men, but note that the pitivi project never discriminates against anyone concerning contributions/patches. This particular programme here is an *outreach* program by GNOME to try to encourage women to get involved in greater numbers in open source.
    I shall not be discussing the matter further here, as this is an issue that you should instead raise directly with the people running this programme, not individual projects (like pitivi) that wish to participate in it.

  3. Danielle Avatar

    @Steve: You’re right, that *gender* doesn’t dictate your skill as a software engineer, and yet, we observe consistent under representation of women in free software, typically between 2-5% of contributors (compare this with approximately 30% in the corporate world). The reasons for this are manyfold, but it’s something we in GNOME would like to address.
    This goal does not only serve women, it also serves GNOME. Or to put it another way. If the number of men involved in GNOME remains the same; and by addressing the issues which discourage women from contributing the number of women moves from 5% to 30% or 50%; it means many, many more contributors to the project.
    The specific idea of the Outreach Programme is about capacity building. We hope to attract talented women developers to get involved for the summer in mentored positions. These women will then encourage, help and mentor their friends.

  4. Steve Patricks Avatar
    Steve Patricks

    I don’t think it’s discriminatory, or really a problem, I just think it’s bizarre. “We need more people! Lets try to recruit those with this particular type of sex organs!” How is that a valid criteria to target people for participation in a software project? Why do you need to know or care which type of sex organs someone has to get them involved in your project?

  5. Steve Patricks Avatar
    Steve Patricks

    …should have added. What I really don’t understand is why you’re walking about making a mental note of what sex everyone is, so that you know what women are underrepresented. I don’t get why you’re doing that in the first place. If we don’t care about gender, and we rightly don’t, why are you thinking to yourself “what sex is this person?”.

  6. Steve, we welcome contributions from participants of any gender or background, but it turns out that with women we need to also provide an extra encouragement for them to start contributing. There are many qualified women out there who are enthusiastic about free software, but they are culturally not encouraged to explore this type of hobby or career path or might just find it too intimidating without knowing someone who would help them get started or don’t know where to start. It so happens that this outreach initiative is focused on women, but we are also trying to do more outreach in GNOME and free software in general to make sure it is approachable to more people.
    The motivation to analyze the gender makeup of a community and act to make it more balanced is cultural and historical reasons for which women might be staying out and the desire to make the community bigger and more inclusive.

  7. Francesco Avatar

    Sorry guys, but I do agree with Steve..
    if there is a disparity between the two sex I think it would be more interesting analyze the reason we have less female attracted by programming than asking for selective contribution..
    said that, I think in general a company open or not shouldn’t really care about the ratio between the two sex..the importance is what people do not the their genre..
    this is the real sexual parity 😉

  8. Steve Patricks Avatar
    Steve Patricks

    We should ignore gender. It doesn’t make any difference except for medical examination or extremely physical activity such as military.
    If you are doing anything except ignoring gender, you’re part of the problem. This Gnome outreach program enforces the idea that women are inherently different and that in order to make a contribution they need to be treated differently.

  9. Let me reiterate that I understand both sides of the argument, but this particular debate should happen in a different place (mailing list or a dedicated blog post).
    We know some (many) of the causes for this disparity in computer science, and the gnome outreach programme is an attempt at addressing/mitigating one of those problems. You may agree or disagree with the idea/theory behind this particular attempt at solving the problem, but saying it *here* is counterproductive.
    This blog post is simply about Pitivi be willing to participate in an existing outreach programme.

  10. Steve Patricks Avatar
    Steve Patricks

    You are treating people as different because of their gender, in a situation where gender is irrelevant. I’m calling you out on it at the point where you’re doing it, which I think it always the best place to tackle damaging behaviour.

  11. Conrad Avatar

    @steve there is no such thing as discriminating against men. Discrimination is a one-way road. It is by definition an act perpetrated by the more powerful against the less powerful. In the case of Western societies men are more powerful then women. Meaning it is possible to discriminate against women, but not against men.
    And in your particular case I am sure the people of pitivi would be willing to do a video call with you as well. You might not get the skype option, but other then that…

  12. Okay, let’s put it slightly differently: Pitivi is participating in a programme to *encourage* someone who is *statistically* less likely to contribute to Pitivi. I understand the point you are trying to make, but please stay on topic.
    And yes, I would be willing to mentor through VoIP anyone who is *seriously* interested in contributing.

  13. Francesco Avatar

    @ nekohayo:
    maybe you’re not getting my point:
    “We know some (many) of the causes for this disparity in computer science, and the gnome outreach programme is an attempt at addressing/mitigating one of those problems”
    Look I don’t see what “problems” means..I mean are these “problems”? what are you trying to “address/mitigate” (lol this is ridiculous)
    I don’t want to look polemic but computer sciences are so pure, so scientific they don’t deserve this politically-correct-s**t..really

  14. Conrad Avatar

    @Francesco You are joking, right? What is pure about computer sciences? And why should it be pure?
    You don’t think that less then 5% contributions from women is a problem? The source is kept open so that everybody can contribute. But just because everybody technically can, does not mean everybody is able to do so.
    Just like a law that prohibits sleeping under bridges will technically apply to both the rich and the poor, it is a law aimed at the poor. And open source communities are a bit like that: Technically open to everyone, but far from welcoming for everyone.

  15. pratibha Avatar

    hello sir,
    i would like to contribute on this project. actually like to suggest some changes in timeline. i m working on pitivi from last few months.
    i mailed u about some of my ideas . but i m not so sure about ur mail address.
    i really appreciate if u give me chance to work on pitivi through gnome internship.
    thnk u.

  16. Hello Pratibha, it’s great to hear you’d be interested! I see you sent me an email this morning, I will reply to it with some more details and questions.

  17. Francesco Avatar

    @ Conrad:
    “But just because everybody technically can, does not mean everybody is able to do so.”
    ??.. :S never talked about that..I completely agree with that but..was not the point..
    With “pure” I mean computer sciences are something asexual, scientific..
    If you start checking the sex than you could start check the race of your contributors..because following this post logic you should..but for me this is called “racism”..because I don’t/can’t consider sex or race something related to the success of my software: 100% women, 100% male, 10%male/90% woman, 25%white/25%black/50%green-alien.. ..who cares?
    anyway if you want I can tell you the cause of this statistic (not disparity)..I suggest you to travel to some university all over the world and look the percentage of male & female that choose computer’ll collect enlightening data 😉
    I hope you get my point..

  18. Francesco and others: I temporarily hid further posts arguing back and forth because, as I said, it is not the point of this blog post.
    I really really really HATE having to do this. It is my last resort. But I asked you three times already and you guys won’t stop. I consider that I’ve given a fair amount of warning.
    Please do not see this as typical behavior from me as I strive to never hide comments even if they would be personal attacks on me. This is a special case because I want to keep the comment thread for potential candidates like Pratibha and others, and frankly if I was put in a candidate’s shoes, looking at this discussion I would not feel welcome to “intrude” with my own comments. I hope you understand.
    Update: now that the deadline is past, the hidden posts have been restored.