Open Source Inclusivity: Empowering Newcomers
03-05, 11:00–11:30 (Europe/Berlin), Monday: Workshop Room / Tuesday: Remote Stage

Explore effective methods to lower the entry barriers for newcomers in open source. This talk addresses the challenges new contributors face, offering practical solutions to foster inclusivity and encourage diverse participation in open source projects.

In the realm of open source development, the influx of new contributors is vital for innovation and progress. However, first-time contributors often find themselves at a crossroads, daunted by vast codebases and extensive issue lists. This talk aims to dissect and address these barriers.

We will delve into the psychological and technical hurdles that new contributors face, such as selecting the right issue to tackle and overcoming the intimidation of large-scale projects. By examining case studies and current practices, the talk will reveal how these barriers not only deter individual learning and growth but also deprive organizations of potential talent.

Furthermore, the session will introduce actionable strategies that projects can implement to make their environments more welcoming and accessible. These include structured mentorship programs, clear documentation, beginner-friendly issue tagging, and inclusive community practices. The talk will also highlight the importance of fostering a culture that values diversity and inclusivity, ensuring that open source is a field where all voices, regardless of experience level, are heard and valued.

Attendees will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by new open source contributors and a toolkit of strategies to implement in their projects or communities. This talk is particularly relevant for project maintainers, community managers, and anyone interested in enhancing the diversity and inclusivity of open source projects.

Mayank Jindal is a software engineer at Amazon with over 3 years of experience. His primary focus has been on improving advertising moderation efficiency across Amazon using AI-based techniques and building scalable software around that. Mayank has worked with major cloud technologies and gained expertise in building cloud-based microservices. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and mentoring in the tech community. He has served as a judge in many global hackathons, including those organized by prestigious institutions like MIT and Columbia University. He has mentored underrepresented college students.

In the past, Mayank has been a web developer and Android app developer. Mayank has made significant contributions to the open-source community through participating in Google Summer of Code. He has contributed over 20,000 lines of code to the "Mifos Initiative," a non-profit organization striving to provide financial services to underprivileged populations through its Android app. His contributions extend to mentoring the next generation of open-source contributors through Google Code-In.

He also had the privilege of speaking at tech conference and podcasts which allowed him to share his knowledge and insights with a wider audience.

Mayank holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.