Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 1)

Over the next several days, Laura and I will be posting notes from the FOSDEM Community DevRoom speakers on why they submitted their particular talk, thoughts on their ideal audience members and what else they plan to see at the conference. We know the weekend is packed with entertaining and educational stuff to do, so we hope these speaker interviews give you an even better idea of when to pop by the DevRoom.

The Community DevRoom will be held Building K, room K.4.601 from 10:30 to 19:00 on Saturday, 3 February. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Deb Nicholson on Patching the People Side


Deb Nicholson (photo courtesy of Steve Pomeroy)

For those of you who may not have the pleasure of knowing Deb yet, she’s a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. For her day job, Deb is the community outreach director for the Open Invention Network, the world’s largest patent non-aggression community, and her contributions to free software projects include work on MediaGoblin and OpenHatch.

I’ve known Deb a loooong time (in the very good way), and I always appreciate the pointed, useful and kind strategies she shares for growing and nurturing successful communities. Her talk in the Community DevRoom will “share some of [her] strategies for building friendly and accountable free and open source software communities.”

When I asked Deb who the ideal audience members are for her talk, she said:

“Have you got some folks in your community who mean well, but sometimes… well, they make you cringe. How do you help them be better without it turning into a big deal? This talk is for you.”
When she’s not spending time in the Community DevRoom, Deb will be camped out in the Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom, where you can catch her other talk, Harmonize or Resist? A Global Survey of Strategies for Freedom and Free Software. (I’m glad the Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom is on Sunday, because there is no way I am missing this talk.)

Check out Deb’s Tweets from FOSDEM and beyond: @baconandcoconut


Mike McQuaid on

Why People Don’t Contribute to Your Open Source Project


Mike McQuaid

While I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Mike in person, I’ve been a fan of Homebrew for years. For his day job, Mike is a Senior Software Engineer at GitHub and he’s also the author of Git in Practice. We had to adjust the time slot for his talk to accommodate his participation in a panel discussion on the Future of Package Management, so you can see both of his FOSDEM talks back to back if you’re willing to wander between the Package Management and Community DevRooms on Saturday evening.

Mike submitted his talk to the Community DevRoom because he “wanted to be part of the wider conversation on growing communities around open source projects.” When asked about the ideal audience for his presentation, he said the “talk will be great for anyone who is running an open source project but cannot figure out how to get more users contributing to it or more maintainers to join the project. It’ll also make anyone feel better by setting realistic expectations of community involvement in relation to the size of a project.”

Amongst other FOSDEM fun, Mike looks forward to meeting the team from the Software Freedom Conservancy because “they are lovely and great.” I could not agree more.

You can follow Mike on Twitter: @mikemcquaid

More Speakers to Follow

And some notes on talks submitted to the Community DevRoom that were promoted to the Main Track of the conference because I want to make sure you don’t miss them!

This entry was posted in conferences, open source, volunteer work and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 1)

  1. Pingback: Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 2) | Hawthorn Landings

  2. Pingback: Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 3) | Laura's Blog

  3. Pingback: Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 4) | Laura's Blog

  4. Pingback: Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 5) | Hawthorn Landings

  5. Pingback: Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 6) | Hawthorn Landings

  6. Pingback: FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom Recap: Deb Nicholson & Mike McQuaid | Hawthorn Landings

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