Working Group Archives – Hyperledger

Introducing the Hyperledger Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group

By Blog, Working Group

At Hyperledger, “All are welcome here!” That is a message that we want all current and prospective open source contributors to hear. As open source software (OSS) becomes more prominent, the communities that surround it become more important. Having a community that has a culture of encouraging people to voice their diverse opinions is crucial for the long term success of the project. With the motivation of creating an ecosystem that enables many diverse views, the Hyperledger community with the support of the Hyperledger staff has started the Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group (WG).

The journey to creating this WG started at the Hyperledger Member Summit in 2018 in Montreal. Hyperledger is the fastest growing project in the Linux Foundation’s history. Despite that, discussions at the Montreal event raised issues about obstacles to participation. Current processes could make it difficult for newcomers to integrate and participate, and some of the processes do not always promote inclusiveness. Newcomers do not always know where to go to find information or ask questions, and conversely active members have difficulty monitoring all the avenues people can participate (e.g., mailing lists, channels on rocket chat, wiki). Geography sometimes also presents a barrier as meetings and correspondence are optimized for certain time zones over others.

Motivated by the observations at the summit, community members along with Hyperledger staff began discussing how to improve the inclusiveness and in turn increase diversity. They wanted DCI initiatives to be community driven and tracked openly. The DCI WG was created to give interested community members an open forum to investigate, collaborate on solutions, and provide visibility to the DCI issues found in the community. The charter for the DCI WG includes collecting data on various metrics, suggesting possible improvements based on those metrics to the TSC or projects, and, if actions are taken, measuring the impact of them.

Diversity, Civility and Inclusiveness can cover many different community health issues. In order to be the most impactful, the DCI WG decided to focus our efforts and tackle a subset of issues first. One of our first goals will be to collect metrics across as much of that breadth as we reasonably can. We are launching a survey to help baseline the current community. Without that data, it is difficult to know where we need to place our emphasis. One of the small pieces of data we do have today suggests a gap in gender representation. After much discussion, the working group has chosen to make that an initial focus and use what we learn through that process and the survey to expand into other aspects of DCI. 

Within the Hyperledger ecosystem, the DCI WG is looking to collaborate with other working groups, SIGs, and projects to analyze and measure diversity. We are also looking to work with groups such as CHAOSS. We encourage everyone to participate, give their feedback, and voice their opinions!  One of the ways to participate right now is taking our survey. Regardless of your background, the projects or WGs you work on, we want to hear your ideas and feedback. The DCI WG meets bi-weekly and can be found on Hyperledger Community Meeting Calendar. We also have a mailing list and a chat forum. We welcome all contributors!

Community Spotlight: Meet Bobbi Muscara, Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group Chair

By Blog, Community Spotlight

Welcome to our Community Spotlight series, which highlights the work of those taking on leadership roles in our special interest and working groups. Meet Bobbi Muscara, chair of the Learning Materials Development Working Group and founder of Ledger Academy.

Tell us about yourself. Describe your current role, your current business and background.

My name is Barbara (Bobbi) Muscara. I have spent most of my professional career in technology education. I started my career at Healthcast, as the Director of Education. I designed the educational documentation to support software that enabled medical records to be viewed over the internet. I then went back to school to receive my master’s in Business Education. Since then, I have been training enterprises and individuals how to utilize new software packages. In 2016, I opened Ledger Academy, a Blockchain training company in Princeton, New Jersey, that hosts the local Hyperledger Blockchain meetup group. I currently also chair the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group where we are currently working with other Hyperledger community groups to create standards for Hyperledger documentation. I recently edited the Hyperledger For Business EDx course that went live July 17th and is expected to have over 100,000 students. I also serve as a community volunteer on the Board of Trustees as chairperson of a local addiction recovery organization that provides support for individuals in recovery. 

Discuss your involvement in the Hyperledger Learning Materials Development Working Group (LMDWG).

As chairperson of the working group, my duties are to set and post the agenda and to moderate, record and post notes for the bi-weekly calls. As a group member, I have the responsibility of maintaining the group’s wiki page, where we are working to develop standard templates to assist the community in the development of learning materials. Additionally, I designed a program for Hyperledger meetup organizations to model. The program directs groups to create a Social Impact Summer Blockchain project that has a positive benefit on the local community. To see an example, please visit www.BCPrinceton.com. The Learning Material Development Working Group is also currently developing a community library for all documentation created by projects, working groups and special interest groups.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?  

After working with the special interest groups within the Hyperledger community, it is apparent that every sector and industry is devoting more time and energy into blockchain and is beginning to truly understand the unrealized benefit that the technology holds. From the big banks involved in trade finance solutions to the social impact projects are working on to aid the less fortunate, I believe blockchain will be part of every enterprises’ structure in the near future. 

What do you see as the biggest barrier to widespread blockchain adoption?  

As with all new technology, the education barrier is the most formidable roadblock. People fear what they do not understand, and few people have a solid grasp of the intricacies of this innovation.  Blockchain is a complicated technology that offers simple solutions once realized. As this “preliminary” technology grows, I believe so will acceptance and understanding of its potential benefits.

What are the biggest opportunities ahead for blockchain developers?

I think that, as understanding of the technology grows, smaller projects will begin to arise, which will require qualified developers. The need for coders, architects and developer, as well as the opportunity for training programs, will increase.

What is the LMDWG working on currently? Any new developments to share? 

The LMDWG is currently working on a survey for project maintainers, working groups and special interest groups so that we may better understand the learning material needs in the community. The survey will also help us collect the vast amount of work these groups have completed and create a documentation library complete with a reusable glossary. 

What’s the most important milestone for the LMDWG to reach by the end of 2019?  

The LMDWG just completed the edits on the new EdX course Hyperledger Blockchain for Business, which is a business overview of the technologies. The next course that is coming is the technical guide for each of the projects. We will be developing this course with EdX. A new course for Identity is in development that will cover Indy, Aries and Ursa.

Why should someone participate in the group? Why is it important for Hyperledger to encourage collaboration around adopting blockchain technologies in this industry?

The LMDWG is dedicated to educating the community. The templates we build and the standards we recommend for documentation will shape how the Hyperledger community learns from its members. 

What are a few ways people can participate in and contribute to the LMDWG? 

The best way to connect us is through the chat channel or to join our bi-weekly call. We have a very active wiki page that holds the resource library (a local place for community created documentation). We need support in developing templates and standards for documentation.

How can people get involved in the LMDWG? 

We strongly encourage all community members to get involved in developing documentation for this new technology.
All information about joining our group can be found here.

If you need to learn how to get involved, check out our New Member page for instructions on how to become an active member.