Cool conferences to meet other chix?

webchick's picture

Over at the BlogHer conference post, Chach asked:

how do you find good conferences to go to to meet more cool programmin' chicks like yourself? (especially if you are like me and have to see a face in person before communicating online)

And I frankly have no idea. I just go to conferences that are either about Drupal, or that people ask me to come speak at. :D

What other conferences are out there that would be of interest to Drupalchix?


Some conferences I've been to...

webchick's picture
  1. Drupalcon: Seriously. GO TO DRUPALCON. It is amazing, and there is absolutely nothing better for slicing down that time you spent frustrated on the Drupal learning curve. Listen to talks about modules from the very people who actually built them, see showcases that show how big Drupal sites were built, and find out what's the next big thing on the horizon for Drupal (and help it come to fruition! :)). Being able to participate in the community process face-to-face is pretty much unbeatable, and it makes it SO much easier to interact with people in the community after the fact.
  2. SCALE: This conference has a "Women in Open Source" track, and topics ranged from technical talks to practical stuff like how to manage a community. Unfortunately, I could only stay for a couple hours, but the crowd was a lot of geeky fun. :) Sitting back and listening to two girls arguing MySQL vs. PostgreSQL while another's hacking out some Perl in the corner was just awesome!
  3. BlogHer: This conference is all about women, specifically women bloggers. It was quite staggering entering the ballroom and seeing 1,000 women in the room, from all backgrounds, all age brackets, all interests, etc. This one had less of a "geek" focus and more of a promotion/discussion/trends focus, but in talking to Liz Henry, one of the organizers, this may change in future 'cons. Unlike any other conference I've been to, the vibe about this conference was very, erm. "Girly." Like as in the swag bag contained stuff like a DVD for kids, a pedicure kit, a Macy's gift certificate, etc. So it was kind of weird for me, but it was still really fun to check out.
  4. OSCON: I've never been, but am going next week. I'll post back what I think. ;D

Drupal Daze chick factor

mndonx's picture

We just had Drupal Daze at the Science Museum of MN this weekend. About 60-70 folks -- and a full third were women. It was awesome! We could have used more women presenters (there were about 6 of 24 of us), but all in all, it was great for meeting other women doing this stuff. In particular, there were quite a few older women, some who were changing careers, and it was great to hear their experiences -- especially interesting hearing that they feel judged more by their age than their gender.

We also had a deaf participant, which was great. At the risk of derailing the thread, I'd like to know if other conference organizers have had this come up and how they handled it. We couldn't afford an interpreter, so he brought his wife who signed for him. It wasn't the ideal situation; she wasn't super into it. We had a chat room going (which I was hoping would enrich his experience), but no one really picked it up & used it. Any thoughts?


Conferences and the Hearing Impaired

lishevita's picture

There is a deaf man who is very active in the Israeli open source community. His name is Omer Zak and you can read all sorts of articles, essays, and whatnot of his at his site ( There is also direct contact information there on his site, and I'd recommend getting in touch with him if you'd like to talk to someone who has a lot of experience with dealing with tech conferences and hearing issues. :) He's very approachable and a generally cool guy.

FOSDEM - Free & Open Source

AliaK's picture

FOSDEM - Free & Open Source Developers' European Meeting (their site looks like drupal too!)
from their site:
"FOSDEM '09 is a free and non-commercial event organized by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet."

I went in 2005 and they had a chix session. hopefully they have one each year. they had a drupal session that year too. but it covers most of the open source platforms and applications. eg they had wikipedia, linux, embedded systems programming, Richard Stallman was there. lots of cool tech-toys that people had modified/made. if you're in UK/europe I think this is a good one to go to. it's at the university and is held over a weekend.

I found some more for

AliaK's picture

I found some more for Australia / NZ regions
interestingly, most of these seem to be using drupal too!
from their site blurb : " (LCA) is Australia's national Linux conference, and said to be one of the best in the world. It prides itself on being “seriously fun and seriously technical”. In January 2009 it's being held in Hobart, Tasmania, for the first time. So join us and march south! :)2009 will be the 10th anniversary for LCA. It will run from January 19-24 and end with an open-to-the-public Open Day"
- not strictly women, but I've heard it's a good conference
- they're calling for papers if anyone is interested :
AussieChix is the Australian regional chapter of LinuxChix, for women living in Australia, aimed at providing ways for women living in Australia to meet each other, talk about, and get involved in Linux, Free Software and related things. AussieChix welcomes women interested in Linux or Free Software at any level of experience.
AussieChix microconference in Sydney and Melbourne: October 25 2008 (it's tomorrow!)
- they have a list of other events in the calendar on their site
- there's also geekgirl dinners in sydney & melbourne (related to this site)
LinuxChix NZ is a community for women who like Linux, and for women and men who want to support women in computing. Linuxchix NZ activities will include support forums, mentoring, training courses, social meetups and linux install fests.

other regions :
The /ETC is a unique tech skill-share that has been held annually since 2002. The emphasis has always been women sharing their experiences, knowledge and skills around free software, open hardware and universal interoperability of systems in a fun way. The eighth Eclectic Tech Carnival will be held sometime in Septmeber 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. has a list of others (past events, but you could search for them and see when the next ones are being held)
& the links page has more women's groups/events