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April 10, 2024 30 mins

Dawn Foster, Director of Data Science for the CHAOSS Project, joins us to discuss the pressing issue of open source project health and sustainability.  Dawn offers a look into the CHAOSS Project, aimed at improving open source project health through analytics and metrics. She emphasizes the importance of community participation, the challenges of maintaining project health, especially in the face of single organization dominance, and the issue of contributor sustainability. Dawn also touches on her academic research on the Linux kernel, exploring communication and collaboration within the project. The conversation underlines the significance of strategic contributor engagement from businesses to ensure the longevity and success of open source projects that are vital to their operations.

00:00 Introduction 00:17 Open Source and Data Science 02:25 the CHAOSS Project 03:22 Identifying and Addressing Project Health Red Flags 05:33 The Elephant Problem: Navigating Single Organization Dominance 09:32 CHAOSS Project Tools: Augur and GrimoireLab 12:56 The Importance of Data and Privacy in Open Source Communities 13:55 Insights from Research on the Linux Kernel Collaboration 21:24 The Future of Open Source: Sustainability and Viability 27:47 Closing Thoughts on Contributor Sustainability



Guest: Dr. Dawn Foster works as the Director of Data Science for CHAOSS where she is also a board member / maintainer. She is co-chair of CNCF TAG Contributor Strategy and an OpenUK board member. She has 20+ years of experience at companies like VMware and Intel with expertise in community, strategy, governance, metrics, and more. She has spoken at over 100 industry events and has a BS in computer science, an MBA, and a PhD. In her spare time she enjoys reading science fiction, running, and traveling.
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