Open Development: Building an Engaged Community

by Amir Nettler on 3 November 2009


The hashtag for this event is #opendev09

7 December 2009, 09:30 - 16:00The University Club, 11 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ

This event is now over. The original reading list for the workshop and the live blog archive are available to view. Links to the speakers’ presentations may be found below.

This workshop was held concurrently with a workshop on open development as part of open innovation.

Open development thrives on a diverse community of participants who engage in the project and also attract others with new skills and resources. Such a diverse community also increases project sustainability as the project can survive the exit of participants. However an engaged community does not just form itself, rather it requires active and continuous encouragement, particularly from the core project team. This workshop will help you understand how open development works and provide you with a practical appreciation of the skills, practices and mechanisms that encourage an engaged community.

The event is free to UK higher and further education.

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this workshop you will:

  • Understand how open development works and know the common community structures
  • Be familiar with the skills and processes that encourage community participation
  • Develop ideas for improving the community friendliness of a specific project

Target Audience

This workshop will be of interest to those involved in a development project and who wish to benefit from improved community engagement or wider participation through open development. For example you may wish to become sustainable past the current funding round or expand your user base into new areas. In particular we think the following will be most interested:

  • project managers
  • software developers
  • researchers whose projects produce software outputs


  • 09:30 Registration
  • 10:00 Welcome and Introduction to Open Development
  • 10:20 Symbian Foundation: Towards an open development culture (Sebastian Brännström, Symbian Foundation; biography and abstract) - slides (pdf, 6.6MB)
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:20 First steps in open development (Sander van der Waal, OSS Watch; biography and abstract) - slides (pdf)
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 Contribution, Collaboration and Confusion - Engaging with a Community (Mark Johnson, Taunton’s College; biography and abstract) - slides (pdf)
  • 13:40 Break
  • 14:00 Specific issues, project self-assessment exercise and discussion
  • 15:00 Panel Q/A
  • 15:30 Conclusions
  • 15:40 Finish

Attendees are invited afterwards to an informal gathering at a pub with members of OSS Watch.