Community Building and Open Source Development Workshop

by Amir Nettler on 7 August 2008


See a collection of relevant material from OSS Watch.

20 October 2008, 10:00 - 16:00Oxford University Computing Services, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN

Registration is now closed. If you have any queries, please contact us.

Building and maintaining a community of users and contributors is key to creating a successful open source development project. This OSS Watch workshop will be particularly suitable for software developers, project managers and principal investigators in UK higher and further education institutions who plan to employ open development practices in planning, managing and further developing their projects beyond the initial funding grant.

The workshop will examine what open source development is and how open source communities are created and sustained. It will highlight management and governance structures common in these projects, and discuss common problems that prevent open communities from emerging and and collaborating successfully.

At the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • Recognise why community is important to academic software development projects.
  • Understand how a typical software development community is created and developed.
  • Recognise common management structures for software development communities.
  • Appreciate some of the common mistakes made when creating a software development community.

The workshop is free to UK higher and further education.


  • 09:30 - 10:00 Registration
  • 10:00 - 10:10 Welcome
  • 10:10 - 10:50 What is Open Development? (Ross Gardler; Biography and abstract)
  • 10:50 - 11:30 The Power of Community-Led Software Development (Gianugo Rabellino; Biography and abstract)
  • 11:30 - 11:50 Break
  • 11:50 - 12:30 Barriers to Community (Simon Mather; Biography and abstract)
  • 12:30 - 13:15 Lunch
  • 13:15 - 14:05 Afternoon strands (break into two groups, attendees may choose one or the other)

    • Tools and Processes in Open Source Projects (Developers and Project Managers)
    • Project Governance (Project Managers and Principal Investigators)
  • 14:05 - 14:25 Break
  • 14:25 - 15:15 Afternoon strands continued
  • 15:15 - 15:30 Break
  • 15:30 - 16:00 The Road Ahead

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. After the workshop attendees are welcome to come to an informal gathering with OSS Watch at a nearby pub.