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Diversity in Open Source: The Linux Foundation and NCWIT Release Free Training Course

By December 9, 2020No Comments

Written by Dan Brown, Senior Manager, Content & Social Media, LF Training

This blog originally ran on The Linux Foundation Training website. For more content like this, visit https://training.linuxfoundation.org/blog/.

Inclusive Open Source Community Orientation (LFC102) is a new training course from The Linux Foundation and National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and is designed to provide essential background knowledge and practical skills to create an inclusive culture in the open source community. 

The course delves into facts about diversity in tech, the importance of diversity for innovation, the basics of unconscious and societal bias, and how to recognize the different ways unconscious bias presents itself in technical environments. The course also provides the knowledge and skills to recognize, appreciate, and include people of differing races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities and other identity categories and promote inclusivity and diversity in open source communities.

“The research is clear: a variety of cultural factors and implicit biases prevent many people from meaningful participation in technology cultures,” said Dr. Catherine Ashcraft, Director of Research, NCWIT. “The practices we suggest in the course are intended to address these multiple biases and make the open source community a more inclusive place where currently underrepresented groups are able to thrive and make meaningful contributions to future technical innovations.”

While the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report found efforts by employers to increase diversity in open source hiring activities have increased, there is still progress to be made. 11% of those surveyed for the report stated they have been discriminated against or felt unwelcome due to their personal characteristics, an increase from 8% just two years ago. This course is meant as a starting point for everyone in the community – from technical staff to managers, executives, support teams and more – to learn more about these issues and how to ensure everyone feels comfortable in the workplace and broader community.

“Open source projects are best when they cultivate contributions from a wide range of individuals with different backgrounds from all over the world, so it is prudent for community members to ensure everyone feels welcome,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). “This course will guide open source projects on how to build inclusive communities, which is why we will be planning to require all CNCF project leadership to complete this training starting next year.”

LFC102 is available for immediate enrollment at no cost to students. The course complements the existing LFC101 – Inclusive Speaker Orientation which provides knowledge of how to ensure inclusivity in presentations, messaging and other communications. Enroll today and help build an inclusive open source community!