"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."