NewsLinuxCon Shines Light on Developer Diversity Issues

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At the LinuxCon user conference, Intel developer Sarah Sharp took the stage and called for more coders to get involved in developing for the Linux kernel. “We bring a lot of new people into the kernel and people do one-off patches,” Sharp said. “But there really needs to be a way for people to get a larger, beefier project within the kernel and to get some one-on-one mentorship.”

Sharp made it clear that she believes the project needs some of those “new people” to be women. She said currently only 1 to 2 percent of those who work on the kernel are women. Over the summer, Sharp said the blunt treatment of coders who work on Linux scares away a lot of good female developers.

However, there were some signs of change at Linux Con. A couple of women are presenting at the conference, and 60 showed up for a Women in Open Source lunch, many more than expected. And, for the first time ever, LinuxCon T-shirts come in women’s sizes as well as men’s.

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