Session: Adopting Open Source Practices to Build More Inclusive Products and Services

Open source development practices have become so central to the way companies digitize experiences that working with open source is a competitive advantage for companies and technologists. The concept of “Innersource” has also grown popular in the last few years, essentially a methodology where engineers build proprietary software within their “”walled garden”” using best practices from large-scale open source projects.

Despite the growth of open source communities, it’s often difficult for small teams to recognize when they are building biased products or excluding certain groups from using their software. There has been a strong focus on hiring for diversity and inclusion in the last few years, however, companies don’t always have the financial ability to grow existing teams behind their current scope. Fortunately, companies are more likely to have a diverse audience when they look across their entire workforce than within individual teams. We can use this idea to help build more inclusive products.

In this talk, we’ll review what practices from open source you can follow to make their products more inclusive. This includes coverage of 4 specific areas where open source practices have changed and are inclusive of all people. Also, how leaning into innersource can benefit your internal products even when open source is not an option.