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We’ve Built Inclusive Open Source Communities. Now What? 

By October 4, 2022Blog

Sustainability Takeaways from Grace Hopper

Through my role at the OpenJS Foundation, I get to personally experience the progress in building inclusive open source communities. There are so many lovely humans working on JavaScript projects here!

There also has been a lot of progress in teaching a new generation of women how to code using open source software (OSS), which I got to experience meeting some of the 15k attendees at the AnitaB Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) conference last week, including several young women who were jazzed about Node.js, RISC-V, Hyperledger Cactus, PyTorch, Linux, and more.

At the same time, we’ve reached an inclusion quandary. We’ve taught a new generation how to build with open source, but we haven’t done enough to facilitate their participation in open source communities that are ready to welcome new contributors.

Next is Now

“Next is now” was the theme of the Grace Hopper Celebration. I’m inspired to do more now to merge our inclusive communities with the smart, passionate and ambitious women and nonbinary developers I met last week. Imagine the impact this would have on the health and sustainability of open source projects!

I had many interesting conversations with GHC attendees, from students to professionals to computer science professors. In addition to a knowledge gap on open source governance, there was a sense of intimidation and awkwardness about the idea of participation in an open source project. 

“Nope, you don’t show up with a hundred lines of code solving an unknown problem.” That’s an easy answer. However, I realized that I didn’t have all the answers on how to get started.

Jennifer Bly from OpenSSF, Paula Paul from Nearform and the OpenJS Foundation Board of Directors and Robin Ginn, Executive Director of the OpenJS Foundation at Grace Hopper Celebration 2022.

Grace Hopper Open Source Day

The Grace Hopper Open Source Day (OSD) virtual pre-event, plus the open source sessions in-person, was a great opportunity for leaders among open source communities to share practical skills for attendees. 

The Open Source Day brought together our Node.js maintainers and industry mentors in an all-day hackathon. We were thrilled that the Node.js project was selected as a featured project at the GHC OSD, and loved having about 75 women of those hacking away with Node.js project Collaborators and industry mentors. This resulted in 27 pull requests (PRs) – woot!

A big shout out to the Node.js Technical Steering Committee leaders who organized and led the hackathon, Danielle Adams, Franziska Hinkelmann, and Rich Trott, and our OpenJS Board Director Paula Paul who brought in mentors and facilitated the event. 

If you were not able to attend the Hackathon, we encourage you to still get involved with Node.js and start contributing! More information can be found on GitHub.

Our hope is the AnitaB organization will make GHC OSD 2023 freely available to all who want to participate virtually.

Moving Forward

More than ever, we need to create a bridge for new maintainers of varying identities and backgrounds and encourage them to get involved where they can. I encourage all of our JavaScript maintainers and contributors to be a mentor to others, and invite them to join in on the great technologies that our community builds. A diverse community is a strong community, and I hope you’ll join us.

If you haven’t done so already, please get to know us on our OpenJS Foundation Slack channel. Your open invitation is at, plus check out more ways to get involved at

For more details on our involvement in this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration, check out the Linux Foundation blog.