Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


The next generation of contributors is not on IRC

Discussing communication channels for inclusive open source communities

There is some combination of a turf war and a diaspora happening in the open source communities I participate in. There are synchronous and async channels galore. Every one of them has fans and haters with firmly held opinions on how it's the best or worst thing in the world.

Let's take a step back and take a look at the landscape together. What are our communities searching for when they hop into communication channels? How do we meet new members where they are comfortable in order to be more welcoming?

As a self-defined GitHub generation of open source enthusiast, I'd like to start a conversation from my personal experience and then jump into research on the options available to us today. I hope we can leave with a view of the world spanning across channels with a focus on our contributors.

Topics to be discussed: -Defining new contributors - where are they coming from and why -Empathize with an inexperienced contributor trying to jump right in -Introduce the concept of "a third place" -The challenges of synchronous communication (IRC, Slack, Gitter, others) -Options to focus on asynchronous channels (Email, Discourse, others) -Understanding when you need which -A pitch for why IRC could be great with ( -Bringing it back to the new contributor with specific examples -An optimistic conclusion of our collective efforts to improve


Photo of Matthew Broberg Matthew Broberg