Open Source Community Development Panel #ghc09

^ Valerie Fenwick, Sun, moderator. Panelists: Terri Oda, Linuxchix. Kathryn Vandiver, NetApp. Stormy
Peters, GNOME
, Sandy Payette, Fedora Commons. Teresa Giacomini, Sun.

(These are just my rough notes.)

? to Sandy what activities and attitudes have helped your community flourish?

Teresa on diff tactics to grow communities in different parts of the world: In our June user group leaders’ meeting it became glaringly obvious that you have to take cultural differences into account, e.g. meeting styles and formats (formal vs. not, long vs short presos). The meeting built trust among the leaders, and has resulted in ongoing contact and idea sharing.

how to handle conflict within communities? if the community itself can’t resolve it, OpenSolaris has the OGB to resolve it. Val: we have had to step in a few times, but no serious action to be taken, just a moderation of issues – more getting people to talk

Stormy: GNOME version control change was controversial

? how do you convince management to invest in open source?

building community around an OS –

the hard part is getting people into a complex development environment


(Stormy Peters tweeting while ON the panel. #ghc09 Interesting.)

Building a community around an operating system is an amazing thing – people can just play with it at a conference. #ghc09

RT @storming: What’s hard about growing communities? Getting newcomers into a complex development environment. #ghc09

how can we get developers in Africa involved? forums are scary for them because of language barriers. Reaching developers in Africa: problems include lack of bandwidth, many languages. What can we do to help? #ghc09

I wonder if the TED translation project cd be applied to open source software translation needs (specifically, for hi tech videos like mine).

are women good participants in open source?

Terri: commercial 20% women, in open source 1-5% Why? more intimidated? (your code’s out there in public – could be embarrassing)

how to get people to participate? invite them! #ghc09

reaching women may require specific outreach e.g. women’s t-shirts

FSF had a mini summit for women recently

how to get people involved? invite them. find less-intimidating projects to get started with

Sandy – project lead makes a difference, breaking things down into smaller projects that SWAT teams can handle

Kathryn – advantages to having open source on your resume – we recruit those

Kathryn – as a commercial company we put our reputation on the line when we contribute to open source, so we make it good

Stormy: Why do you like working on oss projects? Passionate people! (Me and Teresa) #ghc09

sheer number of eyeballs who review code – Val can get six reviewers just by tweeting about new open source code

open source gives developers public recognition

experiences that open source communities are women hostile – competition, license to yell

Terri got a death threat “women in open source are a distraction”

but the community totally offsets that

Linuxchix has two rules: be polite, be helpful

women in open source – attitude can be a problem

Terri get involved in the women’s communities – very different environment


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