[UbuntuWomen] Introduction

Elizabeth Bevilacqua lyz at ubuntu.com
Tue Aug 28 19:51:09 UTC 2007

On 8/28/07, rihanha <rihanha at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello. My name is Sheri Sharp, though online I go by Rihanha, and I
> joined the list a few weeks back. I was inspired to write an intro
> when I received Malaika's message this morning (thanks to a fellow
> 'Sharp')!

Welcome Rihanha!

> I am new to the Linux world. I have recently installed Ubuntu on my
> laptop and was surprised by how well it went. Only a few minor issues,
> beyond just a learning curve, have come up so far.

We have quite a range of experience levels here. Glad to hear there
were only some minor issues, I've found that the learning curve is the
worst part. The best advice I have is to just view it as a whole new
way of using your computer rather than focusing on the differences
with Windows/Mac :) And in general the community of Ubuntu is quite
helpful, you shouldn't have trouble finding help when you need it.

> I am a 'returning' college student, attempting to convert from 15
> years as an admin assistant in the non-profit sector to the tech
> world. I certainly fit the profile of a geek - I love sci-fi, comics,
> science and of course technology, but despite being incredibly
> comfortable in 'the tech world,' I have had a real rocky transition.
> It isn't that I regret the decision, its just that I feel like I am
> lost in a foreign land without a map, and no guide in sight. This is
> my third attempt at getting my degree, and I am just entering my
> senior year in the <a
> href="http://www.uwb.edu/CSS/bscss/index.xhtml">CSS program at
> UWB</a>. I am doing well in the program but still feel like somehow
> I'm not good enough. I read the "How to encourage women in Linux"
> article last night and just about cried with relief. It describes my
> experience accurately and I feel much less like a fish out of water
> having read it. Thank you for posting it, it was helpful.

Well you're certainly not alone. I've been using Linux for almost 6
years now and I've just now gathered up the courage to start posting
on the LUG mailing list in my area. A lot of women have loads of
confidence issues and feel what you are feeling. If you're interested
in the subject I'd suggest reading "Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women In
Computing" by By Jane Margolis, Allan Fisher, it's a great book that
explores the causes of the lack of women in IT degrees (confidence and
peer troubles are among the most prevalent) and some of the solutions
Carnegie Mellon has put into place. A fascinating read and might even
be motivational :)

> I don't know yet what my contribution can be, but I know I am eager to
> learn more. Though I have enjoyed the learning process in school, it
> is a lot of theory and very little application. I feel like I have no
> 'useful' skills. I am eager to get my hands dirty so to speak, but I'm
> not sure how to go about it. I'm just beginning to experiment with
> Ubuntu and with writing shell scripts. My ultimate goal is to be able
> to contribute code and to mentor other women. In the meantime, I can
> assist with documentation, with training materials and feedback, with
> websites, etc.

We can always use the help! In fact, right now we're looking for
someone else to help out with wiki.ubuntu-women.org (spam prevention
solutions, general clean up when required), so if you're interested in
helping out feel free to drop me a note off-list and I'll hook you up
with details.

I'd like to encourage you and others to offer feedback and engage in
discussions when we have courses like the IRCOp one beginning
tomorrow. It's all very helpful and helps those of us volunteering
know that we're actually reaching our audience :)

> Any feedback on how to approach becoming a competent Linux user, and
> contributor would be most appreciated.

You may want to check out my favorite wiki page on the subject:


It's big, but that's because it's so good and inclusive. I suggest
just reading through the Contents and seeing what strikes your
interest. Feel free to ask here if you have any other questions about
getting involved in specific things, we'll point you to the proper



Elizabeth Bevilacqua

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