Head-and-shoulders picture of Sumana Harihareswara, taken by Jeff Fortin

I'm Sumana Harihareswara. I'm the founder of Changeset Consulting, providing project management services to open source software projects. Since 2007 I've been contributing to and leading open source software communities.

More generally, I'm a programmer, technology executive and open source expert who practices and teaches technical and people skills (my resume), and a reader, writer, and stand-up comedian. I'm on LinkedIn, GitHub, GitLab, Mastodon, Bluesky, and Cohost, and was on X/Twitter.

I often give public talks, including keynote addresses at conferences. And in my spare time, I write this blog and write for other venues, and sometimes perform stand-up comedy and make the occasional zine, program, or fanvid. Here's a list.

Interests and background

Family: My parents hailed from Karnataka, a state in southern India, where the native language is Kannada and the people are Kannadigas. Like my parents, I am a Hindu. For several years they edited and published the Kannada/English magazine Amerikannada, many issues of which now reside in the collections of the University of California at Berkeley. My sister, Nandini Harihareswara, is an executive in digital financial inclusion. Leonard Richardson and I got married in April of 2006. Leonard is the wit who came up with the title "Cogito, Ergo Sumana."

Places: I live in New York, New York in the United States of America. I was born in the northeastern US and moved through Pennsylvania, Missouri, and northern California before coming to New York. If you think you went to school with me, you probably did. In 2001 I spent a summer studying in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2012, and then again in 2014, I did the Coast-To-Coast walk across northern England.

Education: I earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California at Berkeley and a master's in technology management at Columbia University, and participated in the Fall 2013 and Fall 2014 batches of the Recurse Center (formerly Hacker School). In 2016 I became a certified Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry instructor. As of January 2024 I have a NOLS certification in Wilderness First Aid.

Want to become a better programmer? Join the Recurse Center!

Work: Before founding Changeset, I worked at Cody's Books, Salon.com, Fog Creek Software (now Glitch), Behavior (now part of Orion), Collabora, the GNOME Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation, and several other places, such as a Voice-over-IP startup and a web hosting startup.

Community service, activism, and volunteering: I serve on the Motherboard of the Otherwise Award, and push towards transparency in government data and in software used by my governments. From late 2019 till early 2024 I was a a Visiting Scholar at the Secure Systems Lab at New York University. I also previously served on the global BIPOC advisory board for MetaFilter (in the 2020s) and the advisory board and board of directors for the Ada Initiative (in the 2010s). Before that, I also volunteered at a local public radio station and my state legislator's office.

Interests: I'm interested in free and open source software, books, careers, good teaching, political science, tax history, hiking, stand-up comedy, good cinema, innovation, science fiction and fantasy, the cultural/political aspects of technology, project management, and so on.


How to pronounce my name. (1MB video, download.)

You can email me at sumanah`@`fastmail.com. Here's a videorecording that demonstrates how to pronounce my name. In case you want to purchase me something off my wishlist, my mailing address:

PO Box 721160
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
United States of America

I used to share my PGP/GPG public key and fingerprint here, but it fell into disuse. Instead, you can initiate a Signal conversation with me using the username @brainwane.01.