I recently wrote concerning open source project fragmentation:
The low-hanging fruit is to help projects become easier for new contributors to get involved in, and friendly for staying involved in. Decrease the cost of contributing to existing projects, more will choose to do that rather than start, or leave to start, new projects.
That link is to OpenHatch, a nonprofit that I do a bit of volunteer administrivia and editing for. I have admired OpenHatch for longer, putting it among organizations with “potential to be important enablers of the free and open world.”
OpenHatch is picking the low-hanging fruit concerning both diversity and participation in free/open source projects. Probabilistically decreasing project fragmentation is one of many good side effects.
OpenHatch also represents a bit of sanity and depth as the “everyone needs to learn how to code” hype reaches its apogee. Not everyone needs to learn how to code, but there are plenty of ways to develop a more empowering relationship with software and how it is designed, created, maintained, distributed, marketed, controlled — how it shapes our world.
Those who do learn how to code should also learn how collaborate with others in building non-trivial, non-throwaway applications, in a way that is socially beneficial, i.e., contributing to an open source project. OpenHatch’s Open Source Comes to Campus program organizes workshops that help students (usually in partnership with a local women in computing or other student group) make their first open source contributions. We’re raising money for this program, with a match through December 24.