Josh Simmons

Last modified by Josh Simmons on 2018/02/21 04:58

Josh SimmonsMy name is Josh and I'm running for reelection to OSI's Board of Directors because I have a vision for the future of free, libre, and open source software. I was elected on a platform of inclusivity and the celebration of individual contributors in the face of corporate funded foundations that sometimes distort the true spirit of open source.

My platform hasn't changed. I have deepened OSI's relationships with FLOSS foundations around the world, brought in new contributors from all walks of life, celebrated contributions from writers, designers, marketers, community organizers, and yes, coders, and brought greater stability to the organization as its treasurer. But my work isn't done.

Why should you vote for me?

A starry eyed idealist was elected to the board and, while I've learned a lot about the logistical challenges OSI faces, I'm no less starry eyed today than I was in 2016. I am, however, better equipped to deliver on my platform.

If you believe, like I do, that open source is world changing and that it faces existential challenges despite becoming mainstream, then you should vote for me. If you believe that my experience demonstrates my ability to get things done, then you should vote for me. If you believe I've made progress on the promises I made in 2016, then you should vote for me.

Who am I?

I am a web developer and community organizer. I am OSI's CFO. I am a member of the Google Open Source outreach team where I help run Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in, programs that bring thousands of new contributors from every corner of the world into FOSS every year. I am the communications and outreach lead for the best and most inclusive little Python conference there is (North Bay Python). And when I'm not coding, writing, or doing online outreach, I travel the world teaching people how to learn software development by contributing to FLOSS.


I shared the specifics of my vision in 2016. I've stayed the course and affected change that I am proud of, though more through my day job and volunteerism than my role at OSI. Now that I have experience on OSI's board, I am better positioned to lend the organization to the causes you first elected me to support:

  • Get newbies into open source: I literally travel the world teaching people how to get started in open source, and I run programs that help other mentors achieve this on a scale that I could never achieve on my own.
  • Mentor the next generation of leaders: I actively seek out people with the will to help, promote their work, connect them to resources, and do everything I can to make sure the people who come after me are way better than I ever was. 
  • Expand access: I have built strong relationships with people from all walks of life all over the globe, especially women, non-binary people, people of color, and people with disabilities. Not only do I advocate for mentorship, financial assistance programs, and listen more than I speak, I also mentor, donate, and amplify the work of people unlike me.
  • Embrace non-technical contributors: I have disappointed myself. Despite being a non-technical contributor myself, I focus on contributing code and docs. I can do better to embrace all the skill sets that are required to build open source software.
  • Spread the open ethos: I have not delivered on this, but I am OK with that. I have specialized in software because we have so much more work to do. I continue to evangelize the open ethos in all fields, but in order to be effective, I have to focus on what I know.
  • Grow the OSI membership: I am constantly evangelizing foundations like OSI, SFC, FSF, PSF, etc, helping developers in the trenches understand that their work would not be possible without these nonprofits. I have also worked with my fellow OSI board members and other foundations toward running joint membership drives.

Perfect score? Nope. But my course is steady, I've made progress, and I'm better equipped than ever before to channel OSI's position and influence for good.

Did I accomplish other things that weren't part of my platform? You bet I did. Here's just one example: people said the OSI needed a new bookkeeper for years, and I made it happen within a year of being voted in as OSI's CFO. Other more exciting changes are in the works, but I need more time to deliver!

Vote for me because I have the skills, the idealism, the track record, and, critically, the experience on OSI's board.


Josh Simmons Hello world! You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and as bluesomewhere on Freenode. Email works too: [email protected].


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