About Brian Proffitt

Brian is a Senior Principal Community Architect for the Red Hat Open Source Program Office, responsible for community content, onboarding, and open source consulting. Brian also serves on the governing board for Project CHAOSS, a metrics-oriented approach to ascertaining community health. A former technology journalist, Brian is also a graduate lecturer at the University of Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @TheTechScribe.

The Danger of Devaluing Community Volunteers

It is a convenient myth for a lot of people in the free and open source software community that our projects have few barriers to entry beyond a base set of knowledge about the project new contributors want to try to join, and the skills need to contribute to a project.

Diversity, to a lot of people who buy into the pure meritocracy myth, is a problem that can be solved by accepting anyone who can contribute. It’s the contribution that matters, not the person’s race, gender, or other identifiable status. Train more people up, the meritocrats will argue, and the diversity problem will be solved.

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DevConf.us: Launching a New Event

DevConfUS LogoIt takes a village to raise a child, so the saying goes. That is also certainly the case for launching a new tech event, as the attendees of the inaugural DevConf.us have learned this week.

DevConf.us has successfully started in the George Sherman Union on the campus of Boston University, and runs until this Sunday afternoon. Registration is free of charge, so developers from all across the New England area are welcome.

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DevConf.us: Web UI Testing for Beginners

Og Maciel headshotContinuing our preview series of the speakers of the inaugural DevConf.us, today we’re sharing an interview with Og Maciel, Senior Manager of Quality Engineering for the Satellite team at Red Hat.

Maciel’s August 18 talk will focus on an introduction to Selenium, the portable testing framework for web apps, and how beginners can get started using the Selenium IDE.

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DevConf.us: Confronting the UX Elephant in the Room

Máirín DuffyOpen source technology is now mainstream. Technologies large and small impacting people all over the world are powered by open source platforms, libraries, and backends. There’s an urgent problem, though: open source has become synonymous with shockingly poor user experience (UX), reducing its impact and adoption.

In this interview, Red Hat’s Máirín Duffy outlines her open source experience and how she is bringing UX solutions to the world of open source software during her August 19 talk at DevConf.us.

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DevConf.us: Being a Cynic in an Agile QA Role

Deepak KoulNext month, the very first DevConf.us conference will launch at the Boston University in the historic city of Boston, USA. This annual, free, Red Hat-sponsored technology conference for community project and professional contributors to Free and Open Source technologies is an engineering conference organized by engineers.

As we get ready for the August 17-19 event, we have reached out to many of the speakers to find out what expertise they will be bringing to the Back Bay.

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An OSCON Milestone

2018 has been a big year for Linux. Red Hat is celebrating its 25th anniversary (as well as Slackware!), and we are not the only ones with significant birthdays. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and a touchstone conference in the open source ecosystem: OSCON. And this year’s show is celebrating in style, moving back to where many would say it always belonged, Portland, Oregon.

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Well, That Just Happened

When I wrote the May 29 blog entry, “Taking a Break,” I really wasn’t trying to be prescient. But what was meant to be a gentle reminder for community members to take mental health breaks, turned into the next-to-last blog posting on this site for over a month’s time.

That’s because when the May 31 post was attempted to publish, we discovered some serious issues on the previous content management system that prevented the automated CI process from clearing content to be posted on this site.

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How Risky is License Risk?

Every once in a while, somebody will come along and highlight that restrictive licenses carry more risk than permissive licenses. I think this is not as big a threat as some would have you believe.

There are two main branches of what is broadly known as free/libre open source software (FLOSS). Free software licenses are restrictive in the sense that if you use software and modify it, and then want to share it with someone else, you must share your changes with the original project.

Open source software licenses are defined as permissive, since there are typically no sharing requirements on the code. You make your changes and then share the code only if you want to.

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