Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


Building Community for your Company’s OSS Projects

Your company has just started an open source project, but where is the community? This talk provides practical tips and suggestions along with what not to do when building a community around your company’s open source project.

Building a community around your company’s open source project is no easy task, and there is no magic bullet or one size fits all solution. However, there are some things that you can do (or not do) to increase the chances of successfully building a community for your project.

A few of the dos and don’ts covered in this talk include:

  • Planning and product management: Do use a transparent process in the open with tools that allow anyone to participate. Don’t use your internal tools and private meetings to make all of the decisions.
  • Encourage participation: Do be proactive about helping community members contribute in meaningful ways. Don’t inadvertently set the expectation that employees will be the ones always answering questions and making decisions.
  • Be honest: Do be honest with yourselves about where and how you prefer to have community members contribute. Don’t encourage people to contribute in areas where you are less likely to accept outside contributions.
  • Managing contributions: Do have enough people trained in how to provide constructive feedback to manage the flow of incoming community contributions. Don’t assume that your existing developers have the time and skills to magically perform this difficult function.

The audience will walk away with practical advice about building communities for corporate open source projects.


Photo of Dawn Foster Dawn Foster