Interview with Valorie Zimmerman

Elizabeth Krumbach: Please tell us a little about yourself.

Valorie Zimmerman: I’m a writer, wife, mother and grandmother. Besides Free software and Free culture, social justice is important to me. Right now I’m finishing up the Amarok Handbook, which has been a year-long project.
During the recent Google Code-In project, I mentored quite a few teens who helped finish writing and illustrating the manual. That was a great experience! I enjoy music, reading, art, genealogy research, traveling, making new friends, and helping people in IRC.

EK: What inspired you to get involved in the Ubuntu community?

VZ: I’ve been a member of LinuxChix for many years, and there I heard about the Ubuntu-Women project. Since I was using Kubuntu at the time, I was encouraged to hear that Ubuntu as a whole was welcoming and encouraging participation from women and other F/OSS minorities. And when I found out that there was a local group, the Washington State LoCo, I wanted to help out there also. When I volunteered for Amarok documentation, that involved adding Freenode to my list of IRC servers, so I joined the #ubuntu-women channel, and it’s the first one I read every day.

EK: What inspired you to get involved with the Amarok project?

VZ: I had some time, and thought for awhile about how I could contribute to F/OSS and have fun at the same time. Since music brings so much joy to my life, and Amarok is my favorite app *ever* in my almost 30 years of using computers, AND they needed a new handbook, I volunteered. Rather than being ignored, I was welcomed, introduced around, and treated in a very friendly way. Even though my dad broke his hip a month or two later, and that ended putting the Handbook on hold for many months, I never met with impatience, but just helpful attitudes all around. It’s been a grand experience, and that gave me the confidence to ask for Kubuntu membership and volunteer to help on documentation there too.

EK: What are your roles within the Ubuntu community?

VZ: Since I became a Kubuntu member, I attended UDS-N (thanks for sponsoring me, Canonical!), have been continuing my participation in my LoCo, and participate in the #ubuntu-women and #ubuntu-women-project IRC channels. I hope to help with Kubuntu documentation in the next few cycles.

EK: Is there anything you haven’t done yet, but would like to get involved with in the Ubuntu community?

VZ: I thought I would already be learning how to do Kubuntu documentation by now, but still hope to ramp up my contribution there in the future. Once I learn how to do it, I hope to get others involved and trained also, since documentation is so valuable to the project. While my LoCo seems to be in a down phase right now, I hope to stand for leadership as part of a leadership team, following the excellent example of LinuxChix and Ubuntu-Women. I would like to see more Ubuntu activity all over the state of Washington.

EK: What other things are you interested in outside of open source and Ubuntu?

VZ: I love the growth of free culture around the world, where people share their art, music and other creative endeavors freely. I’m active in PFLAG ( where we work on social justice for gay, lesbian, bi and trans people. One of my kids is gay, so this is very close to my heart.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

  • Subscribe!

  • Pages

  • Archives