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Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) Project

By July 13, 2023No Comments

Open source, naturally by design, welcomes diversity because anyone can contribute the code from anywhere in the world. Teams are often geographically distributed, leading to more expertise, viewpoints, life experiences, and positive results.

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, previously announced the launch of the Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) project at Open Source Summit 2020. SDDI explores, evaluates, and promotes best practices from research and industry to increase diversity and inclusion in software engineering.

In May, the Linux Foundation announced that Cynthia Coupe has stepped into the role of Chair of SDDI project. Cynthia is Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist committed to transforming traditional systems to better serve people with special needs. She is also the owner and CEO of Outreach Advocacy Resources and Services (OARS), Inc., a company dedicated to transforming the lives of neurodivergent clients by using their inherent strengths as motivators for success. She is devoted to shifting the perception of neurodivergent minds by facilitating Diversity and Inclusion conversations in workspaces and schools. Learn more about SDDI in the below video:

In addition to the new chair, SDDI has also been refreshed with a new steering committee that is responsible for prioritizing the initial working groups, which could address research methods, ethics, resources, and data, as well as diversity in the areas of gender, age, cognitive ability, and education.

Members of the steering committee include:

  • Andrew Begel, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Anita Ihuman, Developer Advocate, Layer5
  • Bianca Trinkenreich, Research Scientist, Globant
  • Georg Link, Director of Sales, Bitergia
  • John Mertic, Executive Director, Open Mainframe Project
  • Kate Stewart, Vice President of Dependable Embedded Systems, the Linux Foundation
  • Megan Lehn, Community Director, RISC-V
  • Megan Rupert, Event Marketing, Broadcom Mainframe Software
  • Maemalynn Meanor, Director of PR & Communications, the Linux Foundation
  • Neal Caidin, Program Manager, the Linux Foundation
  • Rafael Prikladnicki, Associate Professor, PUCRS University, Brazil

These steering committee members are collaborating on three initial working groups such as neurodiversity, DEIA Best Practices, and talent pipeline for diverse individuals. As an open source project, anyone is welcome to join and contribute. Subscribe to the mailing list here.

Open source projects are also encouraged to participate in SDDI to inform best practices and to benefit from the findings of the Project. Existing Linux Foundation projects – TODO, which focuses on open source program office best practices, and the CHAOSS Project, which identifies tooling and metrics for diversity and inclusion – will also work closely with SDDI.