Michael Downey's favorites

Open Source Bridge 2016

Favorite sessions for this user

* Brooks Law & Open Source: Is Community-Driven Software Doomed?

One measure of health in open source projects is a growing contributor community. In 1975, Fred Brooks published The Mythical Man-Month, in which he noted that adding manpower to projects slows the release of software. If Brooks’ Law holds true, are growing open source projects doomed to fail? Or can we reconcile the ideas that more contributors are both beneficial and detrimental?
Culture
Jason Yee

* Cat Herding 101: Best Practices for Fostering an Engaged and Effective Online Community

Depending on what sector we come from, the words “community organizing/management” might invoke images of canvassing with flyers and clipboards or moderating online forums and high-fiving code contributors. Regardless, when we coordinate volunteers, email program participants, and chat with community members via social media, we are ultimately organizing and developing community. Whether your supporters are contributing content, volunteering, participating in forum discussions, or engaging on social media, you can play an important community management role.
Culture
Bethany Lister

* Creating a Third Wave of Free/Open Source Software

The free/open source software movement is over thirty years old, and has gone through a number of changes in that time, spawning projects large and small (including OpenConferenceWare, which runs this site!). 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.
Culture
Audrey Eschright

* Enabling Open Source Contributors at Puppet

As open source software developers and community maintainers, fostering an inclusive community and giving contributors the tools they need to succeed is incredibly important, but not always easy. This is especially true when you have a complex distributed codebase and contributors without a background in software development. Through our attempts to enable our contributors we’ve encountered many challenges and iterated on many solutions with varying levels of success. Our hope is that by sharing the stories of our successes and failures, as well as the lessons we learned, we can help other community maintainers lower the barrier to entry for contributors.
Culture
Hailee Kenney, Morgan Rhodes

* Exit Condition: when to ragequit, raise hell, or duck and cover

If you're caught in a job or a project where you simply can't convince your colleagues or organization to treat you with respect, it often feels like you're in a maze with no clear way out. (Un)fortunately, you're not alone. There's no universal solution to navigating a toxic or abusive workplace, but there's power in finding a theoretical context, sharing our stories, and learning from each other. Come learn about the options of voice, loyalty, and exit, and hear the stories of others who have had to make hard choices.
Culture
Frances Hocutt

* Exploring Mental Illness With Open Source

Julia Nguyen leads if me, an app to share mental health experiences with loved ones. In doing so, she has explored her insecurities with mental illness, learned how to engage diverse contributors, and developed better software practices with Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. She’ll share the lessons she has learned from transforming a passion project into an open source project. Inclusion takes on many forms in an open source project, including supporting contributors from all types of backgrounds, being empathetic to their project goals, and trusting them to take lead. As a mental health project, if me must also accommodate its contributors who face their own mental health challenges. All open source projects should do the same. Managing people is just as important as managing technical contributions in software.
Culture
Julia Nguyen

* Free Culture in an Expensive World

Money is a common worry, inside the open source community and out, but we often feel uncomfortable discussing it. We’ll talk about why that is and how our social norms around money impact who participates in open source and how they do so. The heart of this talk will be a series of case studies based on interviews with community members covering various economic models for open source, including worker co-ops, grant-funded and academic projects, for-profit business models, crowdfunding campaigns, and all-volunteer projects. We’ll explore the sustainability of each model as well as how they deal with the social pressures outlined in the first part of the talk.
Business
Shauna Gordon-McKeon

* Geek Choir

In this session, we explore ways to improve team cohesion, cooperation, and presence for each other through connecting via song.
Culture
Michael Alan Brewer

* Generations of Open Source and what to do about it

Open source has moved from experimental to mainstream in the past 10 years, but has definitely changed the landscape in the last 15 years. Because of that, we have a few generations of people within the broader ecosystem, and they probably have no idea that all of these communities exist, much less the fact that there's a whole ocean of a open source technology industry out there.
Business
Amye Scavarda

* How NOT to run your organization into the ground: lessons from Wikimedia Philippines for open source

Running a tech non-profit, especially in open source, is a lot of work. So much work, in fact, that in my six years as part of Wikimedia Philippines, I will admit to one of my biggest secrets: I have run my organization into the ground. Luckily for us, however, we've been really fortunate to be able to rebuild the organization from the ground up. Here's some of the lessons we've learned over the course of that process, and how you can avoid making the mistakes we made as you either form or build your own organization.
Culture
Josh Lim

* Magic, Spontaneity or Planning: Different Approaches to Building an Open Source Foundation

Open Source Foundations start in a variety of ways. Often they begin organically to fill a need after a person or small group aims to "scratch an itch" and then needs an organization behind it. Some of these organizations can appear to happen out of nowhere. Other organizations are birthed from careful planning and intentional formation. There are still others that are a combination of the two. Different methods can create powerful impact, but some of the challenges are different. This talk with compare and contrast the ways foundations are formed and the advantages of different approaches.
Business
Kate Chapman

* More Than Binary: Inclusive Gender Collection and You

Many people identify their gender in many ways. So why do we build systems to capture accurate gender information with a dropdown that only lists “male” and “female”? This talk covers why you might want to consider alternative ways of selecting gender for your users, a brief overview of the current best practices, the case study of the decisions I made when creating my open source project Gender Amender (a library you can help work on right now!), and why more work needs to be done. I'd also like to facilitate a short discussion during the time slot, so that we can share varied perspectives on how to improve the entire process of gender collection, and articulate the lenses through which we can and should view gender (e.g. “what are some other data structures we could use to capture gender identity information?”).
Practice
Anne DeCusatis

* Open Source and Diabetes: Helping Millions

This talk will cover the fascinating things happening in the open source diabetes tech (D Tech) space (think the Glucosio Project and Nightscout Project) and will emphasize the importance of open source in improving the health outcomes of people with diabetes.
Culture
Benjamin Kerensa

* Sustainable Career Development: Advancing While Still Having Free Time

In this talk, we'll examine the pressure in the tech industry to participate in work-related extracurriculars like side projects and meetups. We'll analyze where these expectations come from, what they're actually getting at, and talk about ideas for progressing in our careers without losing sight of the things in life that make us happy outside of work.
Culture
Noelle Daley

* Taking no for an answer

Open source (like many fields) rewards people who are confident and even a bit pushy. So we give talks encouraging folk to get over imposter syndrome, lean in, say yes to more things. But self-improvement shouldn't focus only on our most vulnerable members, but also our most powerful. So let's talk not about saying yes, but about hearing no. Learning to take no for an answer can transform efforts such as security, diversity and mentoring where we have few experts or volunteers and great need. Let's talk about accepting "defeat" with grace, and how to take "no" for an answer while still moving forwards.
Culture
Terri Oda

* The Politics of Cooption in Open Source and Free Software

The Open Source and Free Software community is no longer simply a patchwork of hobbyist communities. Our change and growth brought many advantages, but some disadvantages too. We now operate in a microcosm not unlike the larger USA and international political climates. Hear the story of how it operates from an political insider.
Culture
Bradley Kuhn

* Towards an Ethics of Care: Understanding and Acknowledging Care Work in Technology Companies

This talk explores dimensions of care work and best practices for acknowledging and understanding care work in technology teams, and makes the business case for considering all involved with building and maintaining technologies in strategy and planning. I explore ways in which to track the hidden costs of care work, and build a discourse of sustainability and inclusion around care work in technology companies.
Business
Amelia Abreu

* User-centered open source projects

Open-source projects often struggle with finding contributors and getting off of the ground. Lessons learned all point to putting the user first.
Culture
Jackie Kazil

* What We Talk About When We Talk About Code

Programming and open source have plenty of specific jargon to learn. How do we make sure we're not pushing away contributors with it?
Culture
Zoe Landon

* Wiping Away the (Bad) Lines in the Sand in the Software Developer Community

Think of a shibboleth as a proverbial line in the sand that determines who belongs and who is an outsider. There are a lot of arbitrary shibboleths in programming. Text editors (emacs vs. vim vs. sublime), paradigms (object-oriented vs. functional), languages (everyone vs Java), type systems, are all topics of… to put it lightly, “vigorous conversation.” In set theory terms, the developer community does not do enough to encourage seeing different developer groups as unions instead of intersections. To a newcomer, this situation sets up too much of a danger of alienation. If someone makes fun of the language that you use to learn how to code, then you’re less likely to want to keep learning.
Culture
Walé Ogundipé

Open Source Bridge 2015 Birds of a Feather

Favorite proposals for this user

* Chat & Open Source: Past, Present, & Future

UPDATE: By request, this will be moved to Friday's unconference sessions. Was Wednesday B201 7-8:30pm: Proprietary platforms like Slack and newer open source alternatives like Telegram & others are giving IRC serious competition. Let's discuss the current state & what the future holds.
Birds of a Feather session 2015-06-15 18:22:51 +0000
Michael Downey

Open Source Bridge 2015

Favorite sessions for this user

* Bringing Security to Your Open Source Project

With high profile breaches in open source projects, the issue of security has become one of great import to many people. But many projects, especially smaller ones, are intimidated by the idea of a security audit. This talk will discuss ways for smaller projects to experiment, learn, and even have fun improving their security. No PhDs in security required!
Culture
Terri Oda

* Building and maintaining a healthy community

Open Source organizations and projects are driven by the strength of its community. We have often seen but how big communities fall because of wrong ways of handling it or mismanagements. My talk will be around the lines of how a community leader or manager can take a few extra responsibilities to keep a community healthy.
Culture
Priyanka Nag

* Building mentoring into an open source community that welcomes and values new contributors

This session will talk about how to integrate mentoring into all the different layers of an open source project. This involves a change in the whole community which treats new contributors with respect, knowing they have something valuable to contribute to the project.
Culture
Cathy Theys

* Care and Feeding of a Healthy Job Hunt

A job hunt can be a demoralizing and dehumanizing process, but there are a lot of things which you can do to make it more productive and less stressful.
Business
VM Brasseur

* Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm

We have ethical responsibilities when coding. We're able to extract remarkably precise intuitions about an individual. But do we have a right to know what they didn't consent to share, even when they willingly shared the data that leads us there? How do we mitigate against unintended outcomes? In this talk, we'll learn how to build in systematic empathy, integrate practices for examining how our code might harm individuals, and net consequences that can be better for everyone.
Culture
Carina C. Zona

* Economics of Volunteer Labor: Three stories from Debian

What circumstances allow volunteer projects to flourish? This talk covers three examples in Debian, diving deep into the questions like whose permission is required, what technical background is needed, and more, to highlight lessons of that can help any open source community organize its activities to empower volunteers.
Culture
Asheesh Laroia

* Fear Driven Development

Have you ever not made a much-needed change because you were afraid of breaking something? Caution is wise, but too much fear can leave even the most agile of software organizations with a crippling aversion to change. This talk will discuss what makes us scared, why it hurts us, and my experiences helping a team I managed get rid of some of our fears.
Culture
Ryan Kennedy

* For Love and For Money

Let’s talk about the work we want to do, the work we have to do, and how we might create systems that don’t continue to force bad choices between building community, technical work, and diversity activism.
Culture
Audrey Eschright

* From the Unicorn’s Mouth: Stories of Managing Multiple Diverse Identities in Tech

We each have many critical facets to our identity-- race, gender, sexuality, class, health, and family background are just a handful of examples-- and the interaction between them can shape our lives more than any one factor alone. In this panel discussion, learn about intersectionality, and what the experiences of those living at the crossroads of different minority identities can teach us about what it takes to create a truly inclusive open source community.
Culture
Megan Baker, Thalida Noel, Nichole Burton, Lisa Sy

* GeekChoir 2015

In this session, we'll continue the grand Open Source Bridge tradition of learning how to increase team cohesion, identity, and collaboration through music, joining our voices (in our uniquely geeky way) in harmony.
Culture
Michael Alan Brewer

* HTTP Can Do That?!

I have explored weird corners of HTTP -- malformed requests that try to trick a site admin into clicking spam links in 404 logs, an API that responds to POST but not GET, and more. In this talk I'll walk you through those (using Python, netcat, and other tools you might have lying around the house).
Hacks
Sumana Harihareswara

* Making the web fun again

When Geocities shut down, it did much more than delete a bunch of obnoxious dancing baby GIFs and Limp Bizkit MIDI files. It deleted the ability for people to easily create web sites, and learn how to be in complete control of the content and presentation they provide to their audience. To the economically and socially disenfranchised, it was a disaster that prevented countless people from learning programming. So we brought it back, and open sourced the entire thing (including our financial data). Leave your nostalgia at the door - let us show you our efforts to pave a better future for tech startups, the tech community, and the future of the web itself.
Culture
Kyle Drake, Victoria Wang

* Morning Keynote — Put Up or Shut Up: An Open Letter to Tech Companies Seeking Diverse Teams

People from marginalized communities struggle to break into tech, clawing our way through a racist, sexist, classist, ableist system only to be fired, quit or just suffer in misery. I’ll explore what it really takes to create a workplace that is truly welcoming of everyone.
Culture
Kronda Adair

* Opening Up The Current Open Source Blueprint

Accessibility, diversity, and open source holding itself accountable to its own standards of what it means to be an open community.
Culture
Stephanie Morillo

* Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

Mental disorders are the largest contributor to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ us are afraid to face the problem head-on. In this talk, we'll examine the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace, why most developers feel it isn't safe to talk about mental health, and what we can do to change the culture and save lives.
Culture
Ed Finkler

* Teaching and managing for technologists

After 15 years or so working as a programmer I made two big changes in my job: first I became a manager, then I started working with college students to help them learn to code. This is a personal story of why that has been some of the most challenging and rewarding work I've ever done.
Culture
Lennon Day-Reynolds

* The Graceful Exit: Approaches for Changing One's Role in an Open Community

Open culture communities are passionate, dedicated backed by people. What happens when those people need to change their roles within the community? I've played varied roles in open culture communities through the years. In this talk I'll go over what worked well and what I wish I had approached in a different way when my role needed to change.
Culture
Kate Chapman

* Tricking Out the Terminal: An Introduction

A beginner-focused overview of the particulars and pitfalls of the command line and several common shells, with a focus on improving developer workflows, exposing common default tools, implementing useful open-source tools, and inserting emoji into prompts (pretty much the best part of customizing the terminal).
Chemistry
Lydia Katsamberis

* Why Relationships Matter in Community Building: Experiences from the Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Project

What makes a successful project? It's not only a solid idea, firm execution and attention to the numbers. It's also successfully building working relationships between community members. This presentation will explore how one of Wikimedia Philippines' biggest projects was successful in large part to how the organization engaged its participants, and ultimately how they have come to be part of the wider Filipino Wikimedia community.
Culture
Josh Lim

* Write It Down: Process Documentation from the Ground Up

The collective knowledge base of an organization can be difficult to crack. Some things have "always been done that way" but no one knows why. This talk will help to expose those undocumented corners of your project, and give you tools for writing process documentation for new contributors using lessons from Not-For-Profit organizations.
Culture
Kat Toomajian

* Your Job is Political: Tech Money in Politics

As much as the personal is political, the old-fashioned political still is too, and companies and individuals made rich by the tech industry and by open source software have been making increasingly direct monetary incursions into U.S. politics. Let's take a look at what policies & politicians our bosses, investors, users and contributors are buying at the local and state levels, with a specific focus on current changes in education policy and future moves in law enforcement.
Business
Kelsey Gilmore-Innis

Open Source Bridge 2013 Birds of a Feather

Favorite proposals for this user

* DevOps BOF (Confirmed)

The Portland DevOps group, PDXDevOps, would like to hold a BoF at OSB in place of its regularly scheduled meeting.
BOF 2013-06-11 22:39:41 +0000
Spencer Krum

* Geeks and Depression: Blue Hackers BoF (Confirmed)

Lots of geeks have depression. Come talk about what helps you overcome your depression, and learn about bluehackers.org
BOF 2013-06-11 14:35:27 +0000
Sarah Sharp

Open Source Bridge 2013

Favorite sessions for this user

* !done - Hacking IRC Bots for Distributed Teams

When our company was acquired we needed a way to see everything that was done each day all in one place. Teams were using different methods to do this: standups, written reports, emails and meetings. Nothing stuck. Done reports introduces a simple IRC command: !done. Team members say !done and what they just did. These !dones are put into a daily report. !done becomes a part of everyday at work, not a strained task that’s easily forgotten.
Culture
Amber Case, Aaron Parecki

* Citizenship Online: Open Source Politics

Online deliberation refers to applications which help communities make decisions. This varies from Exploratory deliberation, like Amazon reviews, where an individual makes a decision by consulting their community, to very structured Decision Making deliberations where a community needs to forge a single legally and logically defensible decision.
Culture
Ele Munjeli

* Diversity in open source: What's changed in 2012 and 2013

A few stories we will cover: * 20% women attendees at PyCon US 2013 * 85% of JSConf attendees donated to women in open tech/culture * The success of Black Girls Code * Conferences with 100% white male speakers are now called out for not trying hard enough to find good speakers * Mozilla's adoption of community guidelines that prevent advocacy of discrimination on Planet Mozilla and other Mozilla forums * The rapid growth of PyLadies
Culture
Valerie Aurora, Sumana Harihareswara, Ashe Dryden, Liz Henry, Asheesh Laroia

* DIY: Creativity and Open Source

Panelists will discuss their uses of open source tools in creative applications, from design to art to hardware.
Culture
Melissa Chavez, Sarah Sharp, Cloë Latchkey, Cameron Adamez

* Geek Choir - Fast!

A hands-on session in which we show how to increase team identity, cohesion, and collaboration via singing.
Culture
Michael Alan Brewer

* Hacking social software with pump.io

pump.io is a platform for people who love writing social software and hate ever-changing terms of service. It's an Open Source, federated social network that works! And it's fun, too.
Chemistry
Evan Prodromou

* Hacking your Meatware: exercises you can do at your desk

You will learn about risks to your neck, shoulders, hips and core from sitting at a keyboard for hours at a time. Learn a quick 6-breath sun salutation, simple stretches, the need for regular movement. Discuss sitting, standing, walking, reclining. Simple, incremental, safe, easy.
Hacks
Kurt Sussman

* Human Interfaces for Geeks

As technical professionals we excel at understanding protocols, standards, file-formats, and APIs. Whenever there is a doubt as to the correct way to do things, one merely needs to read the fine manual or source code. Unfortunately the reference manual for humans was lost a long time ago, and the source code is poorly documented. We've been struggling with inter-human communication ever since. Paul Fenwick will present his findings at reverse-engineering the human communication protocol.
Culture
Paul Fenwick

* It's OK to be Average

Open Source communities are often full of "the one who invented ___" people. They've written RFCs, gotten patents, published software that's already installed on every computer you'll ever buy. It can be kind of intimidating. But there's room for more than that--and welcoming more people can improve your project exponentially!
Culture
Noirin Plunkett

* Just Don't Lick the Cookie: an open discussion about organizational dysfunction

When someone claims a task and then doesn't do anything with it, we call that "licking the cookie." Nobody in their right mind would pick up and eat the licked cookie or finish the project. In this session well talk about common forms of organizational dysfunction, and then facilitate a group discussion about working around, over, under or through organizational dysfunctions you've encountered.
Culture
Kellie Brownell, Sumana Harihareswara

* Keynote — Alex “Skud” Bayley

Keynote by Alex “Skud” Bayley
Culture
Alex Bayley

* Kicking Impostor Syndrome In The Head

Impostor syndrome -- the persistent belief that any minute everyone around you is going to figure out you're not at all qualified -- happens to a majority of the tech industry; nobody talks about it, because nobody wants to be the first to admit it. This talk confronts that feeling head-on, and addresses ways to readjust your perceptions of your accomplishments to accurately reflect reality.
Culture
Denise Paolucci

* Morning Keynote: James Vasile

Open source!
Culture
James Vasile

* Morning Keynote: Ashe Dryden

It's been scientifically proven that more diverse communities and workplaces create better products and the solutions to difficult problems are more complete and diverse themselves. Companies are struggling to find adequate talent. So why do we see so few women, people of color, and LGBTQ people at our events and on the about pages of our websites? Even more curiously, why do 60% of women leave the tech industry within 10 years? Why are fewer women choosing to pursue computer science and related degrees than ever before? Why have stories of active discouragement, dismissal, harassment, or worse become regular news?
Culture
Ashe Dryden

* My First Year of Pull Requests

Open source folks are passionate about the tools they make and want others to get involved. Yet, in the past year that I've been developing software full time, I've seen a wide variety of responses from maintainers. On one hand, I've been inspired by the Travis-CI maintainer who followed up with my bug report over several weeks, on the other hand, my pull request to JDBC has lain fallow.
Culture
Fiona Tay

* Negotiation: Because You're Worth It

There's only one person who wins when you don't negotiate, and it's not you. But, as any logician will tell you, that doesn't tell us about what happens when you do negotiate. I'm here to help!
Business
Noirin Plunkett

* Product Management in the Open (Source) - community and direction

Product Management is a generally well defined discipline inside large corporate organizations. But how does it work in the open source world? Do we need it? How does product consensus happen in open source?
Business
Larissa Shapiro

* Quantitative community management

In this talk, you will learn the state of the art in community measurement, common mistakes made in surveying, and how to actively use data to improve activity within a project.
Culture
Asheesh Laroia

* Remote Pair Programming

Remote Pair Programming: my setup, some advice, and a live demo^H^H stress test
Cooking
Sam Livingston-Gray

* Simple Questions Should Have Simple Answers

What happens when a project begins to embrace the philosophy that simple questions should have simple answers? Q: Simple to whom? A: Simple to the person asking the question. "Simple questions should have simple answers" has given me a lot of design clarity in my projects. I hope to convince you of its beneficial effects.
Culture
Michael Schwern

* Technology for Development—how open source is changing the developing world, and how the movement can do more

FOSS can be a power for positive social impact in the developing world. Hear about key social impact projects and how the open source community can broaden its focus beyond the needs of western developers.
Culture
Jeff Wishnie

* The Care and Feeding of Volunteers: Lessons from Non-Profits and OSS

Volunteers are the lifeblood of OSS projects. From behemoths like the Linux Foundation to every little project on SourceForge, volunteers keep things moving forward. Retaining happy and motivated volunteers is a crucial step in creating a healthy organization. In this talk, I will discuss the whys and wherefors of encouraging and directing your volunteers in the context of both traditional non-profits and OSS projects.
Culture
Kat Toomajian