Removing Barriers: Ascend Project Post Mortem

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B202/203


Last year the Ascend Project was announced, then in the fall the first pilot took place in Portland. This year we'll report back on how it went, hear from participants, and break down what worked and what could be changed for future versions of this type of program. You'll definitely come away with some ideas for your next learning event, code school, or sponsored training.


Launched last year at Open Source Bridge, the Ascend Project was a mentorship and barrier-removing accelerator program design to explicitly invite, include, and support adult learners in making a first technical contribution to Open Source software.

At this talk we’ll spend some time on how the selection process for the 20 person cohort worked out. Both of the leads; Lukas Blakk and Kronda Adair will talk about the teacher/mentor perspective – what was learned, what worked well, what was surprising. We’ll also have some of the participants speak about their experiences and find out where they are now. The program was a huge success and we’re excited to share back in the hopes that more people might go forth and lead projects like this in their communities/projects.


learning, ed-tech, outreach, inclusion, Portland

Speaking experience

OSB (Portland) 2014, keynote -
Unicorns in Tech (Berlin) Feb 2015 - (I start at 27m)
FOSDEM (Brussels) Jan 2015 - video pending, will come back with link

Kronda: I am regular speaker at WordPress meetups and Wordcamps and have been invited to speak at Ada Developers Academy, Beyond the Code, Lesbians Who Tech Summit, and others. I have given talks on WordPress deployment processes, successful site planning, starting your own business, and more.