In 2014, I invented the
CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md that you see in almost every
open source repository.
I'm an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, activist, and engineer with over 25 years of professional experience in technology. I work diligently to promote diversity, equity, and justice in open source communities and the tech industry as a whole.
I'm best known as the creator of the Contributor Covenant, the first and most popular code of conduct for open source communities. It's been adopted by over 40,000 projects including Linux, Golang, JRuby, Swift, F#, Rails, and the open source portfolios of organizations including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, and Intel.
I was recognized for my work in the Ruby community with a Ruby Hero Award in 2016.
In 2018 I addressed the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights on the topic of human rights abuses by technology companies.
In 2019 I created the Hippocratic License, an Ethical Source license prohibiting the use of open source in conjunction with human rights violations. I also founded the Ethical Source Movement, an organization empowering open source developers who want to ensure that their work is used for social good and in service of human rights.
I speak and keynote at technology events around the world (5 continents and counting!) In 2018 I delivered a speech to the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva. In Brussels in 2020, I delivered an impassioned call for technologists to end our long history of shirking our ethical and social responsibilities. The Ethical Source Movement was born that day.
I've appeared on CNN.com, the BBC, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, The Guardian, The Register, The Mary Sue, Buzzfeed, Vice, The Verge, ZDNet, The Daily Beast, and Business Insider. I've also published articles on social justice and ethics in the technology sector.
I created The Hippocratic License, an ethical open source license that prohibits the use of software in conjunction with human rights abuses.
I am the founder of the Ethical Source Movement. Our goal is to empower open source developers to fulfill their social responsibilities as creators, and give them tools to ensure that their work is used for social good and in service of human rights. The Ethical Source Working Group is a global community of open source maintainers and contributors, IP experts, human rights workers, writers, ethicists, philosophers, activists, and technologists.
Meritocracy favors the privileged, but remains largely unchallenged in the open source community. The Post-Meritocracy Manifesto is a values-based alternative to traditional governance of open source.
I serve on the board of directors for Ruby Together, a non-profit that funds development of critical Ruby infrastructure like bundler and rubygems.org. I've also served on the board of RailsBridge, an organization that teaches people from marginalized and underrepresented communities web development with Ruby and Rails.
I'm a founding panelist on the Greater Than Code podcast, a popular program that focuses on the human elements of software development.
I have a long history of providing coaching and sponsorship to members of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. I try to support and promote them as they grow their technical skills, develop strategies for overcoming bias and discrimination in our industry, and learn to manage their careers and public profiles.
I'm writing a book with Naomi Freeman called "The Compassionate Coder". The book explores the value of the practice of empathy at all stages of our work as technologists. You can track our progress, read a sample chapter, and sign up for updates at compassionatecoder.com.
I've been participating in open source for nearly 20 years. Over the past decade I contributed to major Ruby and Rails open source projects and authored more than a dozen Ruby gems.
Calamity Orchestra is a musical collaboration with Jeremy Greene, Frederick Wells, and Kevin B. Chatham. It explores contemporary social and political issues through the lends of 80s new wave and post-punk musical styles. The entire project is open: we're streaming recording sessions, band meetings, and mixing/producing; posting our streams to YouTube; releasing music videos, songs, and stems under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial License; and distributing the songs for free (pay what you want) on Bandcamp.
I run two Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, which involves a lot of writing, creativity, and deviousness. I also write and record music in my home studio, as A Little Fire Scarecrow. I've released six albums, all available on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and Bandcamp. You can learn more and get links to listen or buy at alittlefirescarecrow.com.