Lean in to the Linux Foundation’s Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) Project
Maemalynn Meanor | 04 May 2023
Open source, naturally by design, welcomes diversity because anyone can contribute the code from anywhere in the world. Teams are often geographically distributed, leading to more expertise, viewpoints, life experiences, and positive results.
The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, previously announced the launch of the Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) project at Open Source Summit. SDDI explores, evaluates, and promotes best practices from research and industry to increase diversity and inclusion in software engineering.
This year, the Linux Foundation is excited to announce that Cynthia Coupe has stepped into the role of Chair of SDDI project. Cynthia is Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist committed to transforming traditional systems to better serve people with special needs. She is also the owner and CEO of Outreach Advocacy Resources and Services (OARS), Inc., a company dedicated to transforming the lives of neurodivergent clients by using their inherent strengths as motivators for success. She is devoted to shifting the perception of neurodivergent minds by facilitating Diversity and Inclusion conversations in workspaces and schools.
In addition to the new chair, SDDI has also been refreshed with a new steering committee that is responsible for prioritizing the initial working groups, which could address research methods, ethics, resources, and data, as well as diversity in the areas of gender, age, cognitive ability, and education.
Members of the steering committee include:
- Andrew Begel, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
- Anita Ihuman, Developer Advocate, Layer5
- Bianca Trinkenreich, Research Scientist, Globant
- Georg Link, Director of Sales, Bitergia
- Gloria Chance, CEO and Founder, The Mousai Group
- John Mertic, Executive Director, Open Mainframe Project
- Kate Stewart, Vice President of Dependable Embedded Systems, the Linux Foundation
- Megan Lehn, Community Director, RISC-V
- Megan Rupert, Event Marketing, Broadcom Mainframe Software
- Maemalynn Meanor, Director of PR & Communications, the Linux Foundation
- Neal Caidin, Program Manager, the Linux Foundation
- Rafael Prikladnicki, Associate Professor, PUCRS University, Brazil
These steering committee members are collaborating on three initial working groups such as neurodiversity, DEIA Best Practices, and talent pipeline for diverse individuals. As an open source project, anyone is welcome to join and contribute. Subscribe to the mailing list here.
Open source projects are also encouraged to participate in SDDI to inform best practices and to benefit from the findings of the Project. Existing Linux Foundation projects – TODO, which focuses on open source program office best practices, and the CHAOSS Project, which identifies tooling and metrics for diversity and inclusion – will also work closely with SDDI.
Open Source Summit North America
SDDI will be represented at Open Source Summit North America, which takes place on May 10-12 in Vancouver, Canada, with several presentations for the Diversity Empowerment Summit. The Diversity Empowerment Summit (DES) encourages attendees to examine how a variety of perspectives and experiences can create a richer open source community and stronger open source code development. Please see below and add these sessions to your schedule:
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
- 12:05 - 12:45 pm - Lean in: Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) - Cynthia Coupe, Outreach Advocacy Resources and Services (OARS)
The Linux Foundation believes that people of vastly different backgrounds, nationalities, orientations, and identities create stronger communities that produce better outcomes and more robust technologies. Re-launched earlier this year, the Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) project is dedicated to improving this. The mission of SDDI is to discover, evaluate, and promote best practices from research and industry to increase diversity and inclusion in software engineering. In this session, attendees will learn more about SDDI, its goals, and how to get involved. Learn more here.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
- 11 - 11:40 am PDT - Hidden Differences: How to be Inclusive when you don’t know - Cynthia Coupe, OARS
Workplaces and managers are being asked to be all inclusive for their workers, but what does this mean? How can you be inclusive if you don't know there is a difference? Sometimes we have employees who don't even know they are neurodivergent, so how do we navigate this in the workplace to be inclusive of all people, whether or not their differences are hidden, known or unknown? This presentation will address these issues and provide some guidance as to how to make an inclusive workplace, what inclusive attitudes are and why this is important for everyone. Learn more here.
- 2:55 - 3:35 pm PDT - Squashing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bugs in Open Source Projects - Anita Sarma, Oregon State University, Georg Link, Bitergia
This talk uses the idea of DEI bugs to discuss how we can identify where open source projects fall short in being inviting and inclusive. The goal of this framing is to find ways to squash these bugs and bring out the potential of everyone who has an interest in our open source projects. A concrete suggestion is to walk in the shoes of others and take a fresh look at your project. The audience will learn actionable steps to take a new look at their own open source projects and start making a positive difference. This revised talk adds a discussion of common DEI bugs, where they come from, and how we can resolve them. [notes to program committee:] We revised this talk based on feedback that the talk could be improved with more examples and guidance. We walk faster through the steps of identifying DEI bugs and added a discussion of common DEI bugs, based on peer-reviewed research. Learn more here.
To learn more about Open Source Summit, visit the main event page here. Registration is available in-person attendance in Vancouver or virtually from anywhere in the world. Click here to register today.
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