This internship opportunity began as a complement to the Google Summer of Code internships, which historically hadn’t received many female applicants. In order to encourage more women to participate, the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) was started. It removes some of the restrictions that Google Summer of Code has, most notably that OPW applicants don’t have to be students in order to apply. This opens up the internship to people like me who are switching careers.
The purpose of this internship is twofold: (1) support the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community, and (2) support women in technology. Many organizations are participating, and each organization offers its own projects in coding, graphic design, user experience design, web development, documentation, and anything else an organization needs to run.
I will be working with the Open Technology Institute on their Commotion Wireless project. Their blurb on the OPW website and its application to social justice caught my eye immediately:
Open Technology Institute promotes affordable, universal, and ubiquitous communications networks through partnerships with communities, researchers, industry, and public interest groups and is committed to maximizing the potentials of innovative open technologies by studying their social and economic impacts – particularly for poor, rural, and other underserved constituencies. Many projects are available in creating and implementing designs for Commotion, a customized version of OpenWRT Linux distribution for embedded devices. The goal of Commotion is to create secure wireless peer-to-peer mesh networks out of the participating devices of community members.
For more information on the program, past and present, check out the Outreach Program for Women application website.