Von Eaton Addresses 'Back to Work for Women'

Program championed by ICFOSS & Zyxware Technologies

Von Eaton's Presentation at the ICFOSS Back To Work for Women program. 

Von R. Eaton, Director of Programs at Drupal Association, addressed a large group of women professionals participating in the 5th edition of the Back to Work for Women program by the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) today (March 17, 2023). Von Eaton addressed the gathering through a live Zoom call projected to a big screen in the training hall at the ICFOSS HQ in Greenfield Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. After the presentation, there was a live interaction between the participants and the guest.

ICFOSS is an autonomous body to promote free software and open hardware, floated by the Government of Kerala, a southern state in India. 

Back to Work for Women is a program for facilitating women professionals who had to undergo a career break due to marriage, pregnancy, relocation, or other reasons, to restart their careers. It started as part of a post-pandemic effort to address social problems, and each edition focussed on different technologies.

The 5th edition started on March 01 and will end on March 19, 2023. Supported by Zyxware Technologies as the training partner, this edition is all about imparting Drupal Training for women. 

The training program intends to provide women who have had career breaks due to personal commitments to restart their careers in various free software domains.

This program not only aims to induct them into the talent pool of Drupal developers but also provides an opportunity to reintroduce them to the Free Software community.

The Drupal Association is committed to ensuring that the Open Web thrives and to providing talent and education opportunities to communities who need them most. It is our hope that by supporting ICFOSS, Zyxware, and the Back-to-work Programme, we can continue to expand access to the Drupal community and professional opportunities in the Drupal ecosystem and empower women everywhere in their pursuit of professional equity.

remarks, the Drupal Association blog post.

“It offers a profusion of second career options so that women can choose to return to work, one baby step at a time, or bounce back with double the vigor.” 

explains ICFOSS. 

Earlier editions of the program included ‘Software Testing’ in July 2019 and ‘Android Development’ in November 2019. 

This time the initiative joined hands with the Drupal Association and had Von Eaton on board to deliver a presentation via a zoom call. Many participants and guests, including the CEO of Zyxware technologies, Thomas P. Thomas, and Programme Head of the ICFOSS, Dr. Rajeev R R, attended the session. 

The presentation began with a short introduction and continued into the session, where Von explained Drupal, Drupal.org, and the Drupal Association.

Von Eaton's Presentation at the Back to work Programme Session

Von explained the integral aspects of Drupal. He spoke about how and why you’ll love Drupal and that it can improve your content management capabilities. Drupal goes much beyond the web. He goes on to further stress the Drupal Market and what Drupal is capable of. The presentation then led to the importance of documentation in Drupal.org and working with the Drupal Association.

“Drupal.org is really the Jack of all trades where you can pretty much find anything you need,”

specifies Eaton. It is really a hub; he says that whether you are looking for events, contributors, or modules, Drupal.org has it all. He also shares a couple of references and links that the new Drupal enthusiasts can look into, like the Slack ChannelsCommunity Events, and Drupal Security.

Following Von’s presentation, there was a Q and A session where he answered every question precisely. Queries ranged from accessibility, non-tech contributions, Drupal Security, and more.

There were a few questions TDT had the privilege of asking. The points that Von emphasized on the questions are seen below. 

TDT: What non-tech opportunities and skill sets could we look into to work with Drupal? 

Von: There are tons of non-tech roles, and the biggest skill I have seen if you are interested in more non-code related roles is project management skills: Being detail-oriented, understanding projects, tasks, the timeline, and knowing the best people to execute those tasks.

Documentation is a significant skill. Documentation is how people capture what they are working on at Drupal.org. Go into an issue queue like a strategic initiative issue, of which the project browser is a good example. Being able to document it all is a really big skill set.

There is also a huge avenue for technical writing, whether for websites or social media. Writing skills are really helpful.

Freelancing in the gated economy can be challenging as you try to navigate as a sole proprietor. You can advertise contribution as a freelance skill. There are lots of foundations supporting open source work broadly. You can look out for these foundation opportunities like scholarships and grants.

The main avenue for having sponsored contribution role where you are getting paid to document contribution is to identify organizations that prioritize open source as an ideology, and care deeply about giving back to the projects that they are collaborating with, and seeking out those organizations for employment full time. That does not only have to be Drupal core. It can be local community events that do a ton of Drupal work in your region. There are many different ways to monetize your contribution—even content marketing. Developer advocacy also plays a significant role. More specifically, open-source advocacy roles. 

After a round of questions by the audience and the participants, it was all brought to a close with a few words of gratitude towards Von and all those present there. 

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