Blog Archive

Volunteer to Get Free One-Day OSBridge Pass!

Attendees sitting in on a session.A message from Volunteer Coordinator Chris Freeman:

NEW! We are now offering a same-day one-day registration pass for those who volunteer for 3 or more hours in a given day (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). Sign-up for volunteer shifts using the volunteer app and select your shifts. You will receive a one-day registration code via email.

We continue to offer a full conference registration for those who volunteer for 8 or more hours.

if there are any other issues causing you to hesitate, please let us know at

See you at the conference Next Week!

We Can Help You Get Food at #OSB16

Pizza rolls are better than gender rolls

Designed by César Sierra.

Because Open Source Bridge is not providing food on site this year (except at the party on Thursday, June 23), we are arranging to have a group of runners available to pick up lunch and bring it back for anyone unable to leave the conference venue. Please complete this form if you’re interested in having a runner.

For those who can leave the venue, we will have guides available to help you find the best food-selling spots that fit your human dietary needs.

Get to Know Shauna Gordon-McKeon

photo Shauna in front of a brick wallShauna Gordon-McKeon’s keynote speech is Free Culture in an Expensive World, exploring how our social norms around money impact who participates in open source and how they do so.

Shauna Gordon-McKeon is an independent researcher and developer who focuses on free technologies and communities. She runs a business, Galaxy Rise Consulting, providing web and mobile development and data science services to individuals and organizations. She can often be found using her skills as a writer, public speaker, and teacher to help free software and open science communities more accessible to newcomers.

We asked her a few questions about her insights on open source via email.

What got you into open source?

I came to open source software by way of open government and open science. I’ve been interested in politics and government for as long as I can remember, and believe pretty passionately in transparency and in the state’s role in stewarding the public commons. I’m also a scientist by training, and have participated in the open access movement, in the push for reproducibility, and in “citizen science” projects.

I didn’t give much thought to software until five or six years ago, but when I did, it was easy enough to recognize the values that drew me to open government and open science: openness, obviously, but also accountability, collaboration, access to knowledge. I see open source as part of a larger community that I was already at home within long before I ever installed Linux on my laptop or learned to program.

What do you want people to take away from your upcoming keynote?

My keynote is about financial sustainability in open source specifically and free culture generally. I’m no expert in this subject—I’m not an economist, or a businessperson, and I don’t have any surefire advice for making money while sticking to your open source methods and values. My talk is not about providing answers; it’s about asking questions.

Questions like: Why is it so difficult for us to openly discuss money, and how can we make it easier? How does having paid contributors working alongside volunteers affect a community? How do corporations that employ contributors or donate large amounts influence the open source projects? Are there certain types of work—or certain demographics of people—that tend to be underfunded? How does funding, or the lack of it, impact projects being abandoned and people burning out? What resources do we, as a community, have access to and how can we better share them?

This talk shares its name with a project I’ve recently launched: Free Culture in an Expensive World. A big part of the project is doing interviews with people who’ve been active in free culture projects about their experiences with money and sustainability. I’m hoping that the talk will encourage people to talk more about money, not just with me but with each other. Our community, more than anything else, defines itself by a willingness to work openly and collaboratively to solve problems. If we can apply those values to the question of money in free culture, I believe we can achieve greater sustainability, as well as a larger and more economically diverse community.

Who do you want to reach?

Open Source Bridge is one of my favorite conferences, and that’s largely due to the community: the people I’ve met through OSB are reflective, creative, idealistic and, above all, kind. That’s the perfect audience for this talk.

What sessions are you excited about?

There are so many I’m excited about! Another reason I love Open Source Bridge—the talk schedule is always an embarrassment of riches. I’ll just name a few: Jennifer Rondeau’s talk about the history of software documentation, Denise Paolucci’s talk on terms of service enforcement, Katherine Fellows’ Intro to Clojure workshop, and Britta Gustafson’s talk on open source tech writing in the federal government. Oh, and Kronda Adair’s Building a Life With WordPress and Helen Jiang’s talk on the proprietary history of machine learning and the current open source stack and I’ll stop now before I list the entire schedule.

(Two more, though—I’m also very much looking forward to the other keynotes: Julia Nguyen’s Exploring Mental Illness With Open Source and Audrey Eschright’s Creating a Third Wave of Free/Open Source Software.)

Open Source Bridge on $0 a day!

Attendees sitting in on a session.A message from Volunteer Coordinator Chris Freeman:

Do you want to attend Open Source Bridge but need a registration? You can earn a free registration by volunteering for 8 hours through the volunteer app.

Not sure what shift to choose? Check out the Session Monitor shift.

Session Monitor is one of the best shifts to choose. After the light duty of helping the speaker find the room and introducing the speaker, you can enjoy the presentation while covering some basic admin work such as taking a headcount, reminding the speaker of 10 and 5 minutes to go, etc. A note sheet is provided for each monitor session with a checklist of duties. Easy stuff. Find out more on the volunteer app here.

Get to Know Audrey Eschright

headshot of Audrey EschrightAudrey Eschright’s keynote speech is Creating a Third Wave of Free/Open Source Software, proposing that if Free Software is the first generation, and Open Source is the second, current efforts toward creating an inclusive and sustainable world make up a third generation that we can start to form into a broader plan.

Audrey is a software developer, community organizer, and activist based in Portland, OR. She founded Calagator, an open source community calendaring service, and co-founded Open Source Bridge. She is the editor and publisher of The Recompiler, a magazine about technology and participation.

We asked her a few questions about her insights on open source via email.

What got you into open source?

I wrote a long thing about this for my talk at last year’s conference, but the short version is that it was a readily available way to build my technical skills and get access to information I was interested in. Later, the communities I participate in became the driving factor.

What do you want people to take away from your upcoming keynote?

There are so many things we take for granted because that’s the way we’ve seen them done, and particularly when you work in technology, so many of us are under 40, or even under 30, that we just don’t have a historical perspective. So I want people to understand that open source is something that people created, in response to very specific technical and economic events, and we don’t have to do “open source” the way we see it now if that’s not what works for the people who participate.

What sessions are you excited about?

Frances Hocutt’s session on dealing with toxic work situations, because that’s such a difficult but common situation to be in, and I don’t think we talk about it nearly enough. Kronda Adair’s workshop on WordPress-based businesses — she’s awesome and her advice has helped my own business so much. And Lindsey Bieda’s talk “Hardware Hula Hoops and Flow”, because I think that’s going to be really fun.