Hello lovely community members and tech enthusiasts!! I want to share some of my reflections from attending the Open Source Summit in Dublin in mid-September for the very first time! I categorised them into four areas that I hope will be useful for our community! If you are an open source developer, a maintainer of an open source project, or somebody who is interested in getting more involved with open source projects, then this post is for you! Hope you enjoy it - please reach out to me if you have questions(email@example.com)
What is the OpenSourceSummit?
The Open Source Summit is an event organized by the Linux Foundation for open source developers, technologists, and community leaders to collaborate and share knowledge in furthering open source innovation and ensuring a sustainable open source ecosystem. If you are wondering what the links between the Open Source Summit and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap tech are - we operate in the same ecosystem of open source! There are many shared practices and lessons we can take from the open source community. During the summit, I mainly attended sessions in the Community Leadership Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit! My colleague Omran joined the OpenAI Data Forum.
Open Source Projects Metrics
In order to understand how your community is doing and whether it is doing well, we need ways to measure that, which is not an easy task. However, there is a lot of experience within the open source community.
I’d encourage you to join the CHAOSS network (they have a Slack workspace and also regional specific like the #chaoss-africa one). I attended the CHAOSS mini-conference which was an eye opener with presentations from different groups- from sharing newbie experiences to explaining top 4 metrics (ex: number of contributors, response time, PR closing time, and regular release cadence) and specific technical solutions you can use! If you want to dig into the technical solution for implementing metrics, take a look at this presentation from Bitergia and check out Grimoire Lab. At hot_tech we are now looking at using Grimoire Lab for our tools and joined their community on Slack. I would love to hear what you are using for measuring the health of your open source projects?
Dev Team Metrics that Matter - Avishag S I found this talk insightful with practical tips on how the dev lifecycle can be improved! One takeaway: add small Pull Request, which can really improve the speed of delivery! While maybe obvious it was a reminder for myself! I also loved the below slide as it brings us back to the people: when we are trying to talk about success and delivery : I hope that within the HOTOSM ecosystem we have more happy developers :) Linear S-2d2c6e.PNG
Another relevant discussion was about the importance and use of badges (Building Bridges with Badges: Katie Schueths). A quote from the talk “Badges only have the value your audience assigns them”- people want to be affiliated with projects and events with a good reputation/high value! I have been thinking about what we can do at hot_tech - maybe some new badges for contributors? Hot_tech stickers?! Being at a few conferences already I loved the stickers and feel proud being part of every single community that I joined!
OpenSource Ecosystem in Africa
I was very excited about some of the talks with speakers from the African continent! Unfortunately, all of them couldn’t join in person and had virtual talks. I still managed to make contacts with CHAOSS Africa, SheCodesAfrica and Open Source Community Africa (OSCA). If you want me to connect you, let me know! Two talks I wanted to flag:
Tips on Building a Healthy Open Source Community: Oluwabamikemi Kayode, Lagos, Nigeria (Community Lead: SheCode Africa) I liked the presentation as it really answered the why we need healthy community? #collaboration #sustainability Taking a community first approach with a sense of belonging, importance of 1:1 interactions, improving the onboarding process and clear documentation were flagged as key factors.
Building a Thriving / Healthy OSS Ecosystem in Africa; Lessons Learnt - Ada Nduka Oyom, Open Source Community Africa & She Code Africa. This talk really made me reflect on how to build a “movement”. How did Open Source Community Africa (OSCA) shift from having 6 members in 1 country in 2018 to 47 chapters in 8 African countries, 58 community advocates/leads, +3300 members. Building awareness & creating a culture within the ecosystem, creating space for networking/communication (I’ll encourage you to join OSCA Discord); setting a programme of events (Sustain Africa, OSCA Fest), building partnerships with networks and also focusing on gender diversity with initiatives like She Code Africa. You can also see in the slides some key recommendations for tapping into the African OSS Space. I would love to see more contributors from the African continent and OSCA network into the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team on Github!
Open Source Projects: Opportunities and Funding
Drive Your Business With Open Source Sponsorship: Initially I was a bit skeptical to see how relevant this talk will be, but it was an eye opener about yet again how PEOPLE within companies make the changes & advocate for open source. It also reminded me of the different mechanisms for funding open source projects that are now available, such as Github Sponsors and Open Source Collective. I will be interested to hear if people in our community are using these platforms?
Open Source: the next generation, Mike Swift, Major League Hacking. During this talk I learnt about Major League Hacking and was presented with some stats that I kind of knew but there we go…”unresolved issues on Github is exponentially growing;! 59% of maintainers have considered quitting; 52% of the developers haven’t contributed to open source yet but want to”! What can we do? Where do maintainers need help?
I hope in my role at HOT to be able to help with finding new contributors and improving their experience! Feel free to reach out to me if you want to contribute to Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (github.com) and don’t know where to start? Check out MLH- some useful lessons/ best practices on organizing hackathons! On the topic of hackathons, I hope you have already seen the video about the OSM Hackfest in Nepal back in June 2022 :)
Diversity Empowerment Summit
A topic that is close to my heart! Lots of exciting talks - a few highlights for me below! What I was sad to see is the low attendance in the sessions. I know there are so many sessions at the same time and it was hard to choose (even for me!), but why do not more people care or prioritise diversity? Shouldn’t we have such discussion as part of the keynotes? In my view this is a cross cutting topic as opposed to a stream? What do you think?
- Building a Diverse and Inclusive Open Source Community - Ruth Ikegah, CHAOSS [slides]: I’d encourage you to take a look at the diversity labeling on Github!
- Panel Discussion: OpenSource as a Second Language: it was inspiring to see a women only panel, sharing different perspectives! Take a look at all the amazing women who presented there!
Technical Mentorship for Women Engineers introduced me to Thrive-Wise, which focuses on retaining women in the tech industry through various program: education, mentorship and advocacy! It was inspiring chatting to Rupa and we even discussed maybe doing a joint talk next year :)
- During the conference I also talked with Marcel from URIDU (Open Source for Equality - Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Through Open Source Solutions Built by Women - Marcel Heyne, URIDU). We both reflected also on the lack of attendees representing development and humanitarian organisations. Why is that the case? How can we make that connection better? Note: I was surprised how many people I spoke to who work in open source hadn’t heard of OpenStreetMap! I managed to introduce quite a few people to HOTOSM which made me happy- the little steps in building the connection and the movement!
I met some amazing people at the Open Source Summit and it is really the people connection that I want to make sure I maintain. For hot_tech, we will make use of some of the best practices shared: we are now looking into using GrimoireLab for measuring the health of HOTOSM projects, using regional networks like OSCA and improving our guidance on how to contribute as a newcomer, considering the diversity and inclusion aspect.
I am thinking to submit a proposal for next year’s Open Source Summit so that more people are introduced to HOTOSM tech: maybe a joint session with some of the people I met this year? I would love to see more development and humanitarian organizations present at the next summit! How do we make that happen?
Reach out to me if you want to find out more about any of the sessions or chat about my experience/reflections! I will also be doing a short presentation on 4 October and 11 October at the HOT Community Working Group. Hope to see you there!
You can also now read the post event report from the Linux Foundation (one of my tweets made it into the report).