Presenting on Expanding Bengali Wikipedia at Wiki Conference, 2011
I am a web developer, a free/open source enthusiast and an activist. I have worked at the Wikimedia Foundation – the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and its sister sites – as a Software Engineer for a little over two years, and have been a volunteer developer to MediaWiki for longer.
My interest as a researcher lies at the intersection of Technology, Digital Media, and how a community-driven approach towards these may help us re-evaluate and reconstruct our ways of being: that is to say, the ways we learn, teach, fight, grow, live with each other as a collective that virtually connects over a shared interest or a phenomena. I have actively participated in building such communities in a past life, and now I am focusing on the challenges that these communities are to encounter.
I am now specifically inclined towards addressing the biggest void in the room otherwise full of technological wonders and success stories: the gender and racial gap in STEM. I have actively taken part in engaging women in the world of Wikipedia and Free/Open Source culture. Even a rich and healthy community like Wikipedia’s could not escape the curse of unjust biases either: only thirteen percent of the editors in Wikipedia were women. This was in 2011, when we were trying to work towards a possible solution to this, and I have been dedicated to the responsibilities that followed since then. I have mentored women as a part of the initiative run by the Software Freedom Conservancy known as Outreachy, which encourages women to contribute to Open Source; I have mentored quite a few juniors in college and in the Indian Open Source community as well.
My immediate crusade, therefore, is against the inequity and discrimination inherent in these very communities, and I strive to find out how technology can be used to contest these normative structures.