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Diversity in open source

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OSS

Jono posted about gender balance in Ubuntu and I thought I'd share a bit of my thinking regarding diversity.

There are a ton of different groupings where you hear "Why aren't there enough XYZ's in our (community|profession|hobby|party)?" Those in the majority wish to be more inclusive of whatever the minority is, but don't know how.

Understanding gender or race diversity can be hard since we're all born into one group or another. But all of us might find ourselves an uncomfortable outsider in some stereotypical situation or other. A nerd on a sports team. A jock on the chess team. An atheist at a church function. A 30-something in a college class.

Imagine you are interested in, say, stock investment, and you decide to join an existing group that meets monthly to discuss stocks. But when you get there you note they're all 20+ years older. Normally that shouldn't be a problem because you feel you know plenty about your personal area of interest and can make contributions there. However, the others just assume you lack the experience to actually give useful advice and so dismiss or downplay anything you wish to contribute.

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