Katie McLaughlin

Katie McLaughlin

Katie has worn many different hats over the years. They have been a software developer for many languages, systems administrator for multiple operating systems, and speaker on many different topics. They were awarded the O'Reilly Open Source Award in 2017, and has served as a director of both the Python Software Foundation and Django Software Foundation. When they’re not changing the world, they enjoy cooking, making tapestries, and seeing just how well various application stacks handle emoji.

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    Which contributions count? Analysis of attribution in open source
    James P. Bagrow
    Jean-Gabriel Young
    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne
    Milo Z. Trujillo
    2021 IEEE/ACM 18th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR), IEEE(2021), pp. 242-253
    Preview abstract Open source software projects usually acknowledge contributions with text files, websites, and other idiosyncratic methods. These data sources are hard to mine, which is why contributorship is most frequently measured through changes to repositories, such as commits, pushes, or patches. Recently, some open source projects have taken to recording contributor actions with standardized systems; this opens up a unique opportunity to understand how community-generated notions of contributorship map onto codebases as the measure of contribution. Here, we characterize contributor acknowledgment models in open source by analyzing thousands of projects that use a model called All Contributors to acknowledge diverse contributions like outreach, finance, infrastructure, and community management. We analyze the life cycle of projects through this model's lens and contrast its representation of contributorship with the picture given by other methods of acknowledgment, including GitHub's top committers indicator and contributions derived from actions taken on the platform. We find that community-generated systems of contribution acknowledgment make work like idea generation or bug finding more visible, which generates a more extensive picture of collaboration. Further, we find that models requiring explicit attribution lead to more clearly defined boundaries around what is and what is not a contribution. View details
    Open Source Ecosystems Need Equitable Credit Across Contributions
    James P. Bagrow
    Jean-Gabriel Young
    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne
    Milo Z. Trujillo
    Nature Computational Science, 1(2021)
    Preview abstract Collaborative and creative communities are more equitable when all contributions to a project are acknowledged. Equitable communities are, in turn, more transparent, more accessible to newcomers, and more encouraging of innovation—hence we should foster these communities, starting with proper attribution of credit. However, to date, no standard and comprehensive contribution acknowledgement system exists in open source, not just for software development but for the broader ecosystems of conferences, organization and outreach, and technical knowledge. As a result, billions of dollars of corporate sponsorship and employee labor are invested in open source software projects without knowing whom the investments support and where they have impact. Further, both closed and open source projects are built on a complex web of open source dependencies, and we lack a nuanced understanding of who creates and maintains these projects. View details
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