Log in

❖ Browsing media by libreplanet

Lessons learned from cultivating free software projects and communities

JJ Ashgar


Over the last decade, I’ve had the privilege professionally of building and cultivating some free software projects and communities. This isn’t a tools talk: this is a talk about the soft skills you have to have to be able to succeed as a leader in an free software project. I’ve learned a ton on this journey; honestly I still am learning, but I have some lessons to share, and hopefully, I can warn attendees about pitfalls that can cause wasted cycles and pain. Topics will include scoping your project, personally-backed versus corporate-backed projects, why empathy and audience is important, celebrations, defeats, successful traits of free software projects, and more.


2 years, 7 months ago

Tagged with

JJ Asghar · community · Free the Future · LibrePlanet conference · LibrePlanet 2020 video · LibrePlanet 2020 · LibrePlanet · lp2020 · video · FSF


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.