I had the pleasure of speaking at DevOps Minneapolis to a great group of people. In it we explored why I’m fascinated by open source, how it’s growing as a career opportunity, and then dove deep into the terminology that can be confusing at times. I called the talk a “practical guide” because it includes all the lesser-discussed parts of the effort: understanding terminology, feeling okay practicing, offering PRs for small improvements like correcting a typo. It was a great time and many came up to discuss it afterward.

It was so fun talking with my DevOps people in Minneapolis!

What happened next was a 40 minute whiteboard session on what…

In preparation for the wonderful Open Source 101, I wanted to challenge my assumptions on what makes a great contributor experience by asking.

The Twitters answered in force.

Just some of the thoughtful responses. Check out the full thread to learn a *ton*

I highly recommend scrolling through the thoughtful replies yourself. Here is a summary for those looking to make a great contribution experience:

  • Easy of contribution — integrated tests, issues tagged with levels of contribution levels, Easy getting started (Dockerfile), reference docs.
  • Engaging maintainers — kindness, responsiveness, constructive feedback, thoughtful changelogs, personality (emojis were mentioned more than once 😀).
  • Clarity of purpose — a clear goal for the project (what it is…

One of the dark arts of measurement

This is part three on a series exploring metrics that can position a Community program as a successful business investment. Part one gives an overview you may want to read first.

Batteries Not Included

When making a case for further investment, Share of Voice (SOV) has a lot to offer. Said simply, SOV is the percentage of any conversation that’s about you. It’s a zero-sum measurement, meaning that more for you means less for the competition. That tends to get executives competitive mindset excited. It also tends to be misused, resulting in your metrics seeming less valuable in the process.

Share of voice…

To start this series on metrics off right, an aside is needed.

The search for ROI (return on investment) from programs has brought me down some off-the-cuff attempts at proving value. One example from my talk at CLS that hit home for many was on stickers.

Here’s the napkin math logic: if I buy stickers, some portion of them will be used (we must assume some of them will be thrown away).

Next, some number of sticker adopters are big personalities in the industry. If that person puts my sticker on their laptop, I can estimate the value. If…

What does it look like for Community to be a quantifiable value to a company? How does that differ from it being a corporate obligation?

Last year I stood up and said, at Community Leadership Summit, that metrics are a Trojan horse to real relationships. To this day, it is the most frequent conversation I have with community builders and company leaders alike. The measurements gathered by both are in the hopes of Community being legitimized as an organization worth investment in a corporation.

Full slides are available on Speaker Deck

Most everyone struggles with quantifying the value they derive from investment in Community orgs, or its…

A few months ago I announced an idea I’m now quite proud of: our community needed some time in Maintenance Mode. How did we know we needed it? To review our challenges that lead us here, we had:

  • Fragmented conversations across social platforms
  • Difficulty knowing who was maintaining which community project
  • Unknown expectations for contribution

Thinking from a user-centric perspective, we needed our community to be:

  • Easy to talk to
  • Easy to contribute to
  • Fun to hangout with

That meant taking on an increasingly large amount of change while new people joined the team and while keeping the lights on…

The themes that left me thinking how this community will change our industry.

I spent last week at KubeCon / CloudNativeCon to keep learning alongside my peers and to absorb some of the positive energy swirling around the community we have. While the technology is exciting, I find myself reflecting on three themes that captured the event for me.

The feature-, and vendor,-rich Cloud Native Landscape, open sourced by the CNCF here

Kubernetes is boring

A point of celebration for many speakers was the assertion that Kubernetes is past the buzz stage. Boring as a goal has been part of the culture for some time (I always hear it referenced in a hat tip to Etsy…

TL;DR the current maintainers of Sensu Plugins and I have decided to slow down on regular issue support so we can speed up on version 0.29 (and the impeding Sensu version 1.0!) compatibility and standardizing on communication platforms. You can help! Scroll to the bottom to see how.

Time to retool some around the Sensu Community (image thanks to Unsplash)

I joined Sensu with faith that we have something incredibly special about our community and I was absolutely right.

In the few weeks since I’ve joined, I’ve entirely focused on connecting with past and present plugin maintainers and learning as much as I can about the Sensu Plugins backstory. I spend afternoons…

I am completely thrilled to share that I’m joining the team at Sensu as VP of Community starting next week. In additional to joining amazing people and a respected product, I will have the opportunity to focus full-time on the Monitoring community and its related disciplines as they continue to evolve.*

I’m grateful for my time at Intel, where it gave me the chance to see through the software stack and down into the hardware that runs it. I got to see how telemetry is a fundamental building block of every infrastructure and how CPU cache occupancy can be life…

An exploration of surnames, beliefs and actions.

I married my wife on May 29th, 2016. And as of that day, I have legally changed my name to match hers.

This decision was made over many months and many, many conversations. I share this story so that others can explore how I felt throughout the process on their own time, because I’m sure it will scare the shit out of many as it definitely has for me.

Our wedding day, celebrated with a high five. Photo by Geneoh Photography.

The Short Story

The brief explanation of why goes like this:

  • She hadn’t considered changing her last name from Broberg
  • I felt strongly about our family having…

Matthew (Brender) Broberg

Community Builder. Fan of community-first marketing and human-centric products. Public speaker, serial podcaster, previously built @Geek_Whisperers.

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