Pains & Gains: Six Short Open Source Stories

September 14 to September 15, 2016

Closed on Oct 21, 2016 at 01:46pm PDT

Event Details

GitHub Universe is the event for people building the future of software. We are looking for short talks about a challenge you met in an open source project and how you overcame it. This session will feature a collection of 5 minute open source stories.


The success of an open source project hinges on the people who use it, the people who improve it, and the people who are dedicated to helping it thrive. In contributing to open source, you have faced unique challenges, and in experimenting with solutions to them, you have learned many valuable lessons. Whether you’re a maintainer or contributor, a consumer or a researcher—we want to hear your story.

We are looking for talks detailing a pain you experienced, how you attempted to overcome it, and what you learned from the experience. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What challenges have you faced contributing to open source, and how did you overcome them?
  • What challenges did people face getting started on your project, and what changes did you make to lower the barrier to entry?
  • What workflow changes did you have to make as your project grew?
  • What is made more difficult by friction between different personalities and opinions??
  • How has the structure of your community helped people feel encouraged to contribute?
  • How have you avoided or recovered from burnout?
  • What has helped your company be a better participant in open source?
  • How do you support your open source habit?
  • What has helped your company be a better participant in open source?
  • What tools have you tried that have failed, and what did you learn from it?

Or in what other ways did you get something wrong before finally getting it right?


This session will be a 40 minute breakout at an event with over 1,400 attendees from all areas of the software development community. Eighty percent of the audience will be from active engineering and product teams (developers, technical leads, and engineering managers) and 20% executive leaders. Open source is fundamental to modern software development, and developers and businesses are eager to learn from open source communities.


The 40 minute session will include 6 talks that are 5 minutes each.

Selection process

Talks will be initially blind reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees. Speaker information will be used in any final reviews necessary to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking line-up. Final selections should be complete by Aug 26.


Speakers selected to present in this session will receive admission to Universe and all regular activities. If, upon selection, you have already purchased your ticket, we will reimburse you.


Please first familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct, and then complete the proposal form which includes speaker details and a brief description of your pain and gain.