Why You Should Be An Open Source Project

Short Form


You are a collection of code. You’ve got an initial commit from your parents, pull requests of childhood influences, and now you, a grown up project. How do you continue to “develop” as a human? You expose your internals and merge pull requests. IRL, that means sharing your self genuinely and integrating lessons from others. The same things that make a good open source project make a happy person.


People = Projects
Version yourself: I’ll explain what it means to be a work in progress
Create a roadmap of yourself: I will give use my personal roadmap as an example, explain how to allocate resources, and speak on the importance of a sense of mastery to happiness and health, which will transition into the next section.

Successful open source projects have a common goal and strong leader.
Mastery: I’ll cover how both the common goal and strong leader = you. I’ll use two personal examples to demonstrate what a pull request on a person looks like, and what declining a pull request and merging a pull request on your being look like when you’re trying to be an open source project. We’ll talk about about the concept of “selling out” your self.

Successful open source projects know their internals and share their internals.
I’ll cover determining your strengths and weaknesses (or your bugs and features). Then I’ll teach how to determine these strengths / weaknesses and show the ways attendees are likely doing this already.

Every successful open source project develops differently so redistribute collaboratively.
Three key points here: redistributing back into the community, collaborating (not competing), and understanding that each person develops differently. I’ll wrap up with the proven benefits of community and social support.

We’ll look at possible security concerns to being open and briefly touch on what a closed source person/project would look like before reviewing all of the concepts above.


self development, Open Source, psychology

Speaking experience

I've given a 15 minute version of this at FOSDEM in Brussels:

I've also given a general community building talk at SCaLE in Los Angeles titled "What's the Value of a Pull Request?"


  • Biography

    Carol lives in NYC and is a lover of all things community, including how they thrive and what makes people join them. When not geeking out about tech, she hangs out with her community of people who sing very loudly together or her community of people who watch men push vulcanized rubber around on the ice.