Comments from Chris Ball about the program
How was it advertised?
We got the foundation to make a press release, and we submitted it to Slashdot etc
Máirín made an awesome poster for us
- We sent the poster out to university CS departments we had contacts at, and made blog posts encouraging people to put it up at their university. Everyone was really positive about doing that when we asked, most universities already have a board for summer opportunities.
What did you learn from running the program?
I think the poster-in-CS-depts was probably key, because the largest group of women in CS who haven't joined GNOME is the group of female CS students who haven't found their way into free software yet, and don't read Slashdot.
Plenty of our applicants were already in free software communities, but the ones most qualified (ridiculously qualified, in some cases) tended to be in university -- for example, someone with a masters in machine learning analysis on music asked if she "might possibly be qualified enough" to add automatic playlist creation support to Rhythmbox; we tried to explain that it was hard to imagine how someone could possibly have been more qualified than her.
The lesson we took from that was that women are undervaluing how useful their skills are, and their aptitude compared to their male peers, and the SoC-style "prove that you're the best at coding, apply for SoC" adverts were acting as a turn-off.