[FOSDEM] Call for Participation: Community DevRoom at FOSDEM 2019

Leslie Hawthorn mebelh at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 13:04:52 CEST 2018

Hello everyone,

We are happy to let everyone know that the Community DevRoom will be
held this year at the FOSDEM Conference. FOSDEM is the premier free
and open source software event in Europe, taking place in Brussels
from 2-3 February 2019 at the Université libre de Bruxelles. You can learn
more about the conference at https://fosdem.org.

If you would prefer to read the CFP online, you can do so at


<https://fosdem.org./>== tl;dr ==
* Community DevRoom takes place on Sunday, 3 February

* Submit your papers via the conference abstract submission system,
Pentabarf, at

* Indicate if your session will run for 30 or 45 minutes, including
Q&A. If you can do either 30 or 45 minutes, please let us know!

* Submission deadline is 23 November 2019 and accepted speakers will
be notified by 7 December 2019

* If you need to get in touch with the organizers or program committee of
the Community DevRoom, email us at community-devroom at lists.fosdem.org.

== In more detail ==
We are happy to let everyone know that the Community DevRoom will be
held this year at the FOSDEM Conference. FOSDEM is the premier free
and open source software event in Europe, taking place in Brussels
from 2-3 February 2019 at the Université libre de Bruxelles. You can learn
more about the conference at https://fosdem.org.

The Community DevRoom will take place on Sunday, 3 February.

The purpose of the devroom is to provide concrete, useful advice on
how to best enable contributors to be successful so more FOSS software
gets written.

== Why This DevRoom ==

Our goals in running this DevRoom are to:

* Connect folks interested in nurturing their communities with one
another so they can share knowledge during and long after FOSDEM

* Educate those who are primarily software developers on
community-oriented topics that are vital in the process of software
development, e.g. effective collaboration

* Provide concrete advice on dealing with squishy human problems

== Talk Topics ==

We are seeking proposals on all aspects of creating and nurturing
communities for free software projects.

Please submit a proposal on any topic of your choice, but here are
some suggestions to help get your creativity engaged:

1) Balancing corporate and community interests

How can you create a healthy and active community while still meeting the
needs of your employer? Are their best practice strategies for building
community around a corporate backed open source project? How can you
maintain an open dialog with your users and/or contributors when you have
the need to keep company business confidential? Is it even possible to
build an authentic community around a company-based open source project?

2) Compensating volunteers
Is this important? How is it done well? Should we discourage people from
“working for free”? How much value does open source work have in finding
employment? Increasing one’s salary? For one’s professional development?
For plain old personal gratification? Has the balance of what people get
out of participating in free software projects shifted over time as FOSS
has become more mainstream? If there has been a shift, is it good, bad,

3) Sustainability in FOSS

The sheer volume of projects critical to the everyday operation of global
computing that are maintained by a handful of humans - or only one - is
mind boggling. How can we address the needs of these bus factor prone
projects? What is the responsibility for companies who use these projects
to allocate resources to maintain them?

We are particularly interested to hear about academic research into FOSS
Sustainability and/or commercial endeavors set up to address this topic.

4) Career progression for community oriented professionals

How do you level up as a community manager? Developer Advocate? What skills
do you need to best serveb your community and how do you acquire them? How
do we explain what we do all day so people value this work? How do you go
about building up a career/job ladder within your company for community
managers & developer advocates that isn’t just “go become a manager”?

5) Understand and revitalizing mature communities

How do mature communities (re)gather momentum? Is there a time to call a
community “done, purpose served”? Is it at the same time as a particular
code base around a free software project becomes less popular? What are
some of the lessons learned that mature communities can share with newer
project communities? Should we really just get off your lawn?

6) Conflict resolution
How do we continue working well together when there are conflicts? Is there
a difference in how types of conflicts best get resolved, e.g. ”this code
is terrible” vs. “we should have a contributor agreement”? We are
especially interested in how tos / success stories from projects that have
weathered conflict.

7) Ensuring the success of Humanitarian focused FOSS projects

When a project is critical to charitable, humanitarian or medical work, how
can its survival be ensured, downstream and upstream? How can charities and
researchers be resilient to key projects dying, or letting vulnerabilities
linger? What organizations are working to address these issues?

We are particularly interested in success stories or lessons learned from
Humanitarian focused projects.

Again, these are just suggestions. We welcome proposals on any aspect of
community building!

== Preparing Your Submission & Deadlines ==

=== Length of Presentation ===

We are looking for talk submissions between 30 and 45 minutes in length,
including time for Q&A. In general, we are hoping to accept as many talks
as possible so we would really appreciate it if you could make all of your
remarks in 30 minutes - our DevRoom is only a single day -  but if you need
longer just let us know.

=== If you are submitting your proposal to more than one DevRoom ==

If you plan to submit the same or very similar proposals to more than one
DevRoom, please let us know by emailing community-devroom at lists.fosdem.org.
We are explicitly coordinating with the organizers of the Legal & Policy
DevRoom this year to ensure there is not as much overlap between the
program in both rooms as there were in years past. If you are submitting a
proposal that would work well in the Legal & Policy DevRoom, you may also
be interested in submitting to an event running directly after FOSDEM, the
1st Annual International Copyleft Conference. You can find more information


We are not trying to discourage anyone from submitting to the program for
either DevRoom or the conference, but we want to ensure that the Community
DevRoom has more of a hands-on practitioner focus vs. a policy and
procedures focus. If you are not sure where your talk submission would best
belong, feel free to email us. We will be happy to help!

=== Anything Extra You Would Like Us to Know ===

Beyond giving us your speaker bio and paper abstract, make sure to let us
know anything else you’d like to as part of your submission. Some folks
like to share their Twitter handles, others like to make sure we can take a
look at their GitHub activity history - whatever works for you. We
especially welcome videos of you speaking elsewhere, or even just a list of
talks you have done previously. First time speakers are, of course, welcome!

=== Submission Instructions ===

Submit your talk abstract(s) via FOSDEM’s Pentabarf paper submission

Pentabarf Submission URL:

== Key Dates ==

* CFP opens 18 October 2018

* Proposals due in Pentabarf 23 November 2018

* Speakers notified by 7 December 2018

* DevRoom takes place 3 February 2019 at FOSDEM

If you have any questions, please let us know!


Leslie Hawthorn and Laura Czajkowski
Community DevRoom Co-Organizers
Community DevRoom Mailing List: community-devroom at lists.fosdem.org

Leslie Hawthorn
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