If you would like to write an article for our blog, please reach out to our community manager – Elizabeth Barron.

How can designers contribute to an open source project on GitHub?

By Blog Post No Comments

This week, one of our design contributors at CHAOSS Africa came up with a great idea that could enhance one of our ongoing projects. This idea wasn’t listed among the open issues in our GitHub repository. The contributor was unsure of how to proceed with her contribution, which is a common scenario for many designers who are not familiar with GitHub.

If you’re a designer interested in making open-source contributions, here are two key things you should know about contributing to projects in any GitHub repository:

  1. Pick a design issue you’d like to work on and talk to the design maintainer. Once you understand what needs to be done, you can start working on the issue. You can also start a conversation using the comment section on GitHub and seek guidance from others involved in the project.
  1. Look at current projects and see how you can help improve them. Check the open issues in a repository to find tasks that address a problem you’d like to solve. If there isn’t an issue related to your contribution, initiate a discussion with the project maintainer on any communication channel they are available. Then make sure that an issue is added to GitHub before you work on your idea.

Why is it important to open an issue before making a contribution? Identifying a problem in an open-source project doesn’t necessarily mean you have to solve it. Another member of the project may have the technical or design skills to resolve the problem. Also, some ideas may be out of the scope of the project. Either way, identifying a problem or idea is a valuable way to contribute, and done by opening a GitHub issue.

Think of it like testing a mobile app and discovering a usability issue or bug. You don’t have to be the UX designer or the Software Engineer to solve the problem, but your discovery can still help improve the app.

In conclusion, GitHub can be a great tool for project management, including assigning tasks, monitoring progress, and tracking contributions from members of a project. Don’t be intimidated by its technical nature. As a designer, your contributions are valuable and can help enhance projects in your organization’s repository.

I would love to hear from other open-source design contributors on any points I may have missed. Please share your thoughts and experiences on CHAOSS Discourse.

Gathering DEI Feedback From Your Open Source Community

By Blog Post

As many of you know, CHAOSS has been working with a team of DEI advisors for the past 2 years via an internal audit to help our project center diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do. This process included a Community Survey, which we launched in October of 2022. 

This survey was designed to get a general idea of the experiences of all our community members (Chaotics), no matter where they were in their CHAOSS journey. We also wanted to surface places for improving our policies and procedures to make a more welcoming and inclusive community. We asked questions about demographics, the ways in which they were contributing, their experiences with being a part of the community, and their suggestions for the future.

We will write another blog post reporting back on the results and our plans for addressing them, but in the meantime, we thought it would be helpful to share the survey structure with other open source communities who might benefit from a survey of this kind.

We chose to use Limesurvey to administer our survey because not only is it open source, it is a highly customizable and accessible tool. (The free version does have a few limitations.) We found that a tool like this one allowed us to fulfill the requirements that were important to us:

  • Anonymous responses allowed
  • Different kinds of response types allowed
  • Hosted in a location that was GDPR-compliant 
  • Flexible presentation of questions
  • Restricted access to data 

We will be sharing some lessons learned from launching this survey at this week’s FOSDEM and CHAOSScon, so if you’ll be there, let’s connect! We will also take the lessons learned from launching this survey to our Chaotics, and iterate on this survey for next time, but for now, you can find links to the survey structure here:

Stay tuned for the data analysis of our results! 

CHAOSS Community 2022 in Review

By Blog Post, News No Comments

Every year seems like a big year for CHAOSS, and this year was no exception. Here are some of the milestones we reached in 2022:

We are so incredibly grateful to all those who have attended community and working group meetings, contributed code, created design assets, participated in our community survey, greeted newcomers in Slack, helped review old metrics, improved our documentation, offered suggestions, helped another Chaotic find an answer, or any of the myriad of other ways our contributors have participated in the global CHAOSS community.  You are what makes CHAOSS move forward and we couldn’t do much without the strength of our community. Here’s to an amazing 2023— our future has never looked brighter! 

Value Working Group Pivoting to Meet the Needs of OSPOs

By Blog Post No Comments

CHAOSS is very excited to be working more closely with the TODO Group as an Associate Member, to collaborate around open source community health metrics specifically for OSPOs. We often enjoy participation from folks working in OSPOs at all stages of their development, but previously we didn’t have a dedicated working group designed to address their specific needs. Coincidentally, we noticed over time that OSPO-relevant topics would pop up in our Value Working Group occasionally, and this was the place where OSPO managers would often enter the CHAOSS community. 

As a result, we decided to formally pivot our Value Working Group from focusing on measuring the value a community offers individuals and companies, to an OSPO Working Group that would focus on the specific needs and challenges of those in the OSPO space, regardless of industry. We also wanted to give OSPO managers a place to connect with each other to talk about their challenges with building and maintaining a successful open source program.

With this new direction of our working group, we are looking to the larger open source community to help guide and build this team. We would love to get feedback from those working in the OSPO space, whether it be in a company, for a university, or any other place. What kinds of things are you measuring? What would you like to measure? What have been your successes or barriers to getting the data you need? 

If you are interested in joining this conversation, we invite you to do 2 things:

  • Join the CHAOSS #wg-ospo Slack channel
  • Join the OSPO Working Group Bi-weekly meeting (The next one is November 17 at 11:00 am US Central/Chicago Time). Connection details can be found here

We’d love to include you in this group and hear what’s on your mind! 

CHAOSS Community Survey is Open!

By Blog Post No Comments

A core value of CHAOSS is centering diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do. In order to make our community more welcoming and inclusive and continue to center DEI, we have been working with our DEI Audit team to develop a community survey. With this survey, we hope to increase our understanding of community members’ experiences within CHAOSS, and surface areas for improving our policies and practices.

We highly encourage all CHAOSS community members (past and present) to share their thoughts and experiences by completing this survey.

This survey:

  • has 14 questions in 3 sections
  • should take around 10-15 minutes to complete it
  • is completely anonymous and no personal information will be collected
  • is GDPR compliant
  • will be open until October 12

It is important to stress that this survey will remain completely anonymous. We will only share the results in an aggregated format, and high-level insights will be shared publicly by the DEI Audit Team. The results of this survey will be used to help the Audit Team develop recommendations for improving DEI within CHAOSS.

If you have ever considered yourself part of the community, we want to hear from you! You can take the survey until October 12 by following this link.

DEI Audit 2021

By Blog Post

In early spring of 2021, the CHAOSS project embarked on a 9-month journey to reflect on its own practices and policies surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the project. We were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Ford Foundation to complete this work with the idea that we could not only improve DEI in our own project but also help other open source projects who are wanting to do the same. Centering DEI in an open source project creates a healthier and more productive environment for current members, it helps lower the barrier to contribution for others, and it fosters a more diverse and stronger community. This audit was a fantastic experience and in 2022 we will be continuing to implement ideas that stemmed from this work.

Read More


By Blog Post

It’s been a year since the introduction of the CHAOSS DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) badging initiative in the September of 2020, and we are happy to announce the release of CHAOSS DEI V3. This version introduces new and well-defined metrics and improved guidelines for reviewers. The CHAOSS DEI badging Initiative will also be issuing badges to open source projects in this new version.

Read More

Metrics for Event Organizers

By Blog Post

Open source projects and ecosystems organize events to bring together the community members. These events provide the space for collaboration, deepening relationships, and making new friends.

The CHAOSS App Ecosystem Working Group describes a set of metrics for event organizers. The metrics are designed to support four goals that open source event organizers may have:

Read More

Learn More

By Blog Post

It has been an amazing experience to build documentation with CHAOSS D&I Bading program during the past two months, and I am thrilled to announce that the first edition is now available as a subsection of the CHAOSS community handbook at :

Read More

Metrics for Event Organizers

By Blog Post

As many open source communities grow larger and older, they may face problems managing members’ engagement. People turn towards metrics to understand large systems and prioritize resources, but there has not been a consensus set of metrics for understanding open source communities.

Read More