Andrea Middleton's favorites

Favorite sessions for this user

* 5 Years of WordCamps: Growth, Automation, and Lessons Learned

The number of WordCamps (volunteer-organized WordPress conferences) has nearly doubled since 2011. Find out how we’ve improved the WordCamp attendee experience while at the same time improving the experience of our volunteer organizers, through a combination of institutional support and community involvement, plus what problems we hope to solve in the years to come.
Andrea Middleton

* 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shauna Gordon-McKeon

* Free Culture, Free Software

I gave a similar talk at LibrePlanet 2015 and would like to reprise it with updated information on the current state of FOSS for Cultural Heritage. I'd like to discuss how to get involved with FOSS projects that are related to the Cultural Heritage space and what kinds of projects currently exist. I'll end the session by talking about what kinds of projects could and should exist as well as community building and awareness in FOSS for Cultural Heritage Organizations.
Jennie Rose Halperin

* 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.
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.
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.
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?”).
Anne DeCusatis

* Supporting diversity with a new approach to software

It’s time for a new approach to software, one that embraces differences (not just tolerates them), and sees diversity as a strength. The industry is primed for change, and there are huge opportunities to do better by valuing emotion, intuition, compassion, purpose, empowerment, sustainability, and social justice. This highly-interactive session includes discussions of current “best practices” and emerging ideas from projects that have focused heavily on diversity, issues and problems in today’s environment, imagining how things could be different, and figuring out concrete steps to make it happen.
Jon Pincus, Tammarrian Rogers

* Unraveling the Masculinization of Technology

Have you ever wondered where the perception that technology is a masculine pursuit comes from? Or why we have to explain that, "no really, women are interested in computers too"?
Audrey Eschright

* Welcoming Communities

A lot of people enjoy contributing to Open Source projects. And Open Source projects love contributions. And yet I keep seeing newcomers struggling to contribute and project maintainers struggling to find contributors. What’s the catch? There is a gap. A gap between the desire to contribute to a community and the ability to find one. A gap between what contributions are welcome, and what people think is wanted. A gap between what people wish they could contribute, but don’t know how, or are afraid to try. In this talk, I’ll share our learning from building the Hoodie Community, which is recognized as one of the most Open Source’s most diverse and inclusive.
Gregor Martynus

* What can the open source software of today learn from the history of software documentation?

In the early years of easily distributable software, technical writers and the documentation that they produced were a crucial part of the software development process. Why? What kinds of contributions did they make, and what might their close cooperation with the programmers of their day teach us about how to manage open source projects better today?
Jennifer Rondeau

* 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?
Zoe Landon

Favorite proposals for this user

* Building community with Twitter chats

The team building community around a book called The Open Organization wanted to see how social media could enhance our efforts. We investigated and successfully used Twitter chats as a way to continue conversation and dialog around what it means to be an open leader. Now it's time to share what we've learned so you can do the same thing for your community.
Practice 2016-03-18 22:14:24 +0000
Jason Hibbets

* Can Online Interaction Match some of the Magic of Face-to-Face Collaboration?

Join this interactive session connecting what we know about face-to-face collaboration and how and why it works with what online dialog, games, berry-picking, wayfinding and other large scale activities can accomplish.
Theory 2016-04-17 17:20:06 +0000
Carie Fox

* Copyleft For the Next Decade: A Comprehensive Plan

Copyleft, and the GPL in particular, are under threat. The treacherous political climate of for-profit open source cooption has changed the nature of our community. Can copyleft continue to be an effective tool to defend software freedom, and if so, how?
Culture 2016-04-06 18:04:35 +0000
Bradley Kuhn

* Debugging Diversity

Despite the media attention given to the diversity in tech problem, many technology practitioners don't see how a lack of diversity affects their daily life. So, it is not surprising that they neither understand the magnitude of the problem nor how they can fix it. However, the principles and language of debugging, something technology practitioners understand well, can be used to help them understand diversity and their role in solving the problem. So, technologists already have a set of terms that they can use to tackle diversity. They just need to know how to apply those terms in order to effect positive change. These terms are expected behavior, tracing, refactoring, and sample code.
Culture 2016-03-16 19:25:11 +0000
Anjuan Simmons

* Explicit is Better Than Implicit: Setting Expectations

Miscommunication, wasted time, hurt feelings: real dangers when communicating with strangers online. As FOSS maintainers and contributors, let's try documenting our communication guidelines the same way we document our code style guidelines.
Culture 2016-04-05 01:48:19 +0000
Trey Hunner

* Exploring Privilege in Open Source Communities

In many open source communities, privilege is rarely discussed. While it is not an easy topic to talk about, it is an important subject to explore if we want to make sure open source is truly open to everyone. After exploring sources of privilege and learning strategies to deal with it, we can all be better equipped to take action to improve our open source communities for the long run.
Culture 2016-04-12 16:46:20 +0000
Taylor Barnett

* How to build community the open source way

Go behind the scenes at to learn how we are building a community and creating the world's premier open source story telling platform.
Practice 2016-03-18 22:21:57 +0000
Jason Hibbets

* Machine Ethics and Emerging Technologies

An autonomous car is driving down a single-lane road carved out of a cliff. Unexpectedly, a child runs in front the car chasing a ball, and trips. The car cannot stop in time to avoid a fatal collision, but it can sacrifice itself and its passenger by driving off the cliff. Should it? And if so, would you buy such a car?
Theory 2016-04-14 07:32:44 +0000
Paul Fenwick

* Technical writing as public service: working on open source in government

What if U.S. federal agencies decided to reuse and contribute to open source software projects built by other agencies, since agencies often have similar technology problems to solve? And what if they hired technical writers with open source community experience to write documentation for these projects? That would be pretty cool. Also, that’s my work. I'm part of 18F, a digital services consulting team within and for the federal government, and all of our work is open source.
Practice 2016-04-06 00:21:15 +0000
Britta Gustafson

* The Triumph of Community - The GNOME Trademark Battle

How community triumphed over a corporation, a fun and educational talk on the back story of the GNOME trademark battle.
Culture 2016-04-03 07:43:36 +0000
Sriram Ramkrishna

* Transpreneur: Tales of a FTM Transgender Entrepreneur

The primary reason I was able to make career pivots at Intel was due to my connections to the Women at Intel network. Through this network I was referred to career counselors, business contacts, and the technical experts I needed to move my career ahead. As an FTM, my inbox is still filled with opportunities from women in tech groups, but now when I see these emails I wonder if I will be welcomed or not. A recent email I received said specifically "if you are female please attend." As a person who now identifies as male, I find that my connection to the community that supported me for the entirety of my career is now becoming tenuous.
Culture 2016-04-14 15:35:59 +0000
Sev Leonard