FutureTalk with Selena Deckelmann

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What Beginners Teach Us:

Open source as an idea has won. Linux dominates developer servers, open source tools are ubiquitous and being an open source developer rocks. And yet, we talk frequently about how to find new contributors, how to increase the number of people who participate and share code with us, how to improve the skills of the junior developers and hire them as fast as we can.

Selena has spent a considerable amount of time teaching absolute beginners how to program in Python, how to use the command-line and how to use revision control. These beginners succeed and fail in open source in both familiar and surprising ways. In this talk, she will share lessons from their experiences to help us create a more inclusive and welcoming future for open source software. Further, she will provide insights into the code review process, and how learning how to give code review (not just receive code review) is critical to becoming an expert developer.

Selena is a major contributor to PostgreSQL and a data architect at Mozilla.  She's been involved with free and open source software since 1995 and began running conferences for PostgreSQL in 2007. She founded Open Source Bridge, Postgres Open and speaks internationally about open source, databases and community. She is an advisor to the Ada Initiative, an organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in open source and technology communities.

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  • mark g.

    One message came through to me. It is important to think about how the recipient of my words will feel before I deliver them if you don't want most of the students to give up.

    May 13

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