"Open source is the realm of the white male--that's a barrier for a lot of minorities," says Addison Berry. Since joining the Drupal community in 2006, the open-source advocate has become a prominent (female) presence as well: traveling the world to speak at events (from local high schools to international conferences); leading a group of codehead volunteers in logging all things Drupal; and, in 2009, snagging a Knight Foundation grant to improve Drupal documentation. "People hear documentation and they think a handbook or something," she explains. "And there is a large online handbook, but we also document how to become part of the community. There's a whole cultural element."
The culture is what lured Berry to open source in the first place. "I came because it was free, but I stayed and became an advocate for it because it's hugely beneficial to me personally," she says. "I got access to a lot of fascinating, very smart people, and I didn't have to go to school and pay for it." For the rest of the year, Berry will spread some much-needed gender diversity to events around the world, including stints in Ireland, San Francisco, and Copenhagen. "I don't have an actual home right now--I put my house up for rent and I'm traveling the world."