Karen Sandler talks about the importance of Software Freedom and the Outreachy applications to support diversity in tech


Karen Sandler talk in the Software Freedom Camp (Diversity Edition)


The Software Freedom Camp is a mentorship programme for bringing more people to Free Software with strong focus on philosophy. We connect learners with experienced Free Software community members to work on some tasks together - this could be either technical or non technical.


What is Diversity Edition?

Diversity edition is aiming to reach out to people subject to systemic bias and impacted by under-representation in the technical industry in India.


Karen Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, former executive director of the GNOME Foundation, an attorney, and former general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center.


Outreachy Supports Diversity in Tech

cc-by 2.0 WOCinTech-Chat

Photo CC BY 2.0 WOCinTech Chat

Outreachy is open to applicants around the world.

We invite people to apply who face systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country.

Outreachy expressly invites applicants who are women (both cis and trans), trans men, non-binary people, and genderqueer people to apply.

We also expressly invite applications who are residents and nationals of the United States of America of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

Past Outreachy interns are:

  • 92% women
  • 4% transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary people
  • 64% people of color
  • 12% people from a historically disadvantaged caste or tribe

Statistics are based on responses to the 2019 longitudinal study of Outreachy alums.

Outreachy Eligibility Rules

Outreachy is open to applicants around the world. You will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You are or will be 18 years of age or older by Dec. 6, 2021
  • You are available for a full-time, 30 hours a week internship from Dec. 6, 2021 to March 4, 2022.
  • You were not an intern with Outreachy, the Outreach Program for Women, or Google Summer of Code. People who were a Google Summer of Code intern are not eligible for Outreachy. All Google Summer of Code interns are ineligible for Outreachy, including people who did not successfully finish their GSoC internship. If you apply to Outreachy and you are not accepted as an intern, you may apply again.
  • Applicants who have part-time or contracting jobs are welcome to apply. However, part-time jobs must be approved by Outreachy organizers. People who are willing to quit their full-time job are welcome to apply. If you cannot quit your full-time job, you are not eligible for Outreachy. People who are taking a leave of absence from a full-time job are not eligible for Outreachy.
  • Applicants are required to list their current jobs and internships on their initial application. If an applicant receives a job or internship offer after submitting an initial application, they should notify Outreachy organizers immediately. Applicants are required to document any changes from the time commitments listed on their initial application, by filling out the question about time commitment changes in their final applications.
  • Outreachy is open to both university students and people who are not university students. University students must have 42 consecutive days free from school and exams during the internship period. Students must apply to the correct internship round (see rules below).
  • If you are a student on a student visa, your visa must allow you to work 30 hours per week. If you cannot work 30 hours per week, you are not eligible for Outreachy. If you are on a student visa in the United States of America, you might have limited dates when you can work 30 hours a week. We will work with you to shift your internship dates by up to five weeks. However, we cannot accommodate shortening the 13 week internship. If you are a student on an F-1 visa, you may need to apply for CPT with your university. Outreachy organizers can provide you documentation for your CPT application once you are selected as an intern.

Outreachy internships run twice a year, May to August and December to March. We have some rules around which internship round you can apply to:

  • If you are not a university student, you may apply to either internship round.
  • If you are a student of a university in the Northern Hemisphere, you will only be eligible for the May to August round. Students in India are considered to be in the northern hemisphere, regardless of where their university is located.
  • If you are a student of a university in the Southern Hemisphere, you will only be eligible for the December to March round.
  • Otherwise, if your university is near the equator, you may apply to any round. We will review university term schedules on a case-by-case basis.
  • If you are completing your last term for your degree, you may be eligible for either round, regardless of what hemisphere you are in. To be eligible for the Dec 2021 internships, the exams for your last school term must end before Jan. 20, 2022. If the school academic calendar continues past that date, graduating students are not eligible.
  • When determining student eligibility, Outreachy looks at the school's academic calendar dates. We do not consider the individual student's course load. We do not consider special arrangements students have made with their university. Students who plan on taking a school term off to pursue an internship are not eligible for Outreachy. We cannot accept letters from universities about pausing classes or joining classes at a later date.

Additional Information to Provide

The initial application also includes four essay questions. Please read our essay tips carefully.

Intern Agreements and Forms

All accepted interns must sign an intern agreement. This is a legal document that certifies you are eligible to apply for Outreachy, and that all the eligibility information you supply in your application is truthful. All accepted interns will need to fill out either a W8-BEN or a W-9 tax form. It is fraud if you sign these legal documents after supplying incorrect information.

If you are concerned about these forms, please note that Outreachy has experience with people in the middle of a legal name change and transgender people who cannot change their legal name. Only Outreachy organizers and the Software Freedom Conservancy accounting team will see these legal documents. Your mentors will not see your tax form or your signed intern agreement.

Applicant Guide

Please read our Applicant Guide. The Applicant Guide includes tips for getting your initial application accepted. It also includes tips for preparing for the contribution period and writing your final application.

Internship Guide

The Outreachy Internship Guide includes detailed information about the internship schedule, payment schedule, blogging schedule, and other details.

Initial Application

All Outreachy applicants will need to fill out an initial application.

The application system for Outreachy internships is currently closed. The application system will be available when the next application period opens.

To get an email when the round opens, subscribe to the Outreachy announcement mailing list.