Diversity in Open-source Software


US-RSE DEI-WG Speaker Series Info

The US-RSE DEI-WG is working to bring to the US-RSE community quarterly visits from RSE professionals with vested interests or research into DEI in the RSE community at large. Our community pledges to continually educate ourselves through research on best practices focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. US-RSE is committed to providing an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all and to promoting and encouraging diversity throughout the RSE community. We encourage everyone to suggest speakers and topics and are open to different formats and timelines of the events. Feedback is much appreciated.


The US-RSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group (DEI-WG) is proud to welcome Alexander Serebrenik to present his talk “Diversity in Open-source Software.” This event will take place Wednesday, June 1st at 8 AM PDT / 9 AM MDT / 10 AM CDT / 11 AM EDT / 5 PM CEST

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Software development is, by nature, a social activity: the ability of individuals and teams to work together effectively is critical to the success of software projects. For that reason, the goal of my research is to study the individual and collaborative aspects of software development and how they influence the creation and evolution of high-quality software systems. Today, software development teams are increasingly distributed, dynamic, and diverse, and I have focused on understanding the impact that these trends have on software development practice. For example, in open-source software contexts, we observe that more gender diverse teams are more productive, and that they are less likely to exhibit suboptimal team communication patterns leading to suboptimal source code organization; likewise, emerging evidence paints a nuanced picture in which diversity in culture, age, and other characteristics influence teaming behaviors in complex ways. I will explore recent investigations into these topics and what they tell us about how to build strong and healthy software teams, communities, and ecosystems.


Alexander Serebrenik is a Full Professor of Social Software Engineering at the Software Engineering and Technology cluster of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research goal is to facilitate the evolution of software by taking into account social aspects of software development. His work tends to involve theories and methods both from within computer science (e.g., theory of socio-technical coordination; methods from natural language processing, machine learning) and from outside of computer science (e.g., organizational psychology). The underlying idea of his work is that of empiricism, i.e., that addressing software engineering challenges should be grounded in observation and experimentation, and requires a combination of the social and the technical perspectives. Prof. Serebrenik has co-authored a book, Evolving Software Systems (Springer Verlag, 2014), and more than 100 scientific papers and articles.