Baby Steps into Open Source

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Excerpt

At the Apache Software Foundation, we believe in being open. But we also recognize that "open" isn't enough to draw people in and get them involved. This talk will draw on the lessons learned in the incubation and mentoring projects at Apache to help you understand what's needed to tap the huge pool of potential contributors who already care about your work!

Description

At the Apache Software Foundation, we believe in being open. But we also recognize that “open” isn’t enough to draw people in and get them involved. Our incubation process for projects is well-established, and we’ve been mentoring students on a per-project basis for many years, most formally as part of the Google Summer of Code. Additionally, last year, Apache established a Community Development project, aiming to strengthen and broaden our mentoring programs.

This talk will draw on Noirin’s experience in helping establish that project, as well as her work as administrator for the Google Summer of Code projects at Apache, to help you understand what’s needed to tap the huge pool of potential contributors who already care about your work.

The ASF takes a three-pronged approach to mentoring individuals and projects, encouraging new contributors, and developing communities. So if you’re already a core member of a project who thinks that a few fresh pairs of hands would be great, we’ll cover a variety of mechanisms to get people involved that have been tried and tested on many of the >70 top-level projects at Apache.

And if you’re a user who’s never considered contributing, or a contributor who wants to get more involved, this talk will also give you both the tools and encouragement you’ll need to dive in! If you’ve made it past kindergarten, you should have all the skills you’ll need to work in a FOSS community, at least in theory. Of course, we’ll also cover some of the differences between theory and practice, and what can be done by users and existing contributors to minimise the difficulties that these differences introduce!

Many projects have a user base that’s vastly bigger and more diverse than their core development team. Isn’t it time you made use of that resource? Whether you’re interested in getting involved, or getting others involved, this is the talk for you!

Speaking experience

Speaker

  • Noirin

    Noirin Plunkett

    The Apache Software Foundation

    Biography

    Noirin Plunkett is a jack of all trades, and a master of several. A technical writer by day, her open source work epitomizes the saying “if you want something done, ask a busy person”.

    Noirin got her open source start at Apache, helping out with the httpd documentation project. Within a year, she had been recruited to the conference planning team, which she now leads. She was involved in setting up the Community Development project at Apache, has previously acted as Org Admin for the Google Summer of Code (with more than 40 students!), and continues to contribute to projects as diverse as Infrastructure and Incubator. She sits on the boards of both the Apache Software Foundation and the Open Cloud Initiative.

    At home in Ireland, Noirin was a volunteer with the St John Ambulance – since moving to Switzerland, she’s had to find new ways to help save the world. Happily, open source has opened more than just technical doors, and when Christchurch suffered a devastating earthquake earlier this year, Noirin’s knowledge of OS disaster management software meant she could quickly step up to co-ordinate the night shift of volunteers working on the Christchurch Recovery Map at http://eq.org.nz/ .

    When she’s not online, Noirin’s natural habitat is the dance floor, although she’s also a keen harpist & singer, and an excellent sous chef!

    Sessions