Guest Article for Linux Voice Magazine

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Liz was recently asked to write an article for Linux Voice. A new on the shelves magazine, written by and for the open source and Linux community.
Liz explains beaming, "I'm really proud to have been asked by Andrew from Linux Voice to write an article on the latest unconference we ran in the North West, and it was great to be able to highlight and support the issues of female geeks in the technology sector. The magazine give 50% of it's profits back to the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) community so it's something I really believe in too, it's a great bit of community in action. So, I can say I'm published too now?! *winks*"

The article is in the August 2014 edition of the Linux Voice magazine and is available in hard copy in the UK (WHSmith high street stores, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, McColls/Martin’s). It will be in Barnes and Noble in the USA soon, along with Eason in Ireland and independent newsagents in Canada, Australia and many other countries. Or get your digital version at http://shop.linuxvoice.com

Find the blog at http://www.lizhardwick.co.uk/geeksgirlscrowdsourcedcake or read more below...

Girls, Geeks and Crowdsourced Cake

Being a woman who works in technology, means you’re normally the only girl geek in the room.

Manchester Girl Geeks Barcamp was organised to help redress that balance and give women the confidence and supportive environment to attend, possibly their first geeky conference. It’s always been important to me to support women-friendly events rather than women-only, that’s what @mcrgirlgeeks is all about.

A team of 4 of us girl geeks set about organising the second, affectionately named #bracamp back in January, and saw over 100 attendees of all genders, fill the Geoffrey Manton building at Manchester Metropolitan University on the 31st May.
It was a full day of “un-conference” talks (where the attendees set the topics), networking, and sometimes the most important things… brews and cake… lots of cake… crowd sourced cake at that!

Manchester Girl Geeks regularly runs dinners and afternoon tea parties with different STEM themes, and some of these topics were seen at Manchester Girl Geek’s largest ever event. Some talks included Data and Healthcare, Social Media for Positive Change, Quantified Self and a strand of women in science and tech talks from our venue hosts, The Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research.
My personal favourites from the talk line-up came from @Jarofgreen on OpenCal, an open source online calendar for groups and events, and @DefProc who shared Internet of Toys with us, along with @Bubblino who got a mention.

As a speaker at various events around the UK, it’s easy to feel when the atmosphere is right, everyone on the day was positive, buzzing and chatting with each other. There were friends being made, contacts being swapped and newbies doing their first ever talks. There was a mix of geeks, event organisers, non-geeks and others just interested in learning new things, it was a great vibe, one I would recommend anyone join.

We also got some brilliant community groups to come and share their projects with the attendees. We had The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Manchester Raspberry Jam, the fabulous ScienceGrrl, and the hacking-all-the-things HacMan (Manchester’s Hackspace).

A massive thanks to them, and all our sponsors, but most of all the attendees, who made it such an awesome event. Hopefully it goes some way into helping people realise… girls can be geeks too!