Tag Archives: OSS

Paving the way for a more diverse open source landscape: The First OSS Contributor Summit in Mexico

“I was able to make my first contribution yesterday, and today it was merged. I'm so excited about my first steps in open source", a participant said about the First Summit for Open Source Contributors, which took place this September in Guadalajara, México.
How do you involve others in open source? How can we make this space more inclusive for groups with low representation in the field?

With these questions in mind and the call to contribute to software that is powering the world's favorite products, Google partnered with Software Guru magazine, Wizeline Academy, OSOM (a consortium started by Googler, Griselda Cuevas, to engage more Mexican developers in open source), IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Indeed to organize the First Summit for Open Source Contributors in Mexico. The Apache Software Foundation and the CNCF were some of the organizations that sponsored the conference. The event consisted of two days of training and presentations on a selection of open source projects, including Apache Beam, Gnome, Node JS, Istio, Kubernetes, Firefox, Drupal, and others. Through 19 workshops, participants were able to learn about the state of open source in Latin America, and also get dedicated coaching and hands-on practice to become active contributors in OSS. While unpaid, these collaborations represent the most popular way of learning to code and building a portfolio for young professionals, or people looking to do a career shift towards tech.


As reported by many advocacy groups in the past few years, diversity remains a big debt in the tech industry. Only an average of 8.4% of employees in ten of the leading tech companies are Latinx(1). The gap is even bigger in open source software, where only 2.6% of committers to Apache projects are Latinx(2). Diversity in tech is not just the right thing to do, it is also good business: bringing more diverse participation in software development will result in more inclusive and successful products, that serve a more comprehensive set of use cases and needs in any given population.


While representation numbers in the creation of software are still looking grim, the use of OSS is growing fast: It is estimated that Cloud and big-data OSS technologies will grow five times by 2025 in Latin America. The main barrier for contributing? Language. 

The First Summit for Open Source Contributors set out to close this fundamental gap between tech users and its makers. To tackle this problem, we created, in partnership with other companies, 135 hours of content in Spanish for 481 participants, which produced over 200 new contributors across 19 open source projects. When asked why contributions from the region are so low, 41% of participants said it was due to lack of awareness, and 34% said they thought their contributions were not valuable. After the event, 47% of participants reported that the workshops and presentations provided them with information or guidance on how to contribute to specific projects, and 39% said the event helped them to lose fear and contribute. Almost 100% of participants stated that they plan to continue contributing to Open Source in the near future… and if they do, they would raise representation of Latinx in Open Source to 10%.
Organizing Team
This event left us with a lot of hope for the future of diversity and inclusion in open source. Going forward, we hope to continue supporting this summit in Latin America, and look for ways of reproducing this model in other regions of the world, as well as designing proactive outreach campaigns in other formats.

View more pictures of the event here.
View some of the recorded presentations here.


By: María Cruz for Google Open Source

(1) Aggregate data from Tech Crunch: https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/the-future-of-diversity-and-inclusion-in-tech/
(2) Data from the last Apache Software Foundation Committer Survey, applied in 2016, 765 respondents (13% of committers)

Why Diversity is Important in Open Source: Google’s Sponsorship of OSSEU

The Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference is taking place in Lyon, France, which the Google Open Source Programs Office is sponsoring. The Linux Foundation supports shared technology through open source, while the conference provides a space for developers and technologists in open source to meet, network, and share knowledge with one another in order to advance the community. Why is this of utmost importance to Google OSS? Google has been rooted in the open source community for many years, supporting programs, projects, and organizations to help advance open source software and technology—we understand the necessity of sustaining open source and the developer community in order to advance technology as a whole.

Sponsoring OSSEU is more than just providing funds, but really pushing the diversity initiative in open source. We need diversity across all levels in open source whether it’s contributors, maintainers, doc writers, or anyone supporting the project. As said recently by the Open Source Initiative, “Many perspectives makes better software.” Having previously funded diversity initiatives such as scholarships or lunches at OSS conferences, Google continues to support this cause by sponsoring the diversity lunch at OSSEU.
In particular, sessions and events that Google will be hosting while at OSSEU include a keynote on Documentation by Megan Byrd-Sanicki and the Women in Open Source Lunch, both on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. The keynote on Docs highlights the importance of doc stars and why their contributions are essential to the growth of the open source community. Our support of the women in open source lunch is especially important as we look to increase the diversity of the open source community by supporting women and non-binary persons to get more involved and have the opportunity to connect with each other at an event of this scale.

If you’re attending OSSEU, stop by the keynote, and we hope to see you at the lunch as well. If you aren’t attending this year, and are interested in getting more involved in the open source community, the summits hosted by the Linux Foundation are one of the best ways to learn more about OSS and meet passionate people involved in different OSS projects and organizations.

By Radha Jhatakia, Google OSPO