Moving the Needle: How SF Ruby Got to 18%

Sarah Mei
Sarah MeiSoftware Developer at Pivotal Labs
Moving the
 Needle
                       How SF Ruby
                        got to 18%



                                     http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/839344289/
Saturday, February 20, 2010                                                  1
About me
                              sarahmei (twitter, github)




                                       Photos copyright (clockwise starting from left) Christian Mehlfuhrer,Yukihiro Matsumoto, me, Pivotal Labs
Saturday, February 20, 2010                                                                                                                   2
SF Ruby Meetup
                     •        Big!
                     • Active!
                     • http://meetup.com/sfruby


Saturday, February 20, 2010                       3
The Problem

                                  2%




                                  98%



Saturday, February 20, 2010                 4
Jan 2009              Jan 2010
                              2%
                                     18%




                              98%          82%




Saturday, February 20, 2010                      5
Jan 2011??


                               50%   50%




Saturday, February 20, 2010                6
Coming up...

                        •     Our process
                        • What we’ve gotten out of it
                        • Why is it so hard?


Saturday, February 20, 2010                             7
XTREME
                              COMMUNITY
                               1. Set goals
                               2. Do events
                               3. Cultivate people

Saturday, February 20, 2010                          8
XTREME
                              COMMUNITY
                               1. Set goals
                               2. Do events
                               3. Cultivate people

Saturday, February 20, 2010                          9
Set goals
            Focus on something
            you can fix.

                                  Be specific!

Saturday, February 20, 2010                     10
Do Events
                                    Target
             Do the right
             kind of events.        specific
                                    audiences.

Saturday, February 20, 2010                      11
Tie in your goals




                                       http://www.flickr.com/photos/limonada/214375219/

Saturday, February 20, 2010                                                          12
Logistics




Saturday, February 20, 2010               13
Logistics

                              The easy part!




Saturday, February 20, 2010                    14
Logistics
                     • Offer childcare
                     • Offer nursing/pumping space
                     • Get sponsors
                     • Have an afterparty

Saturday, February 20, 2010                          15
MEN
                         • Yes!
                         • Get them involved
                         • They make great volunteers
                         • Give volunteers drink tickets for the
                              afterparty
                         • W2.0 attendance model
Saturday, February 20, 2010                                        16
Cultivate people
                     • Both sides of the pipeline
                     • For women who’ve come to an event:
                      • Follow up!!
                      • Plan a series
                      • Recruit women from the 1st to help with #2

Saturday, February 20, 2010                                          17
Get new women in
                     • Talk your events up, to everyone you meet
                     • Buy a domain, throw up wordpress...UPDATE it
                     • Print business cards, give them out constantly
                     • Blog about it on your technical blog
                     • Talk about it on facebook & twitter
                     • Do talks, BoFs, meetups, etc., at conferences
Saturday, February 20, 2010                                             18
Get new women in
                     • Be visible in your community
                     • Put your name on events
                     • Contribute to the mailing list
                     • Ask questions after talks
                     • DO TALKS!

Saturday, February 20, 2010                             19
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davemorris/6057980/

Saturday, February 20, 2010                                               20
What did we get?
                                           Expected:

                     • More women at monthly meetups
                     • Some who haven’t come to a workshop
                              (critical mass!)




Saturday, February 20, 2010                                  21
What did we get?
                              Unexpected:
     • More active & lively mailing list
     • More varied & interesting talks
     • More women volunteering to GIVE talks
     • MEN feel comfortable not knowing all the answers
     • More newbie-friendly events, by and for all genders
Saturday, February 20, 2010                                  22
Why is this so hard?
                     • You need a woman (or 2) willing to be
                              visible.
                     • You need leadership who thinks it’s worth
                              doing (or at least, won’t get in the way)
                     • It’s a social problem.

Saturday, February 20, 2010                                               23
Why is this so hard?
                     • You need a woman (or 2) willing to be
                              visible.
                     • You need leadership who thinks it’s worth
                              doing (or at least, won’t get in the way)


                        It’s a social problem

Saturday, February 20, 2010                                               24
Questions



Saturday, February 20, 2010               25
1 of 25

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Moving the Needle: How SF Ruby Got to 18%

  • 1. Moving the Needle How SF Ruby got to 18% http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/839344289/ Saturday, February 20, 2010 1
  • 2. About me sarahmei (twitter, github) Photos copyright (clockwise starting from left) Christian Mehlfuhrer,Yukihiro Matsumoto, me, Pivotal Labs Saturday, February 20, 2010 2
  • 3. SF Ruby Meetup • Big! • Active! • http://meetup.com/sfruby Saturday, February 20, 2010 3
  • 4. The Problem 2% 98% Saturday, February 20, 2010 4
  • 5. Jan 2009 Jan 2010 2% 18% 98% 82% Saturday, February 20, 2010 5
  • 6. Jan 2011?? 50% 50% Saturday, February 20, 2010 6
  • 7. Coming up... • Our process • What we’ve gotten out of it • Why is it so hard? Saturday, February 20, 2010 7
  • 8. XTREME COMMUNITY 1. Set goals 2. Do events 3. Cultivate people Saturday, February 20, 2010 8
  • 9. XTREME COMMUNITY 1. Set goals 2. Do events 3. Cultivate people Saturday, February 20, 2010 9
  • 10. Set goals Focus on something you can fix. Be specific! Saturday, February 20, 2010 10
  • 11. Do Events Target Do the right kind of events. specific audiences. Saturday, February 20, 2010 11
  • 12. Tie in your goals http://www.flickr.com/photos/limonada/214375219/ Saturday, February 20, 2010 12
  • 14. Logistics The easy part! Saturday, February 20, 2010 14
  • 15. Logistics • Offer childcare • Offer nursing/pumping space • Get sponsors • Have an afterparty Saturday, February 20, 2010 15
  • 16. MEN • Yes! • Get them involved • They make great volunteers • Give volunteers drink tickets for the afterparty • W2.0 attendance model Saturday, February 20, 2010 16
  • 17. Cultivate people • Both sides of the pipeline • For women who’ve come to an event: • Follow up!! • Plan a series • Recruit women from the 1st to help with #2 Saturday, February 20, 2010 17
  • 18. Get new women in • Talk your events up, to everyone you meet • Buy a domain, throw up wordpress...UPDATE it • Print business cards, give them out constantly • Blog about it on your technical blog • Talk about it on facebook & twitter • Do talks, BoFs, meetups, etc., at conferences Saturday, February 20, 2010 18
  • 19. Get new women in • Be visible in your community • Put your name on events • Contribute to the mailing list • Ask questions after talks • DO TALKS! Saturday, February 20, 2010 19
  • 21. What did we get? Expected: • More women at monthly meetups • Some who haven’t come to a workshop (critical mass!) Saturday, February 20, 2010 21
  • 22. What did we get? Unexpected: • More active & lively mailing list • More varied & interesting talks • More women volunteering to GIVE talks • MEN feel comfortable not knowing all the answers • More newbie-friendly events, by and for all genders Saturday, February 20, 2010 22
  • 23. Why is this so hard? • You need a woman (or 2) willing to be visible. • You need leadership who thinks it’s worth doing (or at least, won’t get in the way) • It’s a social problem. Saturday, February 20, 2010 23
  • 24. Why is this so hard? • You need a woman (or 2) willing to be visible. • You need leadership who thinks it’s worth doing (or at least, won’t get in the way) It’s a social problem Saturday, February 20, 2010 24