2021 will be the year open source projects overcome their diversity problems

In form of 2020 stackoverflow survey Told, technology companies – and many open source communities – have a diversity problem. While most developers currently come from a white, male background The pace is changing Building more inclusive, diverse communities.

research shows Diverse open source projects are more productive and make better decisions. It begins by forming teams that have greater representation of gender, race, socioeconomic standings, ethnic backgrounds, and the like.

Many open source communities are emphasizing the need for new initiatives to tackle the lack of diversity in their projects. I estimate that in 2021, the construction of the building The pace of this past year’s focus on social inequality and the steps taken by open-source-minded companies and foundations will continue to increase the diversity of their source communities so that it becomes the rule and not the exception.

Miscellaneous subjects produce innovative technology

When people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate, innovation occurs. One of my favorite books, The medicine effectPresents compelling research about how innovation occurs at the intersection of disciplines and industries. I have noticed this interdisciplinary diversity happening in various industries and projects, and I am excited about the innovation that will follow.

examples include:

  • I amN Quantum Computing, physicists are partnering with software engineers to create a whole new field of computing. For example, our open source Qiskit engineers worked with chemists to develop new chemistry modules that extend quantum computing into the realm of chemistry.
  • In AI, neuroscience researchers studying the brain are collaborating with data scientists and programmers to create more effective machine learning models, many of which are open to future development.
  • And also in space, IBM’s Space Tech Hub has developers Collaborating with astrophysicists and Aerospace engineers Understanding anthropogenic space objects orbiting the lower Earth and using AI to predict orbits and orbits in orbit. The result is two open source projects that continue to engage developers, astronomers and aerospace engineers in innovations for the ultimate frontier.

As open source becomes more mainstream and projects work actively to develop the diversity of their communities, my hope is that increased diversity of culture, ideas and even discipline will bring unique perspectives and experiences Which will further increase the rate and speed of innovation.

Lead the industry in advancing open source diversity

As stated, communities need to work proactively to remove barriers to increasing diversity. Here are some examples of such efforts. Some of these are by IBM – the one I know the most about – but it goes far beyond us. I believe we need to see more of these everywhere!

In October 2020, IBM announced Call for codes for racial justice, Which empowers Individual developers, innovators and social justice advocates leverage open source technology to address racial injustice and inequality.

In October 2020, the Linux Foundation made a new announcement Software Developer Diversity & Inclusion Project to draw on science and research to deliver resources and best practices that increase diversity and inclusion in software engineering.

Following the age-old theory that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” Hyperledger Diversity, Citizenship and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group Focuses on “measuring and improving the health of the open source community”.

In the OpenJS community, the Node + JS Diversity Scholarship Program traditionally provides support from technology or open source communities to groups living under or marginalized, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the event for financial reasons.

This year on KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Cloud Native Computing Foundation Announced Inclusive naming initiatives to help remove harmful, racist and obscure language in software development. At IBM, we had a similar program going on, and we have joined the CNCF initiative to advance the cause.

In the last financial year, GitHub invested $ 1.3 million For both emerging and persistent social issues with a strong racial equity lens.

AI inclusive The initiative aims to increase the representation and participation of gender minority groups in AI. They offer events, tutorials, workshops and discussions to guide community members throughout their AI career.

All these different initiatives – and more – work to encourage diversity in open source communities, but we need your help within communities to create an inclusive, friendly environment where people from different backgrounds can collaborate. Can.

Use your leadership to empower diversity in open source

It is incredibly important that open source all have any power that pushes for diversity – the same goes for us at IBM.

This year, we announced Equal Access Toolkit , A public set of guidelines that provide step-based guidance about access to all members of the team offering the venture. We also contributed Accessibility checker, Which is part of an open suite of automation tools that allow developers or auditors to evaluate web-based components or solutions for accessibility issues.

We Donation Our trusted AI toolkit Linux Foundation AI Foundation, And encourage contributions from a wider audience of technologists to pursue the Foundation’s mission and its trusted AI open source projects.

We give quarterly awards Open source community grant To promote non-profit organizations that are dedicated to education, inclusion and skill-building for women, minorities in the minority, and underprivileged communities. We engage organizations and give them access to cloud credit, where they can get their development projects off the ground.

Boasting all our efforts now? No, this is to encourage anyone who can lend a hand to make open source better and more diverse.

Get involved

While we have a long way to go to see true equality in open source communities, I look forward to the changes we are seeing in recent years towards creating more diverse communities in open source communities.

If diversity and inclusion matter to you, I hope you will work to be a collaborator and push for them in the projects where you are working. Invite people who don’t or don’t think to join you, make sure the environment is friendly and welcoming to all, and continue to push forward innovation that makes technology better for everyone is.

Here’s a better and more diverse 2021!

Published December 28, 2020 – 09:00 UTC