Celebrating Women in Open Source from Africa - Ruth Ikegah

Celebrating Women in Open Source from Africa - Ruth Ikegah

Ruth Ikegah is an Open Source Consultant at Bitergia.

Before joining Bitergia, she worked as a Technical Writer for an agency based in the US and her role involved writing technical articles for SaaS companies.

Tell us about your experience(s) contributing to open source

I am very passionate about Open Source technology, especially helping and mentoring tech newbies to start their open source journey. I started contributing to open source very early in my career through an open source challenge by Open Source Community Africa. By participating in that challenge I found open source communities that aligned with my interests.

As a result of my commitment and consistency, I received a GitHub Star Award in 2020, becoming the first female in Africa to get the award. I also received the GitHub Pioneer Award in 2021 and got my status as a GitHub Star renewed in 2022. In 2022 I got another award as the Github Star of the year and my status was also renewed again in 2023. In 2022, I also received a Rising Star award from the She Code Africa community.

What does Open Source mean to you?

Collaboration and Community

What Open Source community(ies) have/are you currently contributing to?

I am currently contributing to:

  • The CHAOSS Project: I lead the African chapter community and also maintain the DEI Badging Initiative

  • Open Source Community Africa: I am the program manager in charge of planning and organizing open source programs and initiatives

  • Everything Open Source: I currently assist Mesranyame ❤️

I have previously contributed to these initiatives and organizations;

  • The GNOME foundation: I was part of the scalable onboarding team in charge of creating a seamless way for new contributors to participate in GNOME.

  • Layer5: I was in charge of planning and leading external internships from Africa, acting as a liaison. I also contributed to the community through onboarding and documentation.

  • Google Season of Docs: I have also participated in Open Source internships like Google Season of docs as a Technical Writer in charge of restructuring the CHAOSS community handbook.

Any advice to the younger you and other women considering starting their journeys in Open Source?

Share your work publicly, Toot your horn, and collaborate with others!