Cloudera's Open Source Codeathon Project with Bay Area Discovery Museum

Jen Wike HugerCloudera Cares is a group of employees at Cloudera who give back to the community through philanthropic activities. Alison Yu helps lead Cloudera Cares and the Bay Area Discovery Museum partnership, a project coders will be able to contribute to while at Grace Hopper's Open Source Day codeathon this year. The Bay Area Discovery Museum focuses on igniting and advancing creative thinking for all children, which are skill sets that Alison believes are crucial for all children to develop well. As a native of the Bay Area, she also thinks it's important that the tech community give back locally.

Q: What made you decide to participate in the GHC Open Source Day codeathon?

Yu: It wasn’t really a decision—just a bunch of people committed to making it happen. Cloudera is unique in that the majority of our employees participate in open source projects. A good number of those also participate (outside of their jobs) in humanitarian projects. So, the opportunity to do both in conjunction with Grace Hopper was an incredible opportunity.

Q: Have you attended GHC before?

Yu: Cloudera has not participated in Grace Hopper events before. Diversity is (as with many companies) a priority and we have looked up to the community at GHC as a driver for equality, particularly in engineering. What started out as a grassroots effort to participate in the event has become a team effort internally, with key support from virtually the entire company. It is really exciting to work at a company that so readily donates time and skills to humanitarian causes, and to have such an incredible forum at GHC with which to do it.

Alison Yu

Q: Tell us about the open source project you'll have attendees work on at the codeathon.

Yu: The attendees will be working on a data project for the Bay Area Discovery Museum—their aim is to ignite and advance creative thinking for all children. Our project is aimed at helping the museum reach more families by parsing through data to find out optimal times for programming, open hours, setting up free admission days, and more.

Q: What are your organization's top priorities in the open source community right now?

Yu: Cloudera's Open Source platform is one of the most widely adopted in the world. Our priorities are to continue to educate principles, practice, and application of data science to the startup, the non profit, and the enterprise.

Q: What other open source humanitarian projects is your organization working with?

Yu: Cloudera Cares works with many different local and global organizations. We partner with DataKind on a global level and have employees participating in different activities. DataKind helps connect data scientists to data problems globally. Some of the organizations they have helped include: Amnesty International, Citizens Advice, World Bank, NYC Parks Department, and more.

Cloudera helps facilitate colleges and universities around the world build the next generation of big data professionals through providing curriculum and Cloudera Enterprise, free of cost. Learn more about the Cloudera Academic Partnership.

Q: How diverse is your project's community?

Yu: The Bay Area Discovery Museum is committed to creating a welcoming environment and meaningful experience for visitors and staff that respects and includes people with disabilities, from different racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and who identify as LGBTQ. Our mission is to ignite and advance creative thinking for all children, and we are committed to removing the barriers that some families face in accessing high-quality, educational experiences for their children.

Over 20% of the Museum’s annual visitors receive free or reduced admissions through our Celebrating Community Access Initiatives, including free admission for all visitors the first Wednesday of every month, an open door policy, and discounted Family Access Memberships. Through our flagship outreach program, Connections, the Museum facilitates more than 8,000 visits annually and provides high quality STEM learning opportunities for children from subsidized Bay Area preschools that serve a high proportion of low-income families, families of color, recent immigrants, and English-language learners.

This article is part of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing series for GHC 2015. The annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. GHC 2015 will be held October 14-16, 2015, in Houston, Texas.

Cloudera's open source codeathon project with Bay Area Discovery Museum was authored by Jen Wike Huger and published in It is being republished by Open Health News under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The original copy of the article can be found here.