Workshop: What is open source?

[If you attended this session, please add your notes]

topics to cover:

  • general, what is open source
  • open culture
  • open gov't
  • community building

Started off with:

Explained Creative Commons

Talked about open source outside of technology, business, education, music, government

We discussed how democracies are supposed to be inherently open source, growing and evolving through citizen participation and collaboration, but it's our job to band together and petition for/demand "source code" in the form of open budgets and overall transparency in local and federal government. I really enjoyed this session and learned a lot, thanks Jason and Denise!! - J. Wall 

-- Notes from Kevin 

"Scratch your own itch" is one of the  foundations of the concept of Open Source

It’s not always about being able to code, there is a demand for almost any skill set.  You don’t even need to know a lot about anything, there’s a way for almost anyone to contribute.

It’s easy to copy, that doesn’t mean that it’s any better, that’s why projects / products still exist on their own.

Can the principles of Open Source apply to any business, product or thing you do?  Creative Commons is one example. Propublica and Raleigh Public Record too

If everything is free, how do I make a living?  Services, support, you have to trust the process.

Mention of “We the people” petition process run by the white house, they want to make it open source.

Penelope Trunk (is that last name right Ruby?), blogger, post about “why would you work for free”?

Move to Q/A
How is best to get involved with a project when you have no coding skills.  
Let the project team know what your skill set is
Just ask, What do you need?

Some talk about concepts, Agile methods, reuse, SCRUM and the “release early, release often”, tools include things like Google hangouts.  If you’re in it with your own passion, it’ll happen.

The most successful Open Source efforts have robust communities, how do you encourage that.

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Find the passion of people
  • Be very responsive
  • Don’t be bashful of meetups

How do you deal with volunteers who aren’t pulling their own weight?

  • Transparency
  • Peer pressure
  • you’re only accountable for you want to do

How do you take OS priciples and apply them to schools and other public effort?
How you advocate for resources?

  • “The thing that gets elected officials attention is organized voters”
  • Educate elected officials

It runs on Open Source, but without community it would be nothing



  • Christopher Baskett
  • Jonathan Wall
  • Tyler Dukes
  • Ruby Sinreich
  • Sarah Kirk
  • Jamillah Tawwab
  • Kevin Flanagan


  • Denise Tawwab
  • Jason Hibbets