How to Win Friends and Build Software

Presentation by Deb Nicholson

2021 CROSS Research Symposium Keynote

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


Abstract: Every kind of work or endeavor involves community, but open source embraces this a little more heartily than other fields. Working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders -- especially with your competition -- often requires some adjustments and new habits from folks who are coming from other fields. This talk will look at open source communities; how to set them up for success, how to work effectively with communities set up by others and how to help the next generation of open source practitioners make their very own brand-new mistakes in their open source community adventures.

Bio: Deb Nicholson is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. After years of local organizing on free speech, marriage equality, government transparency and access to the political process, she joined the free software movement in 2006. She recently served as the General Manager at the Open Source Initiative which stewards the Open Source Definition and works to raise awareness and adoption of open source software. She’s won the O’Reilly Open Source Award and the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for her efforts to broaden the free software movement. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.