Managing Conflict in Open Source Communities

Posted on Updated on

On 10/28/19 at 1:45pm, I attended the All Things Open Conference Session: Managing Conflict in Open Source Communities at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC presented by George DeMet, founder and CEO of

Managing Conflict in Open Source Communities


Getting to know the presenter

George began with a short introduction. He’s been involved with drupal for 12yrs. Drupal has over 100k active contributors, and for several years he has been chairing the drupal community group. They’re a large project, and have been expanding, getting larger in the last 5-6 years.

More and more is being asked of the dev community by companies and users, and these things don’t always scale well. 60+% drupal 8 developers experienced or observed conflict in drupal issue queues, IRC, etc.

Its not always easy to find trolls when they are hiding behind aliases. We cannot always act or react right away and cause attention to those trolling. Contributing to this is the rise of reports made in bad faith. SO that means a series of standards have got to be made, made clear to the community, address them individually with the person in question, and not getting bogged down with the impact of social/political issues. We also have to avoid being reactive to context collapse. In some cases, intentional distortion or misinterpreted information can be delivered from the opposite side and cloud the issue. this makes it very difficult to get to the rub.

Patterns of Abuse

SLACK can also be a great deal for trolling environments. Accounts can be created, thrown away, and otherwise fired and destroyed. Our job is to increasingly fill in the gaps.

Patterns of conduct and abuse requires us to keep better records. People should not be able to skip communities and continue a line of behaviors. We need better tools, reporting mechanisms and procedures. especialy for handling reports of sexual harassment and/or assault.

Women and people of color

All of this has an impact on open source diversity. while drupal is up to 7% contributions by women, on average only 3% of open source code contributors are women. We have literally no way of knowing how many people of color are in open source. Women are far more likely than men to encounter unwelcoming behavior including stereotyping and unsolicited sexual advances. Women are likely to talk with those they know, but are less likely to collaborate with people they don’t already know. Open source is a great way for someone to build their reputation, however, more women may find themselves shut out and undervalued.

To make codes of conduct.

First, establish a firm standards for behavior and appropriate conduct when interacting with others. Help create inclusive spaces where people can feel safe and welcome to contribute. Make it easier for everyone to participate and share ideas in a professional and respectful way. A code of conduct is worthless if there is not structure to support it mechanisms to enforce it. Is it an employee or empowered community member? Is it a community and safety team? Is it volunteering team or sponsored group?

Ideally you want a diverse group fielded who are known, trusted, and identified for a high emotional intelligence. Members should have multiple ways to file reports and know how to reach out to individual members of your enforcement team. Be clear about how these conflicts and concerns will be handled, and how others might be included if they have expertise which cannot be easily fielded- for example if their first language is not english, yet they are perceived as constantly degrading or harsh. Be transparent about the activities of your enforcement teach and always be communicating the purpose, scope and processes with the wider social community.



3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

Posted on

At 10:00am on 4/29/2018, I attended3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community, Presented by Amanda Gorman of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community


WordPress Community: An entity where connection is democratized and ideas are made tangible. The community is a way for us to move from “I just want traffic” to questions like: who are these people, what do they want?

Community = Connections

We started out with the intention: Learn how to boost your SEO to build a bigger community online with 3 simple strategies:

  1. Keyword Research & Organization
  2. Leveraging Competitor Insights
  3. Writing Content that Resonates.

Intended Audience: Web designers, developers, Nonprofits. Beginner

Tending to your garden

LIke a garden, your community needs care on an almost daily basis. This “tending to”is about seeing what’s needed and then providing what is needed. What ideas are you planting in the garden? that really starts with keyword research. Knowing that this is your piece of the landscape.

How do we build a bigger online community

how do we get traffic, more conversions, more conversations? Go down your own path. Be intentional, be aware, build your own trust. These aspects will be so important an answer that you’ll want to push that first.

Be intentional

Keyword Research. This is where the ideas are planted and the SEO strategies start. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Take your time and have direction in what you’re doing. Watch those competitors and place your focus best. Client experience shows that insight into where to start can be incredibly beneficial. The rabbit holes exist, but they are not always helpful.

Core Concepts

Knowing the keywords you want to rank for vs. Knowing the keywords that are being searched. You want to be the go to person for a particular term. Wo, what is that term? The principal often has a big idea. Start with 20 keywords, expand it, then narrow it back down

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and takiing action. it is the impetus for creating change” Max Carver.

What does the community want and how can you expand it?

Keyword Research: Seed Keyword

The seed keywords are competitive and its good to get this before you talk with clients.

  • What are your keywords?
    • brand name
    • products or services
    • consider all possible scenarios
    • brandump words associated with your site
  • Example: Garden Center
    • garden supply
    • container gardening
    • gardening tips
    • backyard landscaping
    • gardening gifts

STEP 1: Dump seed keywords into google. See the related search terms. Perhaps you’ve forgotten catalogs, coupons, warehouses, and perhaps some of these you DON’T want to focus on

STEP 2: Working with Seed Terms build a list

  • spreadsheet in google sheets
    • ubersuggest
    • keyword tool
    • google correlate
    • google trends
    • soovle
    • answer the public: This is a great tool. When you see the same questions here you’re asking or hearing, its great to

Objective: Tap into  long-tail keyword phrases athat are specific to your audience, their needs, desires and pain-points. Remember: Seed Keyword + Modifier = Long-tail Keyword

Using tabs with Seed Keywords, we fill in the modifiers and use that to fill in the content for your site.


Keyword research: Google Keyword planner & The Doc

Enter your keyword findings into google Keyword Planner

  • Keyword
  • clicks
  • impressions
  • cost
  • click through rate
  • average CPC

Your seed keywords are going to be the most competitive. IDentify how much people are willing to spend. Copy/past the information into the spreadsheet

A massive document is overwhelming. Make it clear and concise.

Competitor analysis: be aware

its spying a little bit, but its more about market research, how you’ll become an authority in your niche. Its not a negative. understand your competitors so you can provide what’s missing. What can you provide that they are not?

MOZ bar is a free tool. Plug in your keyword to google, turn on the moz bar

  1. enter keyword
  2. look for one or more below
  3. review quality of content
  • pages with <20PA and DA. if less than 20, you can do a good job and get ranked!
  • ezine articles
  • yahoo! answers
  • buzzle
  • squidoo lenses
  • hubpages
  • ebay
  • blogspot (or other free blog)
  • spammy press release sites

Let’s Have a Look at the Moz bar in action

High page authority means you won’t sneak in there. You’re not trying to beat the whole domain, you’re really only trying to have value for a specific page.

page authority are a lot lower here. This would be a great work to focus on. Gettting on the list will take time and effort, but find the gaps where you’ll fit in

Content Writing: Build Trust

have a trust mindset to build that copy. Forget the mindset of what you want, and build a connection and build trust. Be a place people can visit to get the answers they want fully and wholly.

Tips for success:

  • Write freely first
  • Use your target keyword at the beginning. don’t use more than 3 times, but have document open to the terms page, and include the related search terms, and don’t overuse or push that content or overstuff.
  • Keep your sentences concies
  • Include images, charts, videos and lists. People are also visual learner.
  • Create comprehensive content. This is key.  Rather than provide information overload with a short reply, be comprehensive. Give a full comprehensive report on each additional item

Improve Click-through rate

Quora & Udemy shows that there is a question and a need. Look at structure of content, and get inspired on how you might approach the subject. What’s missing? What questions have been asked which you can elaborate on, answer easier.

Add modifiers to your titles:

  • How to
  • the current year
  • review
  • best
  • fast
  • checklist
  • guide
  • tipseasy
  • simple
  • Use a number

Include bucket brigades: Add these headlines between content in an effort to re=catch the reader:

  • Here’s the deal
  • now
  • whats the bottom line
  • you might be wondering
  • this is crazy
  • it gets better/words
  • but here’s the kicker
  • want to know the best part?

The better you understand the content and the audience, the better you become and your website becomes. Keep People coming back to get that killer content.

Question & Answer

Content Length for a post?

500 minimum, but 1,000+ is better. better to write more and publish less than publish often but keep people reading than to publish often and not enough content

How to assist our customer?

Here’s what competitor does. it looks like… if you write this… dive deep into the specifics, and ask what they want to write about. Help them pick down to 5-10 key terms.

How much time should we expect to take building this list?

2 weeks of time. depending on the number of tabs.30 tabs might take  6 hours. Many clients only take 2 hours. From that step, its time to push the data and see how the trends show up.

What if I’m notified of a Keyword overload?

If you have too much, consider related words. Use google keyword suggest to pull secondary words and use those in the place of the oft-repeated term

What if you’re just getting started?

make connections with related industries. Life coach might find doctors and psychologist to connect with. Find a voice unfound and press into that niche. Be consistent with writing and promoting.

Other Suggestions

Brian Dean of Backlinko


See the whole slide deck at:


Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman helps nonprofits and wellness-based businesses build thriving online communities. As a Customer Success Coordinator at GiveWP she works diligently each day to assist nonprofits in growing their communities and receiving more donations online to make a bigger impact in the world. As an SEO consultant, she’s passionate about tending to the internet like a gardener would tend to their garden, so it can become a safe and fun place to connect again. Amanda uses her SEO superpowers to help her clients better understand their purpose, their audience, and how to better reach their people. Amanda is in love with her husband Casey, her nephew Jackson, and their dog Topanga whom all live together in Rochester, New York.

Opening Remarks: Wordcamp Raleigh Convention 2018

Posted on

At 9:15am on 4/28/2018, I attended the Opening Remarks, Presented by Bridget Willard of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Opening Remarks: Wordcamp Raleigh Convention 2018

The first part of the opening remarks were begun by Ben Silver. He began by telling a story of his first wordpress camp. In this talk, in the opening remark, a newbie interrupted to ask the main speaker “How do I FTP into my website?”. This is a major faux pas. Its important to note that you should not interrupt the speaker in a small room. You shouldn’t interrupt the keynote speaker at any time, and you shouldn’t ever interrupt a woman-his wife taught him that…

He stopped the story to let us imagine how the main speaker reacted to an almost instant interrruption.

5 Quick Things To Note

There is a code of coduct here– its on the website. Should we need this? not really, but we do have it. Make sure you adhere to it. This event is about the community, not the speaker and not you individually. If you feel the session isn’t y0ur speed, do what needs to be done and then consider visiting the happiness bar for individual assistance.

There is an After Party at the Raleigh Beer Garden. Its not a techbro spot. Why did we choose this venue? Well, it was free. The beer is great. Lots of beer, inside there are multiple floors, outside there is plenty of places. All ages are welcome, it’s all inclusive. Come join us from 7-9pm at Raleigh Beer Garden.

There is a conference tomorrow here. Its called “Wordcamp” and we encourage everyone to attend. There are donuts and other breakfast items for those not into wheat and gluten and things that are sweet. Its in EB1 where we registered for this conference. Typically the event crowd drops off drastically in the second day, but we encourage you all to attend. There are great speakers.

This is an all-volunteer organization. In the past we has several different tracks: developer, business, designer. The workshops were often seen as too X for the X track. Naming after flowers allows each person to gauge what’s right for them. Please enjoy the topics you like and ensure that you can have some time to meet with everyone. Ask lots of questions and contribute when and if you can.

This is a volunteer run conference, and it cannot be run without sponsors. Please visit our sponsors and see if and how you can use their services. Without their help, this conference would not be possible. Meet them, see how they can help you, and sing their praises. There will be giveaways at the closing remarks.


Finishing the story.

As he waited for the impact to happen, Ben was worried about the fire that might rain down. But, it turns out the result surprised him heavily and reacted in a way that no other conference speaker might.

The speaker did 2 things:

  1. The way she responded was not angry, but rather very excited with a huge smile on her face. The smile didn’t say “I’m going to enjoy ripping you apart” but more “I’m going to be the one who gets to show you how to login to your website’s FTP!”
  2. Her words were kind: “This is not the best time to answer that now, but this would be a great way to meet at the happiness bar later and I’ll show you in person on your laptop.”

Rather than focus on the negative aspect of the interruption, she focused on the joy of working with wordpress, the ease with which it could be done, and the helpful nature of this conference. The goal here is to treat everyone well.

You Can’t Have A Thriving Codebase Without A Thriving Community

The Open Remarks were completed by Bridget Willard

Bridget Willard is a marketing consultant and educator with a passion to help small businesses. She began in construction, and worked in franchise development, nonprofits, and tech. She is known for her brand building for Riggins Construction and GiveWP.

She is the co-host of WPblab, a show on the WPwatercooler network, co-organizer of Women Who WP Meetup, and Marketing Team Rep for Make WordPress.

She writes about social media and WordPress on her site at and teaches social strategy on her YouTube channel.


What does code have to do with community?

WordPress is part of the free opensource software movement. There is no one paid to update, train, create, market, etc. The entire ecosystem is run by volunteers. The thriving codebase requires a thriving community. There is more than just a core.

Open Source projects depend upon a volunteer-based workforce-you

She was at wordcamp and decided to go to a movie, but she was a introduced to a marketing team. She felt perhaps she didn’t belong as a writer, but they made her feel at home and asked her to consider volunteering. They asked her to help write emails and she did. At another wrodcamp, she was recruited as one of the loud marketers. She led an event. Later, a staff member went on sabbatical and she was asked to take over a team. In this fashion, things seem to slowly snowball into greater effectiveness. This is probably very similar to the way many of you have approached your business careers.

If you feel burned out, its time to take a break. Its really ok

The volunteer community is made to ebb & flow. Its just volunteer work. Do your best, but don’t beat yourself up. That is the main part of her talk.

Let’s talk about perfection

Be professional, but don’t stop and don’t beat yourself up in order to do well. This is a volunteer organization, and many aspects of what we do as designers, builders, and makers seems to point to our perfective nature. But software is agile and not released in perfection, so how can we be perfect as users? Well, perhaps we can be, but that’s no reason to drop from the face of the earth because of it.

Accounting demands perfection, and you would not believe how long they look for a penny. In perfection if something is missing, the whole thing doesn’t work and is a failure. So let things go, but understand that sometimes you cannot help yourself.

Remember this mantra:

  1. Progress is better than perfection
  2. Done is better than perfect
  3. Something is better than nothing

What Really Matters

Communication with your clients and your loved ones only matters, because of your relationships. Relationships are the only things that really matter. Communicating, doing what’s best for your client, doing YOUR BEST for the client, being there for whoever needs you- That matters.

Consider An -ER Approach

Rather than obsess over being smart, fast, etc., take an -ER approach. Work to be smartER, fasterER, etc. the suffix -ER implies that progress is being made. It doesn’t lock you into failure for reaching some hypothetical approach.


In times of trouble, we feel like a failure because we feel pain. Athletes are praised for enduring pain. When we feel as though we cannot go on, we feel the failure hit us like a hammer. When it happens to an athlete, you see them shake their bodies, push them to their limits and beyond, and then they collapse. And for some of us its like that. We wake up in the morning, examine ourselves, shake our bodies off and go to work with a fake face on. We work all day like its no problem and then we come home and just collapse.

We feel like we cannot feel pain, cannot get help, cannot rely or even tell others about our pain. Our bodies know what to do. Tears contain cortisol, a hormone which accompanies stress. We release it, and feel somewhat better, but we might be too afraid to do even that. Give yourself permission to feel pain, to let it go, to release it and keep going, but sometimes even that may not be enough.

If that happens or if you feel its happening, get help. Your pride could be keeping you from success.

Financial Health

Stop undercharging for your services. Raise your hourly rate. People do not know how long it takes you to do things. Breathing costs you something.

It is imperative that you cover these three things

  1. Believe you are worthy
  2. understand your costs
  3. Be open to business Ideas

Say to yourself “I am Awesome. I love Me.” Know that there is a mind/body connection.

If you find that you are open to the business ideas, more business will come. If you are doing something for a client for free, give them a full invoice, but zero it out. Present them with the piece when its done along with a polite note: This item has been completed for free, THIS TIME.

For instance, Bridget Willard wanted to write for a twitter feed, but there was no content. She asked for a bio, and the client didn’t want to write one. She offered to write them a bio for  $25 dollars and now she’s done that for 16 clients. by saying “I Only Do This” you close yourself off to numerous ideas and opportunities.

Closing Remarks

Goals are massive. Make sure that you have actionable goals with incremental progress. Incremental progress is the key. Rather than say I’m going to drop to 200lbs, say I’m going to drop 5 pounds. If you want to change, change 1 thing. The future awaits, one step at a time. Its OK to fail, but push yourself without beating yourself up.

StoryTelling and Growing Expert Instructors

Posted on Updated on

On 4/18/16 at 10:30am, I attended the Online Learning Consortium Conference Session Commuity College Summit—StoryTelling and Growing Expert Instructors online session, NC co-presented by Nicolette van der Lee of Hawaii Maui College, Maria Fieth of CSU-MERLOT, and Brenda M. Perea, Director of Educational and Workforce Strategies at Credly

Community College Summit – StoryTelling and Growing Expert Instructors

StoryTelling and Growing Expert Instructors
Community colleges face many challenges and we will address two distinct and persistent ones:

First, communicating the power of educational innovations takes more than a 30 page report – it takes a good story that engages your audience and gets them to care about your innovation.  How do we craft good stories for career and technical training programs?

Second, industry experts are essential subject matter experts that deliver the “job-driven” curriculum in community colleges and prepares our students for success in the workforce.  But frequently, being an industry expert doesn’t translate into an expert instructor.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s SkillsCommons project has produced free and open tools, templates, and strategies that everyone can use to address these challenges. In this session, we will briefly review the strategies and resources, and walk through how these two tools have been applied in higher education and at the industry level.

Collaborative Ideation Challenges

At this point, the presenters had us use the chat tool to discuss one of the topics. This was a bit awkward, as several different conversations were happening at once and I do not type very fast. Some conversations were very animated, others were not responded to quickly enough, and got pushed offscreen. After finding some posts to answer to by scrolling up to find them, and typing slowly, the conversation was actually gone already. It was a little chaotic, and probably worked better in a seated session.
The presenting panel asked participants to consider and choose one of the two challenges, and to explore the SkillsCommons resources on their own devices, giving out the URL for us to explore on our own. They then began a short discussion on how to deliver the right tools, at the right time to faculty and staff to successfully overcome the challenges and increase collaboration across their participants institution.

How do we craft good stories for career and technical training programs?

I’ll try to sum up the communications which were happening about these conversations here:

Communicating the power of educational innovations is tough. Usually this is handed down to us in a slick sheet— this is a graphic design term for a single-page description of a new, exciting item. It isn’t an in-depth tutorial. These sheets try to sell the sexiness of the product without a major focus on the practical methods.

As an instructor, we really have a dual role: We have to educate the class, but we have to capture their imaginations and impress upon them how these tools we are teaching are essential OR at least will help you in a successful career. In many cases, we have to walk a fine line: We have to explain as much as possible in an effort to clearly make the use and practicality know, but we also have to motivate students to learn to do this on their own, capturing their imaginations and encouraging them to discover the materials on their own.

We love stories of practical experience where things go very right, and stories were things go very wrong, and times when we pulled a project back from the brink.

being an industry expert doesn’t translate into being an expert instructor.

I’ll try to sum up the communications which were happening about these conversations here:

Many community college instructors (most really, and I know because I’m one of them) are lateral-entry. Specifically, this means that we enter teaching from a job in the field, rather than entering teaching directly from school. What makes us into good instructors— lets leave behind the idea of expert just for a moment.

Coming from the workplace, we’re used to business communications where we’re speaking to a group of industry experts and workers: the vocabulary is known, the audience is clear, and vision is pinpoint, and everyone is working toward a similar if not the same goal: profitability. There is no need to talk basic concepts, no need to discuss fundamentals, no need to check anyone’s work. Poor performers are corrected and/or let go, and new workers are chosen because they are the best of the pool. In most community colleges, there is no barrier for entry: anyone can enter without many basic skills in reading, writing or mathematics, etc. Basic communication skills or a determination to complete are not required to take a course. If you’re working in a marketing firm, you’re not expected to have to reread every single proposal for spelling and grammatical errors, or determining whether or not the addition of charges adds up— these come with the territory. Without the realization of change being needed, many lateral entry teachers end up being coached, and they can find that to be demoralizing and offputting, detrimental to their careers.

Many lateral entry employees give their talks and discussions in matter-of-fact ways, and this doesn’t really capture the hearts and minds of our student populations. However, when sharing the stories of the client that just wouldn’t quit, the big budget issues, the project which was saved by spellchecking, the employee who was fired for procrastination, etc., students are very quickly entranced. Sharing your experiences and stories can really give extra emphasis to the materials you are bringing to bear in the classroom.

Coming from an academic-only environment, many instructors also feel that they are dealing with students similar to those they’ve left behind- interested, motivated students with a clear goal in mind. Unfortunately, not all students are motivated, have goals, interested in their education, or directed. Some students need direction, goals, and commiseration. Stories relating the teacher’s experience to theirs can be really helpful and creating the connections, but stories are great for adding direction. Many students find that they “get by”. They “got by” in high school, jobs, etc., but now they are in college and they are not “getting by” anymore. Experience is a great teacher, but demonstration alongside a story of how large obstacles can be overtaken is even better.

If education-based teachers focused on how they were able to complete, there would be a far greater emphasis on motivation. A teacher who discusses how their student group was formed and then split into categories might help others to do so. A teacher who tells that they “stayed up so many nights working from 8pm to the wee hours of the morning that their neighbors knew if the lights in her house were out… then the neighbors needed to go to bed too!” might encourage students to give that ongoing, continuous effort that really brings things together. Discussing how one teacher breaks down an assignment to research and write a paper can be helpful to a whole population. Share your knowledge!


Challenge Questions:

  • In why ways would storytelling benefit your college’s initiatives?
  • What is the first story that needs to be told and to whom?
  • Imagine your college implemented the IE2EI course with industry experts. After one year, what are the targeted outcomes. How do you celebrate?
  • What did you hear today that you could use in the next 3 months. What are the first 3 steps toward making that a reality?
These questions were nice, but the answers were really ones which should come from within. Of course, the chat exploded, and the presenters hit on major talking points.

Scheming Time, Applying StoryTelling and Expert Teaching in Your Setting

Panelists showcased an example of selecting one story and discussing it. It was a math example for real-life situations about the size of a fence perimeter. They then showed one module from the IE2EI course and the audience was asked if they had considered something like it. This was helpful to many but had little relevance to me, because we do something similar but a bit more advanced at Wake Technical Community College.

Wrap-Up and Summary

There was a minor Question and Answer session. Relative to SkillsCommons IMPACTcommunities Panel, there were few questions. Most participants did not want to leave the session to view the materials. The co-presenters all ended with a brief summary of highlights and resources from each of their perspectives.


Lead Presenter: Nicolette van der Lee, University of Hawaii Maui College

Nicolette van der Lee is a Program Coordinator at the Office of Continuing Education & Training for workforce, sustainability and contract training programs at University of Hawaii Maui College. Through the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, she coordinates non-credit based community outreach and development activities in sustainability across disciplines including clean energy, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart sustainable communities, and green workforce and education. She is also a StoryTelling Ambassador for the StoryTelling Network at SkillsCommons, supporting community colleges to share solutions addressing the challenges of offering industry-aligned education and job-driven workforce development. Her current doctoral research at Johns Hopkins University focuses on the sustainability of innovations, and developing strategies to build social networks, successfully engage stakeholders, and achieve sustainable outcomes in higher education.

Co-presenter: Maria Fieth, MERLOT

Maria Fieth, M.A.2, RTC. Maria currently serves as program manager responsible for communications and community building for CSU-MERLOT SkillsCommons. During the last 26 years, Maria has worked with businesses and PK-20 educators providing guidance for refining and sustaining healthy learning and working environments and building partnerships and community among stakeholders. Maria’s background in federally funded project management provides a strong backdrop for national level accountability and performance. Her work has received honors for building exemplary educational settings and community partnerships from Kevin Jennings of the U.S. Department of Education and Auburn University among others. Maria holds a dual Master’s degree in English and in Education, a Master’s degree in Psychodynamics and certifications in Reality Therapy and from the National Institute for School Leadership. She has numerous certifications as national trainer for organizations such as Ruby Payne’s Poverty Framework, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Discovery Communication Model, and Crucial Conversations. She and her husband, Andy, have three grown sons, a lovely daughter in-law, and one beautiful grandbaby.

Co-presenter: Brenda Perea, Credly Inc. & SkillsCommons

Brenda M. Perea, Director of Educational and Workforce Strategies at Credly, brings twenty-five years of experience spanning secondary, postsecondary and workforce educational fields to help learners identify and target workforce skills not apparent in traditional credentials. She successfully led CCCS to implement a system-wide badge initiative. She believes identifying competencies is critical to establish career and educational pathways in conjunction with business and industry to ensure to post-secondary education and career training is relevant for today’s workforce. She works with the international Open Recognition Alliance and IMS Global to shape the national conversation on recognizing learning where it happens, industry and business engagement in post-secondary education and workforce credentialing. Brenda is also a SkillsCommons community Ambassador whose mission is create affordable innovations in workforce education and workforce development programs to be easily and widely adopted and adapted by teachers, learners, industries, and professional organizations. Brenda also speaks nationally on open educational resources, data analytics improving student success and digital badges.

Opening Keynote: Bring In The Cavalry: Design in Open Source

Posted on Updated on

At 9:45am on 10/28/2017, I attended the 1-day Opening Keynote session: Bring In The Cavalry: Design in Open Source, presented by Una Kravets of the Bustle Digital Group, at the All Things Open Coference at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC

Opening Keynote: Bring In The Cavalry: Design in Open Source

How  important is design in open source

How  important is design in open source? Its a good question since many people seem focused on the creation and updating of the service. The users in many cases are not involved with simple concerns such as “Does it work”, they often wonder if it works as well as it can, whether it is intuitive, or whether it can be done simply and effectivley.

So how do general populations feel?

  • 69% design is key
  • 27% a little could be nice
  • 4% meh. Just has to work.

How many people at this opening keynote of 2,000 people were paid to design the look and feel of end-user materials? Only 2 people in the room were paid to design the look and feel. There were no full time independent designers.

This is a 2-part problem.

  1. Many people have an outdated problem with what design and development is.
  2. People are unaware of how to meld and create a time when open source develpers can be designers.

Design is mathematical and measureable. Design systems drive growth, it is not a silver bullet solution.

Gain Inspiration (specifically the ideas of empathising with users, understand their uses and methods, observe their current uses as well as what they are looking for, consider things from their Point Of View), define the problem(s), ideate on workable solutions, prototype and create working versions (paper form, drawings, wireframes,models), and then test these, knowing it may require adjustments and changes in an Agile methodology.

Every employee in an example she showed had a 3 month training in the product lifecycle system— specifically how to inject design into every step of the process to improve the product or item.


What Does This Mean For Us?

In the opensource community, we work mainly on the last 2 steps—prototyping and testing. But, when you do not take or promote time for the first three steps, you limit the creative scope of what can be done and improved up.

Design systems are a clear and consistent way to make an item more performance-based, more streamlined, cheaper, easier to understand and connect with. reduce problems, errors, and miscommunications.


Design Defends the user

Designers see how we can be inclusive and give them the best uses possible. FIrst, ensuring accessibility. Begin with accessibility, documentation, ease of use. how easy is it to get started? How easy to build upon once started? How easy is the documentation to get started anyway?


Design Is What Drives Adoption

design drives adoption and increases use. The iPhone is a more popular interface for users. While it is more expensive, less effective, etc. However, the experience is almost always a more smooth and easier approach. Because more people feel that the iPhone is a more user-friendly experience, it is an industry standard even though the Android items are cheaper, have more usability available, and are available for user adjustments.

Sass is another easy way to process. It is the most popular because it conforms to people’s needs. You can write an existing css file with SASS mixed in so that you didn’t have to rewrite. Design is not visual, its how your product works. Its experience.

Design is delightlful

It helps us, Learn more about it at:

We Need Design

It is use, workflow, from every angle it is about the user. Its psychological, mathematical, silly and fun. We need more designers. If you’re one, we need you.

We need to bring in the cavalry.

while you may think its you, its not just you’ ideate, bring in the process. be open, welcoming, and understand their experience is different than yours. Designing opensource is a chicken egg problem. It the design not here because the developers run the show, or do the developers run the show because not enough design was brought to bear.

We can bring in more, teach each other and make a more diverse community available.