brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2017-02-27 07:06 pm
Entry tags:

Help me out: volunteer from home for 90 minutes of English tutoring

Summary: Have 90 minutes, between now and April 3rd, to kindly critique less-English-fluent writers over the internet? I'd love your help.

I work with a lot of non-US-based younger people (often high school or college-aged) who contribute to the open source community over the Internet. Many of them volunteer as coders in the hopes of getting internships that will help them with their careers. The engineering education system in some of these countries, especially India, doesn't help students develop their written English skills very much; many of these students are at a disadvantage in these competitive internship application programs because their written English has poor grammar, phrasing, and punctuation. Every year I see tons of these engineering students applying for internships, and I can see how English issues in their bug reports, commit messages, code comments, application proposals, e-mails, and chat messages make it harder for them to get their ideas across.

Some kind, nonjudgmental help would go a long way for these volunteers. And it'd help level the playing field a bit.

I've successfully run little 90-minute online writing clinics via chat or collaborative document-editing platforms like Google Docs or EtherPad, where 3-4 participants bring short writing samples and I live-edit them and tell the students how to improve. They always get a lot out of it, and I can see the improvement in their writing afterwards. And when I've had time to edit their internship proposals in depth, it's helped them think better about what they actually aim to do.

Today, one of the open source projects I care a lot about, Zulip, got accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code for the second year in a row. I've been contracting as a community coordinator for Zulip for about a year, and I love that it's a project where we nurture new contributors inclusively and have high standards of engineering rigor. (I profiled the maintainer, Tim Abbott, in this post about kind negative code review.) We have dozens of new contributors in our chat who want to work with us, and we'll be getting more between now and the April 3rd application deadline. We won't be able to accept all of them. But they'll all come away from the application process as better engineers, and I'd like for that to include better English skills that'll help them persuade, lead, get better jobs, and have better chances of succeeding as entrepreneurs.

So if you could spare 90 minutes sometime between now and April 3rd, and if you have a knack for proofreading in English and have a tolerable internet connection for web browser-based textual chat, let me know and I can probably set something up that suits your schedule. It's fine if you've never done this before and it's fine if you're not a programmer and don't know programming jargon. I'll set up the "room", and I'll be there and you can backchannel with me. You'll be helping one of the best open source communities I know, and you'll be helping make sure non-G7 voices in STEM get heard and listened to.

Leave a comment below telling me how to contact you and anything you know about your upcoming schedule, and I'll take it from there!

Edited to add: I've set this entry so people without Dreamwidth accounts are able to post comments, and so that only I will be able to see the comments (comments are screened), so you can put your contact info in there and it won't be public. And please feel free to pass this link on to other groups/people who are kind and collaboratively inclined, and repost/publicize it elsewhere!

Edited March 13th to add: I have received several offers of help -- thank you! -- and I'm getting back to everyone who's commented, albeit not always within a day or two. I'm open to more offers, but I might not be able to schedule you till April. And because of the number of offers of help I've gotten, I'm opening up the pool of learners a little bit -- I'm talking with the open source community managers at Mozilla and Wikimedia to let them know that their communities can take advantage of this opportunity, too. Thank you so much.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2017-02-27 02:50 pm

Dreamwidth suggestions

[site community profile] dw_suggestions has a bunch of new suggestions for Dreamwidth improvements! It's a place to suggest things and respond to others' suggestions.

Years ago I suggested: "On the New Post and Edit pages, give the user the ability to browse freely licensed photos from Wikimedia Commons to insert into their posts." That got rejected but I think the basic idea's worth revisiting, revising, and submitting afresh. Feel free to take it up if that strikes your fancy!
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2017-02-26 04:19 pm

Get Out

I posted some spoilery thoughts about Get Out on FanFare at MetaFilter.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2017-02-25 10:43 pm

Reading, listening, watching

Recently read: an advance copy of Cory Doctorow's Walkaway which I enjoyed -- talky like always with Doctorow but ~400 pages of "yeah this feels like a plausible future that I could belong in" with a lot of camaraderie and tradecraft. In a similar vein: "The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike", a short story by Andrea Phillips.

Also:

What We Pretend We Can't See (131279 words) by gyzym
Chapters: 14/14
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom/Ginny Weasley
Summary:

Seven years out from the war, Harry learns the hard truth of old history: it’s never quite as far behind you as you thought.



Heartwarming, funny, great unreliable narrator, touching.

I'm listening to some Decemberists and I listened to the most recent series of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme with joy.

Just saw Get Out tonight -- I rarely see horror movies and it will take me a while to calm down from this one! Funny, scary, thought-provoking, good pacing. I feel justified in my decision to watch it and feel a renewed will to chase down and watch Keanu.

I've now seen the first episode of Jane the Virgin and am a bit miffed that I didn't hear earlier that it would be particularly appealing to Arrested Development fans; I intend to catch up, albeit slowly.
brainwane: The last page of the zine (cat)
2016-12-30 02:07 pm

On LiveJournal

I've posted to MetaFilter about some recent goings-on at LiveJournal; if you have an LJ account you should probably take a look.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2016-12-27 11:47 am
Entry tags:

Yuletide 2016 recommendations

New blog post at my other blog with some Yuletide 2016 recommendations.
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
2016-10-04 11:32 pm
Entry tags:

a sample Outreachy application

[fake example]

Name:

Samplemana Hariharapplicant


Project idea:

I'm interested in an Outreachy project where I implant parrots
with Zulip clients so they can repeat what I say into my living
room. This would be via an integration that would live in the
zulip/parrot repository (a new GitHub project I would create). I
figure, since you can teach parrots to say things, I want parrots
to speak aloud the traffic in a Zulip channel, so I can get audio
notifications in my living room, and I like hearing the sound of
the words I say, so I also want to be able to get parrots to say
a single user's words (my own), so I'll also implement
user-specific filtering. I only speak English and I don't think I
can manage supporting multiple languages right now but maybe I
will be able to do that towards the end of the 12 weeks.


Deliverables:

* bridge code and tests in the zulip/parrot repo
* documentation in zulip/parrot/docs
* 4 blog posts


Schedule:

November 8-December 6: acquire parrot, acquire cage and food, get
Digital Ocean virtual machine running

Dec 1 [starting early to make up for late December vacation] - Dec 6:
get test frameworks running, including parrot emulator

Dec 7 - Dec 15: write first test and initial functionality and docs
for stream-to-parrot syndication

Dec 15: first blog post

Dec 16 - 24: get initial test, functionality, and docs merged into
trunk, and get started on tests, functionality, and docs for emoji
support

December 25-January 1: vacation

January 2 - 14: finish tests, functionality, and docs for emoji
support, get merged into trunk

Jan 15: second blog post

Jan 16 - 18: set up multiparrot (buy a second parrot, cage, and food)

Jan 19 - Jan 30: write tests, functionality, and docs for
user-specific parrot syndication (each user's posts spoken by a
different parrot), get merged into trunk

Feb 1 - 9: fix bugs and feed bugs to parrot

Feb 10: third blog post

Feb 11 - 28: write user docs about caring for parrot, merge into
trunk; deploy in larger environment with many streams, users, and
parrots, and fix ensuing problems

March 1: fourth blog post

March 2 - 6: buffer time

Pencils down: March 6
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
2015-05-23 10:35 pm
Entry tags:

New vid: "Pipeline"

Title: Pipeline
Vidder: Sumana Harihareswara ("brainwane")
Fandom: Multi (documentaries, movies, TV, comics, coding bootcamp ads, and more)
Music: "Blank Space", Taylor Swift
Length: 3 minutes, 11 seconds
Summary: The tech industry has a blank space, and is quite eager to write your name.
Content notes: Implied verbal/emotional abuse, a few seconds of very fast cutting around 1:50
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike (CC BY-SA)
Download: on Google Drive (165 MB high-res MP4, 23 MB low-res MP4, 98 MB AVI), or at Critical Commons with login (high- and low-res MP4 and WebM files)
Stream: at Critical Commons (choose View High Quality for best experience)
Subtitles file: http://www.harihareswara.net/vids/pipeline.srt

Premiered just now at WisCon 2015 (the vid party).

Embedded video below:

Sources:
50 sources (28 video, 22 still) )


Thank you to my betas:


  • Skud
  • seekingferret
  • were_duck
  • Leonard Richardson
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden
  • and others.

Feelings and interpretation:
You don't need to read this )
Making-of:
About 75 hours over 2 months )

This vid is under CC BY-SA and I hope people feel free to remix it, redistribute it, and otherwise enjoy it, as long as they attribute me as the vidder.