Position statement for Valerie Young

Hello, my name is Valerie Young. I'd love to serve the free software community by joining the SPI board of directors.

Why am I applying: At DebConf16, on July 7th, Karen Sandler causally recommended I nominate myself for the SPI board of directors. I attended the following SPI BOF and was convinced now is the perfect time to take on such a role.

Why you should vote for me (although you've never heard of me): Relative to other prominent and important members of the board, I have few commitments and am actively searching for ways to further my involvement in free and open source software. I am capable and willing to put in the work required to make informed decisions at SPI board meetings, to promote SPI to the public, and to ensure its operations both run effectively and scale as the projects SPI supports grows. I look forward to the opportunity to learn about new and old free software projects and how we can best support them in light of what SPI accords.

My history with free software: I became a programmer because of the free software movement. I helped found a hackerspace (BUILDS) at Boston University, which became a crash course in hacker ethics and technology, as well as unusual organization structures with an emphasis on empowering individuals rather than relying on hierarchy. I was the treasurer of BUILDS for two years. Before BUILDS I studied only physics, but by the end of my involvement I also gained a degree in computer science. I worked on propriety software for the last two years to quickly pay off my student loans and gain experience programming in the structure environment of industry. Now experienced and debt free, I intend to only program free and open source software for the rest of my life. Presently I am an Outreachy participant, working on the Reproducible Builds project of Debian with mentors Holger Levsen and Mattia Rizzolo.

Even while working in closed source industry I've been an avid user and promoter of free software. I ran Debian and co-organized a free software reading group. Our reading material ranged from free and open licenses, to case law on DRM, to economics articles by Yokai Benkler. I've attended the last three LibrePlanets and HOPEs (Hackers On Planet Earth, hacker conference in NYC), and the last two DebConfs and Chaos Communication Congresses.

See my LinkedIn profile for details on my technical career.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me (spectranaut) on IRC (OFTC).