Every day it’s getting easier and easier to contribute to open source software. Knowledge of Unix commands and specialized email programs are no longer a barrier to entry — all you need now is a web browser and text editor. And while software developers themselves may have knowledge of Unix commands and specialized email programs, everyone has a web browser and text editor.
As software collaboration gets better and easier, non-software projects are taking advantage of these ideas and tools. Books are being written together by friends over the Internet, then translated into different languages by complete strangers. Wikis are being shared and distributed by thousands, and more data is being published openly than ever before.
This talk will discuss what’s changed in the collaboration process in the past few years, the impact the change has had, and where all this is heading.
Tom Preston-Werner is a cofounder and chief executive officer of
GitHub, a web site that makes it easy for users to collaborate on
software projects and share code. This site has attracted a community
of more than 3.5 million developers and strives to lower the barriers
of collaboration by building powerful features into its products,
making it easier for users to contribute and write better code,
Preston-Werner also invented the Gravatar, a globally recognized image
that follows its user around the internet to help identify posting on
blogs, web forums, or other internet activities. He sold Gravatar in
He lives and works in San Francisco. The weather there is strange, but
he loves it, and the mountain biking is unbelievably good.