Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Zoom out to zoom in on the community

Open Source is all about the community being able to engage with each other efficiently. This is why events such as FOSDEM are so essential to enable us to meet members of our communities face to face to create these essential connections. In 2020 the annual OSS physical event circuit was broken due to the pandemic, and was replaced with online versions. It has meant we spent the year on weekly zoom project team/ steering committees & more meetings online. Then we have yet more zoom webinar or some other online tool for our flagship OSS events. This can be sufficient when you know the people on a mature community, as you may have met them before, but what for new OSS communities just starting out?. How can we get that personal connection that is needed to help avoid unnecessary conflicts due to simple misunderstandings. What people see in print, say in a gerrit review comment, can seem a lot more severe if you do not really know the person who had typed it. That is why I'd like to give my experience from 2020. Lessons I have learned and adapted in my meeting. To take the time to step back/zoom out in our OSS commnity meetings, and take just a little time so we can zoom in on the people.


Adrian OSullivan