Meike Reichle

Meike Reichle URL:

How long have you been using Debian?

I started collecting first Linux experiences somewhen in the mid to late 90s, when a friend of mine put Linux on his machine and showed me what it could do. I was quite fascinated but couldn't try it out myself since I didn't have a computer of my own (computers used to be classical boys toys at that time) and fiddling with the family 486 was a total no-go. When I started studying at the university in 2001 I finally bought the first computer of my own. Working on the University's Unix terminals quickly got me hooked on *nixes. From 2001 to 2004 I on and off tried several different distributions (Mandrake, RedHat, Gentoo, even Solaris x86), but none of them fully convinced me. In 2004 I finally switched to Debian and have never looked back since then.

Are you a Debian Developer?

Yes, since 2008.

What areas of Debian are you involved in?

I maintain packages and am one of currently three delegated Debian Press Officers. Besides my press work I do a lot of travelling to represent Debian at all kinds of Linux and Free Software events, usually by staffing/organising Debian booths and giving talks on all things Debian and Free Software related. I am, by now, also somewhat of a Debian Women veteran :).

What got you interested in working with Debian?

I tried a few other Unix and Linux distributions before I finally ended up with Debian. After using it for some time I decided that I liked the project so much that I wanted to be a part of it. I started of by reading and writing on mailing lists and irc and then got more and more involved until I finally applied for a developer account myself.

Do you have any tips for women interested in getting more involved with Debian?

Don't be shy. Don't give up after the first failure, nor after the second or third. Debian and the people in it sometimes need some time to get acquainted with, but it's definitely worth it! I guess the best is to find a niche that fits your interests and begin working there, getting more and more involved in the whole project as times goes on.

Are you involved with any other women in technology group? Which one(s)?

I am subscribed to several mailing lists at, a German platform for women in different areas of computing. Also I am a Cyber Mentor and have by now acquired something like a reputation for giving Non-Dogmatic Women in IT Talks.

A bit more about you...

I've got my Master's Degree (Magister) in Information Sciences and work as Project Manager at an embedded Linux company. In my spare time I like crafting and all sort of DIY activities. I read a lot (mostly SF), like to listen to music (mostly ska, punk and blues), love to travel and always enjoy meeting fellow Debianists at the places I travel to.