On OPW, leadership and PGO

Recently Philip decided it was time to call for some attention.I happen to agree with him on the need to focus on developer experience, that's why I organized the first hackfest on this topic last year and attended this year. There are plenty of conversations around this and Philip, if you care so much, maybe you could attend or help, there's a lot to do and so few hands.

I've been asked to remove your blog by several people and I've reached the conclusion that it would be a really bad idea because it would set the wrong precedence and it would shift the discussion to the wrong topic (censorship yadda yadda). Questioning OPW should be allowed. The problem with your post is that if not questioned by other people (as many have done already) it would send the wrong message to the public and prospect GSoC, OPW and general contributors. Your blog was the wrong place to question and your wording makes it clear that you have misunderstandings about how the community works.

You want to make things better? Why don't you start by learning how to work with others and contributing yourself? You think we need better leadership? Why don't you learn what it takes to become a leader? (hint: your blog post doesn't help)

Perhaps your lack of contact with the overall project and your abscence from most events makes you not realize how possitive OPW has been, OPW has been a lot more successful than GSoC in retaining contributors and bringing diversity to our contributor base (and I don't mean gender diversity, but diversity in the nature of those contributions). I happen to have a pretty good picture of this because I get to manage the blogs of the people who stay and the people who leave. Without OPW GNOME would be worse community wise and project wise and this is not an opinion, it is a _hard data_ backed fact (other posts have enumerated the contributions that would have not happened otherwise so I will not do that here).

There are plenty of questions that I think are healthy to ask: for how long do we do OPW? Is its success only due to it being targetted to women or is it successful for something else? You should have a conversation with Marina and other people involved with OPW and gather an understanding before making assumptions and throwing assertions. And you should respect what people chooses to do within the project, it's their goddamn time after all. In open source no one gets to dictate what nobody does (though alignment is always good if can be achieved), people work in what they think its important and they try to do it together.

I think you should also watch this video, it might give you some understanding on why GNOME is as responsible for equality as any other entity.

3 thoughts on “On OPW, leadership and PGO

  1. Hi Alberto,
    Can you expand a little on what you are talking about when you say that people have asked you to take down Philip’s blog? In general in FOSS outreach I haven’t seen people ask for something like that unless there is a really offensive material posted. Since Philip’s blog post doesn’t fall into that category I’m a little surprised. I often hear from people who disagree with outreach that they feel like they are being deprived of their right to free speech (for whatever reason) I’d appreciate if you’d explain this a bit so your readers don’t get the impression that people involved in outreach are “trying to censor them”. Thanks for the post 🙂


  2. GNOME’s mission is great software. Not women. Not men. Not whites, blacks, Asians, or anything else. GNOME does not discriminate against contributions and the entire world is welcome to help out.
    A program that targets women implies that the GNOME community is otherwise hostile, which is not true. Not only that, but the nature of the program is discriminatory by its very nature.
    To put it plainly, these side goals are distracting (as evidenced), and waste money.


  3. GNOME’s mission is not _just_ great software. GNOME’s mission is sustained through contributions. The more contributors the better. The more diverse the community is, the better too. GNOME has a social and ethical goal, and to pursue it, it should do it so socially and ethically.
    The outreach of contributions, towards women or any other target either generic or specific, has a multiplier effect. Are you aware of the contributions of the OPW interns? Are you disregarding all those hours spent to improve our project in ways never achieved before?
    Let me ask you a last question. Are you a middle class white male?


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