Get the cake and pop the champagne; it’s birthday time! 2 years have gone by and we’ve seen wonderful things from our group. Some of the things we’ve worked on this past year include:
Representation at conferences. We continue to get the word out by popping up at various PHP and open source conferences, including php|tek, OSCON, PHP London, Dutch PHP Conference, and ZendCon. We will also have a presence at php|works and PHPNW conferences. Exposure at conferences has been wonderful for getting the word out about the group and our mission, and we look forward to continuing this trend next year. As well, this year at ZendCon we held an unconference session to discuss the role of women in IT and the issues surrounding it. We will be posting the recording from this session very soon, as it proved to stir discussion and got people thinking a little more about the subject.
Increased forum membership. We now have over 400 members participating in our forum, which is awesome! Our forum continues to be open to men and women, and will hopefully continue to be a great source of information and connectivity.
Continued success with our Big Sis Mentorship Program. This is a great resource here at PHPWomen, and if you’re not taking advantage of it, then you should be. We’ve now had members who were Little Sisters (the ones being mentored) that have since grown in their skills enough to become mentors themselves. It becomes a win-win for everyone.
Growth in informational content. One of the goals of our group is to provide a helpful resource for those learning PHP. As such, we have published several articles through the forum and had great success with our Article Contest. We plan to do this again next year if we can!
Growth in our IRC channel. Our IRC channel on Freenode continues to be a great way to communicate with other PHP women. We’ve seen this channel grow tremendously, and it’s almost always active, so if you find yourself needing to chat or just with some extra time on your hands, feel free to pop in an say hello.
We’ve also got big plans for the upcoming year as we begin to formalize our structure a bit. We are going to kick everything up a notch so if you’re interested in becoming invloved with our efforts, now is a great time! We will be updating our Delegations page to reflect where the most help is needed, so be sure to keep an eye on that. For starters, some of the things we’ll be working on include:
Formalizing our non-profit status. We’re finally ready to become an official non-profit organization, so this is one of the things we’ll be working on in the upcoming months.
Increasing exposure at conferences. Conference presence has continued to be a great source of exposure for us, so we’ll keep this up as much as we can.
Encouraging women to submit CfPs and to be published. Sadly, the number of women speakers at PHP conferences and women authors is still disproportionately low. We are going to be taking a more active role in notifying our members when CfPs for conferences come about, and encouraging them to submit. We will also be helping them submit ideas for articles, whether it be for our own site or for others.
Continue to welcome women into the community. We’ve tried very hard to make our community here a warm, friendly, and helpful one. We will continue to place emphasis on this as we feel it’s one of the great things that keeps us going. We’ve had some good ideas around this, so make sure to keep your eyes open.
Fundraising. We have so many great ideas, but unfortunately a lot of them take money to implement. We will be ramping up our fundraising efforts in the upcoming months, so if you have any ideas, be sure to let us know!
All of us are so thankful for the wonderful and continued support we’ve received from the PHP community at large – we couldn’t have done it without you! These are truly exciting times to be a part of PHPWomen, and I look forward to the year ahead.
Now, who wants cake?