Latins contribute little to open-source software.

Language is the main barrier to contributing to open source — those who do have the opportunity to build a portfolio.

Diversity in the technology industry is a latent debt. In this sector, Latin Americans have been in the background, and this situation is more pressing in the numbers of open source projects.

Of every ten employees working in the leading technology companies are of Latin origin. And this situation is even more marked in open source software projects. For example, one in forty Apache project managers is Latino.

Language, the main barrier to contributing to open source

The main barrier to contributing to open source projects is language. And this barrier harms business. Diversity in technology is not only a matter of corporate social responsibility but also brings dividends to companies. 

More diverse participation in software development will result in more inclusive and values products. The perspective of Latinos can meet a complete set of use cases and needs that only a Latino can understand.

Although the representation numbers in software creation look bleak, the use of open source is increasing. In Latin America, open source software technologies will grow five times, according to estimates. 

Open Source Software Collaborators Summit

How to involve others in open source? How can companies make this space more inclusive for groups with low representation in this field?

These were some of the questions posed at the First OSS Collaborators Summit in Mexico. Google promoted this summit, with the association of Software Guru magazine, Wizeline Academy, OSOM (a consortium initiated by Googler Griselda Cuevas to involve more Mexican open source developers), IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Indeed to organize the First Summit of Open Source Taxpayers in Mexico. The Apache Software Foundation and the CNCF were some of the organizations that sponsored the conference. 

“I was able to make my first contribution yesterday, and today it merged. I am very excited about my first steps in open source, “said one participant about the First Summit for Open Source Taxpayers, which took place last September in Guadalajara, Mexico. With these questions in mind and the call to contribute to the software that is driving the world’s favorite products, 

The event consisted of two days of training and presentations of a selection of open source projects, including Apache Beam, Gnome, Node JS, Istio, Kubernetes, Firefox, Drupal and others. Through 19 workshops, participants were able to learn about the state of open source in Latin America and received practical training and personalized advice; to become active contributors in open source software or OSS, for its acronym in English. Although they are not paid, these collaborations are the most popular way to learn to program and create a portfolio for young professionals or people looking to make a career change towards technology.