When was the last time someone said “Yeah I should Learn How To Use That.”

Where are all the white men hiding out? I know some of you are asking — and a conversation in ITP class today brought up the thought that folks can peer-develop all the non-proprietary decentralized non-market software they want — if users don’t know how to use it, it loses value.

The developer world is very white and very male [heeey single ladies/sugar-daddy seekers!], and my classmate suggested that it’s only getting older because of the lack of hack-coding that millenial/post-GUI users are doing. There’s 2600 [who meet monthly, see dudefest], Defcon, HOPE, and plenty more.*

All this to say – there is a culture of code. Making, building, finessing, changing, beta-testing — but not a culture of as much care for the result. And especially not a culture of making it available to “the people”… or is there? Organizations like the Allied Media Conference, The People’s Production House, and others [tell me about them!] do work to educate people. It’s just that this is not what is focused on. You can visit learn.wordpress.com, or help.ubuntu.org …but how do you know what to look for when you are learning?

For me, as a woman who crossed the digital divide of class access to learn and understand programs and technology — and who would have benefitted GREATLY from some guidance/classes [I did not know what a <table> was when I made my first HTML site] I can dream a better dream for lady technologists who come after me.

If participation is our most important aspect of developing FLOSS, a focus on participation is key. Especially with the #occupy movement moving into technology For The People — letting the people know **how to** Occupy Their Tech is super important.

*This whole thing is starting to remind me of BDSM nerds and conferences, frankly but I can’t go in there right now. **reprinted on femmetech.org.