Speaking history

Montage of Donna Benjamin speaking at events over the past decade

OSV, VELS and Pencils  Speaker

January 23 2006, 9:00am - 5:00pm

linux.conf.au 2006

Part of the education miniconf

Education spokesperson for Open Source Victoria speaks about OSV's education initiatives; the free and open source software for Education Catalogue, the LiveLAMP server on a CD, and the Curriculum Matrix which will link examples of FOSS software to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards. This session explores the nature of educators working to implement ICT in education and seeks to foster an open discussion about the opportunities and challenges they face.

ODF: Our Document Future  Speaker

May 18 2006, 2:45pm

XTech 2006

The OpenDocument Format in XML is an important milestone for data. From clay tablets to papyrus, from the printing press to the typewriter and on to the personal computer, we have seen a steady progression of the means of recording, storing and transmitting human thought and history. We call this information technology.
What does XML and the OpenDocument format mean for people working in the field of digital preservation. How can governments and business preserve their precious information for the future?
We find ourselves crying out for a means of sharing information, not only between people and across time, but also between machines and across networks and space. We don’t want to retype, reprocess and reformat in endless permutations. We do want to read these files in the distant future. Not just 5, 50, or 500 years but possibly 5000 years and so on to the end of time.
But there are no guarantees. Scientists were unable to get data off tapes from the 1976 Viking landings on Mars because it was in an unknown format. All was not lost as they tracked down printouts and hired students to retype everything. The BBC have discovered their 1986 Digital Domesday project almost irretrievable, yet the priceless original Domesday book from 1086 is still perfectly legible. Digital Preservation is a big deal.
The National Archive of Australia was one of the first Government Agencies to actively pursue XML formats for the purposes of digital preservation. The NAA was one of the founding members of the OASIS Technical Committee which would go on to standardize the open XML file format for office applications based on the OpenOffice.org file format. The National Archive have continued their efforts with the development of Open Source Projects Xena, Quest and DPR.
This user focussed presentation reports on Australia’s contributions to Digital Preservation efforts, Open Data and the Open Source ecosphere as well as a look at how the OpenDocument format is being implemented across Australia.

OSV, VELS and Pencils  Speaker

October 3 2006, 11:00am - 11:30am

Australian Computers in Education Conference 2006

Education spokesperson for Open Source Victoria speaks about OSV's education initiatives; the free and open source software for Education Catalogue, the LiveLAMP server on a CD, and the Curriculum Matrix which will link examples of FOSS software to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards. This session explores the nature of educators working to implement ICT in education and seeks to foster an open discussion about the opportunities and challenges they face.

ODF: Our Document Future  Speaker

December 8 2006, 2:00pm

Open Source Developers' Conference 2006

What does XML and the OpenDocument format mean for people working in the field of digital preservation. How can governments and business preserve their precious information for the future?

This user focussed presentation reports on Australia’s contributions to Digital Preservation efforts, Open Data and the Open Source ecosphere as well as a look at how the OpenDocument format is being implemented across Australia.

Keynote: The Open Road  Speaker

Fri 26 Sep

K-12 Open Minds Conference

Keynote: The Open Road  Speaker

November 28 2008, 9:00am - 9:50am

AuSakai 08

Free and Open Source Software projects have changed the world, and are starting to change education. We've seen the development and consolidation of a range of software tools and platforms aimed at the education sector.

WebCT, Blackboard, Claroline, Sakai, Moodle, Editure, are often called learning management systems. But do they actually facilitate learning? How do we ensure learning management systems become platforms for engagement and change?

When teachers engage with each other and with their students to not only explore and express - but also create and share new knowledge and tools, then the business of learning becomes an entirely different enterprise.

The Joy of Inkscape  Speaker

 

linux.conf.au 2009

Inkscape  Speaker

March 14 2009, 4:10pm - 4:45pm

StixCamp Victoria, Australia

Training Wheels - Learning and Teaching Drupal  Speaker

 

DrupalSouth Wellington 2010

Come along to discuss the state of Drupal training.
Let's explore questions like:

  • Who needs training? users? designers? developers? usability experts? security specialists? sys-admins?
  • What does best practice look like?
  • When will the Acquia / Drupal Association certification program be ready?
  • Where are the resources? Can we share them? Can we build on them?
  • How can we work together to train our users and colleagues, and extend our own skills and knowledge?
  • Can we all help build a resource bank of training materials available under an open license so the community can contribute and develop a collaborative and modular course design that's flexible and adaptable, and able to be freely translated into other languages?
  • What does the Drupal learning curve look like? What skills do people need? Can they adapt skills from other CMS's?
  • Can we develop comparison rubrics so people can map their existing knowledge against the Drupal skill set?

This won't be a 'sage on the stage' presentation, because I'm no expert. Instead, I aim to facilitate an interactive discussion and invite all attendees to contribute their thoughts, experience and wisdom. We'll use some form of knowledge capture during the session to record and summarise the conversation so a post event report can be generated and shared with the Drupal community.

Inkscape: free your vectors   Speaker

 

Open Source Developers' Conference 2010

Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphic editor. Are you still using proprietary tools to bend beziers? Inkscape is a great tool for rapid prototyping high fidelity user interface design. Come along and find the fast track on the inside of the learning curve. Free your vector graphics, bring freedom to your desktop design toolkit.

Inkscape: Mockup that site  Speaker

January 22 2011, 11:15am - 12:00pm

Drupal Downunder

Inkscape is an open source vector graphic editor. It is fantastic for creating mockups, and web images.

Bring the freedom you love in Drupal to your desktop graphic tool set and give Inkscape a go.

This session will introduce Inkscape and its key features, and then demo some of my strategies for creating mockups - for the client, and for the dev team. From low-fidelity sketches, to the complete design... Inkscape should be in your toolbox.

Download for Mac, Linux and Windows from http://inkscape.org

We are here. We have always been here.  Speaker

 

linux.conf.au 2011

We are here. We have always been here.
Our numbers ebb and flow, but our strength endures.
Why do we come and go?
We have always been here.

Feminism is an old power.

Rebecca West said
"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I
only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments
that differentiate me from a doormat."

A personal potted history of feminism and female power.
An invitation to embrace feminism.

Inkscape: Basic Tools and Techniques  Speaker

July 25 2011, 9:00am - 12:30pm

OSCON 2011

Inkscape is a cross platform, GPL, graphics editor. Its native file format, Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) is a W3C open standard.

This tutorial guides participants through a series of tasks designed to introduce Inkscape’s interface and tools, and build foundation skills for creating and modifying vector graphics.

Assumed knowledge: Free & Open Source Software licensing. Difference between raster and vector graphics.

New knowledge goals: Inkscape interface, creating shapes & lines, working with colour. Inkscape techniques, path operations, object manipulations. How to edit existing SVGs from wikimedia commons or openclipart.org

You don’t need to be a designer, artistic or know how to draw. Just install Inkscape on your laptop, bring a mouse, come along and learn how to get the best out of this brilliant tool.

Let's Digitise the Dawn  Speaker

December 1 2011, 2:00pm - 2:30pm

Women, Leadership and Democracy in Australia

The National Library of Australia has brought life to a wonderful digitisation
project, Trove, making Australia's newspapers available online, and
harnessing the power of the crowd to assist in the massive effort of correcting
the auto-generated text of the scanned images.

This paper is about initiating and executing a campaign to see The Dawn,
Australia's first feminist journal, digitised and added to The Trove, sooner
rather than later. Louisa Lawson was a leader in Australia's sufragette
community, and her journal, The Dawn was an important voice for women
struggling not just for the vote, but for the right to work, equal pay, and
education. Her legacy is little appreciated, and she is sadly better known as
Henry Lawson's mother, than as a leader and pioneer of Australian
Democracy.

Using modern web tools, social media, and spreading the word through
networks of women, historians, geeks and genealogists the funds were raised
dollar by dollar. This paper shares the story, so that others may adopt the
strategy and help ensure other important elements of women's history can be
made more accessible, online.

Note: At the time of writing we have raised a third of our target amount - by
the time the conference rolls around, I hope to be able to announce full details
of the project's success.

digitise the dawn: online agitation to preserve the past  Speaker

Mon 28 May

Powerful users or Digital losers

Infiltration Day 853: Drupal Association Board. Confessions of a not-so-secret double agent  Speaker

August 22 2012, 2:15pm - 3:15pm

DrupalCon Munich 2012

The Drupal Association has been through some major changes in its governance and staffing in the last few years. It recently ran its first general election for "Directors At Large" and since 2010 has increased the number of employees by 900%. It moved its headquarters from Belgium to the USA and now manages a budget of around 3 million US dollars in annual revenue.

Where the hell does all that money go? And who are these people taking "your" money? Donna Benjamin was curious enough to be part of this to put her name in the hat for nomination last year. She successfully infiltrated the board in February.

You can think of her as your mole in the hole. With over 10 years experience in the non-profit sector, Donna knows a thing or two about what makes successful organisations tick. Diving into the inner workings of the Drupal Association, Donna dares to share some of the things she discovered in the deep end.

An experienced open source user and advocate, Donna brings her unique perspective to the Association board. She's not mega-enterprise, she's not a brogrammer and she's not American.

Come find out why you matter to the Drupal Association, how you can get involved and how your voice can help shape the direction of Drupal.

Inkscape: Mockup That Site  Speaker

November 4 2012, 5:00pm - 5:45pm

Bay Area Drupal Camp 2012

Inkscape is fabulous free and open source software for creating vector graphics. But it's also a powerful tool for creating web and user interface mockups. By creating a library of common design elements, and borrowing from elsewhere it's easy to bring ideas to life to share with colleagues and test with users. This session will introduce a series of SVG UI Widgets created to mockup Drupal sites, and demonstrate a basic workflow for pulling it all together.

Inkscape for web and UI mockups  Speaker

December 6 2012, 12:00pm - 12:30pm

Open Source Developers' Conference 2012

Inkscape is fabulous free and open source software for creating vector graphics. But it's also a powerful too for creating web and user interface mockups. By creating a library of common design elements, and borrowing from elsewhere it's easy to bring ideas to life to share with colleagues and test with users. This session will introduce a series of SVG UI Widgets created to mockup Drupal sites, and demonstrate a basic workflow for pulling it all together.

The Drupal community: the real power of 8  Speaker

August 22 2014, 1:40pm - 2:25pm

DrupalGov Canberra 2014

Drupal 8 is on the horizon with many powerful new features to look forward to. But when it's all boiled down, Drupal itself is much like other web content management technology. What truly sets Drupal apart is the phenomenal community behind its open source code base.

Donna will share an insiders view of the community, give a sneak peek of what's coming in Drupal 8, and help you understand how to get the best out of Drupal by engaging with the community.

Constructive Conflict Resolution  Speaker

September 30 2014, 10:45am - 11:45am

DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014

Conflict can be constructive.

Testing ideas by challenging them with alternatives is a useful process. But it can be uncomfortable and confronting for many people.

We value consensus. This is one of the Drupal community's great strengths. However, when consensus can't be reached, valuable time and energy is wasted. Contributions are left to languish forgotten in an issue queue.

This session will outline the types of conflict we encounter in the Drupal community, and explore some techniques for using conflict as a positive force for moving issues forward and avoiding stagnation.

Let's discuss how we can build a culture of respect to embrace the positive aspects of conflict and work together better.

Room: G107 · Pantheon

Community Leadership Summit X Auckland  Speaker

January 13 2015, 10:40am - 5:20pm

linux.conf.au 2015

Inspired by the Community Leadership Summit run each year before OSCON, Donna Benjamin will be running an event to bring together community leaders, organizers and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.

The event pulls together the leading minds in community management, relations and online collaboration to discuss, debate and continue to refine the art of building an effective and capable community.

The event will be run in a similar manner to the parent event:

www.communityleadershipsummit.com

as an open unconference-style event in which everyone who attends is welcome to lead and contribute sessions on any topic that is relevant. These sessions are very much discussion sessions: the participants can interact directly, offer thoughts and experience, and share ideas and questions. These unconference sessions are also augmented with a series of presentations from leaders in the field, panel debates and networking opportunities.

Drupal 8 Outta the Box  Speaker

January 15 2015, 3:40pm - 5:20pm

linux.conf.au 2015

Drupal 8 is coming.

This tutorial will give you hands on experience with the newest version of Drupal. If you haven't had a look for a while, now is the time to revisit the drupalverse.

We will build a website from scratch and learn how to participate in one of the open source world's largest communities.

Note: To participate in this session you will need a laptop!
Be sure to check out the wiki for more of an outline on what we'll be covering. linux.conf.au/wiki/Tutorials/Drupal8_outta_the_box

Constructive Conflict Resolution  Speaker

May 12 2015, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

DrupalCon 2015

Conflict can be constructive.

Testing ideas by challenging them with alternatives is a useful process. But it can be uncomfortable and confronting for many people.

We value consensus. This is one of the Drupal community's great strengths. However, when consensus can't be reached, valuable time and energy is wasted. Contributions are left to languish forgotten in an issue queue.

This session will outline the types of conflict we encounter in the Drupal community, and explore some techniques for using conflict as a positive force for moving issues forward and avoiding stagnation.

Let's discuss how we can build a culture of respect to embrace the positive aspects of conflict and work together better.

Constructive Conflict Resolution  Speaker

July 24 2015, 11:10am - 11:50am

OSCON 2015

Conflict can be constructive.

Testing ideas by challenging them with alternatives is a useful process. But it can be uncomfortable and confronting for many people.

This session will outline the types of conflict we encounter in open source communities, and explore some techniques for using conflict as a positive force for moving issues forward and avoiding stagnation.

Learning to understand the nature of conflict itself and the ways different people respond to conflict is an important step toward building a strong, inclusive community. We’ve seen patterns emerge, it’s time to address them in a more systematic and constructive way. Can we harness the underlying passion that drives people to disagree into a force for positive action?

Let’s discuss how we can build a culture of respect to embrace the positive aspects of conflict and work together better.

Tools for talking  Speaker

September 23 2015, 3:45pm - 4:45pm

DrupalCon Barcelona 2015

Communication skills, just like coding skills, can be supported, improved and mastered with the use of tools, strategies and approaches. While some people seem naturally gifted, others need to work to improve these skills. But all of us can learn to listen, to question, to clarify, and to make requests more effectively.

This session will outline a range of communication tools, techniques and approaches, but also ask the audience to work in small groups to talk about talking. How we do it, whether online, in text in our issue queues and chat tools, or by using voice and video, or in person at meetups and sprints. We will also explore the challenges presented by our tools, and by our cultural diversity.

My hope is that by having this conversation, and looking at "Tools for Talking" means we can all accept and embrace the challenge to improve how we communicate.

Note: This is a conversation. Not a presentation.
​Participants will be expected to share their own experiences too.

Community Training: Conflict Resolution  Speaker

September 24 2015, 2:15pm - 3:15pm

DrupalCon Barcelona 2015

Could there be more to resolving conflict than the endless back and forth in an issue queue, angry blog posts, or retreating from the noise?

The Drupal community has a conflict resolution policy and process, but it doesn't provide much guidance on how to resolve conflicts before they require escalation to the formal process.

This session explores the nature of conflict itself and outlines 12 key skills many people find useful when working towards resolving conflict.

clsXlca: Community Leadership Summit X  Speaker

February 2 2016, 10:00am - 5:00pm

linux.conf.au 2016

Turning stories into websites - Room 1  Speaker

February 8 2016, 1:40pm - 2:00pm

DrupalGov Canberra 2016

The world of agile project management is filled with ""User stories"". But what are they? and how do they relate to building websites with Drupal?

This session will outline a range of different approaches to understanding the requirements of a project, and working with a team to bring those stories to life in a browser.

Turning Stories into Websites  Speaker

April 15 2016, 12:50pm - 1:25pm

PHP Conference Australia 2016

The world of agile project management is filled with "User stories". But what are they? and how do they relate to websites? This session will outline a range of different approaches to understanding the requirements of a project, and working with a team to bring those stories to life in a browser.

Community Summit Unconference  Speaker

May 9 2016, 10:00am - 5:00pm

DrupalCon New Orleans 2016

Join us on Monday 9 May at DrupalCon New Orleans for a 1 Day UnConference dedicated to exploring the issues that matter most to the Drupal community.

Wait! What’s an unconference?

Unconferences are to meetings, what “free jazz” is to music. Cooperation and improvisation.
Discussion topics are selected and scheduled by YOU!

  • Mostly discussions, not presentations.
  • Play by the rule of motion. If the session you’re in, isn’t right for you, feel free to move to another session.
  • The people in the room are the right people.

The main thing is, it’s free, and all are welcome.

I am your user, why do you hate me?  Speaker

May 18 2016, 11:55am - 12:35pm

OSCON 2016

Open source software projects can be prickly towards their users. Poor documentation, steep learning curves, and finely tuned focus on excellence and quality can make a project community seem hostile. As users of many different open source projects over the years, Donna and Leslie have often wondered about this problem and contemplated what to do about it. This session takes a long standing private rant public.

Turning stories into websites (Day 1)  Speaker

June 30 2016, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

LAST Conference 2016

The world of agile project management is filled with "User stories". But what are they? and how do they relate to websites? This session will outline a range of different approaches to really understanding the requirements of a project, and working with a team to bring those stories to life in a browser.

Drawing on the wisdom of the crowd, we'll share our strategies and experience with each other, to level up our skills and understanding of what's involved in transforming a shopping list of tasks and features into something real and useful.

Turning stories into websites (Day 2)  Speaker

July 1 2016, 11:30am - 12:30pm

LAST Conference 2016

The world of agile project management is filled with "User stories". But what are they? and how do they relate to websites? This session will outline a range of different approaches to really understanding the requirements of a project, and working with a team to bring those stories to life in a browser.

Drawing on the wisdom of the crowd, we'll share our strategies and experience with each other, to level up our skills and understanding of what's involved in transforming a shopping list of tasks and features into something real and useful.

Turning Stories Into Websites  Speaker

July 25 2016, 3:30pm - 5:00pm

LAST Conference Sydney 2016

Interactive Workshop.

The world of agile project management is filled with "User stories". But what are they? and how do they relate to websites? Come along to share, reflect and build fresh ideas on how approach user stories. How do we develop better understandings of project requirements. And ultimately, work with our teams to bring those stories to life in a browser.

Django & Drupal: A Tale of Two Cities  Speaker

August 12 2016, 9:15am - 9:45am

DjangoCon AU 2016

Drupal and Django have much in common. They’re both open source tools for building the web. They’re also marked by some fundamental differences. However, both are so much more than that.

"Every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret!" - Charles Dickens.

Let’s explore the darkly clustered houses of these two different communities of open source people.

  • What common challenges do we face?
  • What different approaches do we take?
  • What can we learn from each other?

And finally, what could we do together?

Turning stories into websites  Speaker

August 14 2016, 3:00pm - 3:30pm

PyCon Australia 2016

The user story sits at the centre of most agile development methodologies.

But what makes a good story? and where do stories come from? What do we do with them once they've been estimated, prioritised, re-sized and broken down? How can we maintain our sense of the big picture when it's broken down into tiny puzzle pieces? How does that help us build good products?

This talk puts the focus on the "user" telling the story to understand their requirements for the product. It then turns back to the team to look at how we hear and discuss those stories in order to bring them to life to build the product, and build it right.

Survive, Thrive, and Stay Alive? Small business secrets.  Speaker

September 28 2016, 2:15pm - 3:00pm

Drupalcon Dublin 2016

Tired of the nine-to-five grind of working for someone else? Wish you could have a bit more freedom to take on clients whose values more closely aligned with your own? Whether you're a relatively new Drupal site builder, or an experienced Drupal developer, there are clients who would happily pay for your experience, and your level of expertise. From part time "moonlighting" to running your own agency, there are a lot of ways you can increase your independence through self-employment.

In this session, Donna "kattekrab" Benjamin will walk you through the questions you should ask yourself as you consider the size and scope of your new venture. She will draw on nearly two decades of experience and give you insight into how her consultancy has managed to survive, thrive, and stay alive.

  • What skills do you need?
  • When should you "outsource"?
  • Should you employ more people?
  • What legal and financial knowledge is required?
  • What support can you access?

There's a lot involved. Small businesses don't usually have the resources to hire specialists in all these areas. Learning how to determine what you need to know personally, balanced against what you can afford to hire or buy is a key plank in building a sustainable practice. Keeping it simple is important.

It's not always about growth, living within the resources available is one key to success.

Small business secrets - DrupalSouth edition  Speaker

October 27 2016, 1:15pm - 2:00pm

DrupalSouth 2016

Tired of the nine-to-five grind of working for someone else? Wish you could have a bit more freedom to take on clients whose values more closely aligned with your own? Whether you're a relatively new Drupal site builder, or an experienced Drupal developer, there are clients who would happily pay for your experience, and your level of expertise. From part time "moonlighting" to running your own agency, there are a lot of ways you can increase your independence through self-employment.

In this session, Donna "kattekrab" Benjamin will walk you through the questions you should ask yourself as you consider the size and scope of your new venture. She will draw on nearly two decades of experience and give you insight into how her consultancy has managed to survive, thrive, and stay alive.

What skills do you need?
When should you "outsource"?
Should you employ more people?
What legal and financial knowledge is required?
What support can you access?
There's a lot involved. Small businesses don't usually have the resources to hire specialists in all these areas. Learning how to determine what you need to know personally, balanced against what you can afford to hire or buy is a key plank in building a sustainable practice. Keeping it simple is important.

It's not always about growth, living within the resources available is one key to success.

2121 – How do we get there?  Speaker

 

BuzzConf Technology Festival 2016

2121 is 105 years away. That's the future. How many people are working and thinking beyond their own lifetimes?

I am your user, why do you hate me?  Speaker

January 19 2017, 2:15pm - 3:00pm

linux.conf.au 2017

Open source software projects can be prickly toward their users. Poor documentation, a steep learning curve, and a finely tuned focus on excellence and quality can make a project community seem hostile. As users of many different open source projects over the years, Donna Benjamin and Leslie Hawthorn have often wondered about this problem and contemplated what to do about it. This session takes their long-standing private rant public in the hopes that it will help us all be better developers, collaborators and community members.

Making views in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8  Speaker

March 27 2017, 2:10pm

DrupalGov Canberra 2017

The Views module is a powerful tool. It gives site builders and site managers enormous control over displaying their content. But flexing the full power of views can be daunting.

In this session, we'll take a practical look at the difference between Views in Drupal 7 as a contributed module, and views in Drupal 8, now that it is in core.

We'll look at some of the Advanced features in views, and find out how we can get more out of our content using the full slice and dice capacity of the views module, with help from some of it's friends.

We'll conclude with an overview of the Views ecosystem, with pointers on where to go next to go from Views beginner, to Views master.

2017 - DrupalSouth - communication skills for everyone

2018
Turning stories into Software

Developer Developer miniconf at LCA - https://rego.lca2018.org/schedule/presentation/118/

and at Laracon "Donna changed things up a bit and spoke around the topics of user stories, personas, and group dynamics. Her session really resonated with us" robot ninja

and also Web Directions summit - https://webdirections.org/wds18/speakers/donna-benjamin.php

MoodleMoot - Engaging learners: From objective to activity

Drupal Europe - Agile business analysis for drupal agencies

linux.conf.au - Inkscape workshop

OpenGLAM miniconf - digitise the dawn

2019

Contributing beyond code