Sumana Harihareswara's Talks & Presentations
I'm Sumana (pronunciation), the founder of Changeset Consulting, and I frequently write and speak on open source, management, and other topics.
Invite me to speak. I am available starting in 2019.
I'll be at WisCon in May 2019.
Below is a list of some of the public talks and presentations I've given, with links to audio and video recordings, notes, slides, and transcripts.
- Penguicon 2017 (Guest of Honor, schedule including "Things I Wish I'd Known About Open Source in 1998" and "What If Free and Open Source Software Were More Like Fandom?")
- LibrePlanet 2017: "Lessons, Myths, and Lenses: What I Wish I'd Known in 1998" (schedule, video, in-progress transcript)
- FLOSS Community Metrics Meeting Winter 2016: "What Should We Stop Doing?" (written version, slides, video)
- Wiki Conference USA 2014: "Hospitality, Jerks, and What
I Learned" (transcript, video, audio)
- code4lib 2014: "User Experience is a
Social Justice Issue" (written version, video)
- Open Source Bridge 2012: "Be Bold: An Origin
Story" (written version, video)
- Professional IT Community Conference 2011: "The Only
(Intentionally) Funny Talk You'll Hear Today" (video)
Other conference talks and presentations
- At RubyConf Los Angeles 2018, I co-presented "Code Review, Forwards and Back" with Jason Owen (video).
- At PyGotham 2018, I co-presented
"Python Grab Bag: A Set of Short Plays" with Jason Owen.
Video and notes are available. We also held a preview performance on Sunday, September 30th.
- At Open Source Bridge 2018, I led an unconference session on Python packaging; one attendee took notes.
- At WisCon 42 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, I was the auctioneer for the Tiptree Auction and served as a panelist for "Dreamwidth Power Tips".
- I led a Python packaging/distribution sprint at PyCon North America 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
- Panel, "Social Media in Theory and Praxis: What is at Stake Now?" at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, in New York, NY, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Description:
Use of digital platforms and tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
Instagram, and Google has altered cultural production, political processes,
economic activity, and individual habits. This event is a presentation and
panel discussion on several pressing issues in social media and digital
literacy featuring five invited scholars, organized and moderated by The
Graduate Center Program Social Media Fellows. The speakers bring expertise
in a range of timely topics including: grassroots use of the Internet,
feminism, free and open source project development, labor, appropriation,
peer production, virtuality, networked cameras, and big cultural data
- "Code Review, Forwards and Back", with Jason Owen, at PyGotham 2017, October 6, 2017, in New York City (video on YouTube, video on PyVideo).
- I served as the Tiptree Award charity auction's auctioneer at WisCon, May 27, 2017, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
- I led a session at WONTFIX Cabal (Maintainerati) unconference for open source maintainers on February 15, 2017, in San Francisco, California, USA.
- I was invited to offer ten minutes of testimony (and then answer
legislators' questions) at the New York State Assembly's public hearing
on government oversight of forensic science laboratories on February 8th
in NYC (PDF
with more info, hearing
calendar webpage). This was a hearing held jointly by the Assembly
Standing Committees on Codes, on Judiciary, and on Oversight, Analysis
and Investigation. I spoke on the importance of auditability and
transparency in software used in devices the government uses in
laboratories and field tests, and open source as an approach
to improve these. And I testified to the efficiency, cost savings,
security, and quality gains available by using open source software and
by reusing and sharing open source software with other state
governments. PDF of my testimony as written, video, witness list, transcript.
- MidAmericon II: Nine program
items. August 17-21, 2016, in Kansas City, MO. Specifically:
- Panelist, "The Interstices of Historical and
- Panelist, "The Imaginary Book Club"
- Panelist, "Bad Boy Woobie"
- "Comedy Tonight!" (About 30 minutes of stand-up comedy during a three-person
- Panelist, "The New Space Opera Golden Age on the
- Auctioneer for Tiptree Award Auction
- Panelist, "The Art and Science of Fiction Translation"
- Panelist, "Comics Confrontational! Social
Issues in Recent Comics"
- Panelist, "Representation in Comic Books:
From Absences to Affirmatives"
- PyCon North America 2016: "HTTP Can Do That?!" (video recording). Learn how to get more performance, testability, and flexibility out of your web apps, using features already built into HTTP. I walk you through case studies exploring good (and bad) ideas, using Python, your browser, netcat, and other common tools.
- WisCon, May 27-30, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin. Three sessions:
- Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars)
- Comedy auctioneer for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award (more)
- Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color)
- OSCON 2016: "Inessential Weirdnesses in Open Source" (written version). Free and open source contributors and leaders who are already comfortable with our norms and jargon learn how to see their own phrasings and tools as outsiders
do, including barriers that often slow down new users and contributors, and to make more hospitable experiences during their outreach efforts.
- LibrePlanet 2016: "Inessential Weirdnesses in
Free Software" (written remarks, video). Also: lightning
talk "What is maintainership? Or, approaches to filling management skill gaps in free software" (written version).
- Great Wide Open 2016: "Hidden Features in HTTP". Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia (slides).
- FOSDEM 2016: "Comparing Codes of Conduct to Copyleft Licenses" (written version, video [83 megabytes, downloadable or streamable as "comparing-codes-of-conduct-to-copyleft-licenses.mp4"])
- Open Source Bridge 2015: "HTTP Can Do That?" (slides, video)
- AdaCamp Bangalore 2014: Ada Initiative Impostor Syndrome training (facilitator's notes)
- Open Source Bridge 2014: "A Few Python Tips" (solo; materials, video) and "The Outreach Program
for Women: what works & what's next" (with Liz Henry; slides, video)
- Wiki Conference USA 2014: Ada
Initiative Ally Skills Workshop (as part of unconference)
- PyCon 2014: "What Hacker
School Taught Me About Community Mentoring" (poster)
- Foolscap 2014: "Powerpoint Karaoke" and "You, Yes You, Can Do
- Wikimania 2013: "Transparency
and collaboration in Wikimedia engineering (2013)" (video)
- Open Source Bridge 2013: "Just Don't Lick the
Cookie: an open discussion about organizational dysfunction" (with
Kellie Brownell; video) and "Diversity in open
source: What's changed in 2012 and 2013" (panelist; video)
- Open Tech NYC 2013: "Sumana
Harihareswara introduces you to your Open Tech neighbors" (notes, video)
- Wikimedia tech talk, 2012: demonstration of how to fix a bug,
including investigation, git commit, getting it reviewed and merged, and closing the
- Wikimania 2012: "Transparency
and collaboration in Wikimedia engineering (2012)" (with others) and "What
Does THAT mean? Engineering Jargon And Procedures Explained" (solo)
- Open Source Bridge 2012: "Outreach Events: My
Triumphs, My Mistakes" (with Asheesh Laroia; notes)
- Wikimania 2011: "How
to get what you want from MediaWiki developers" (video, notes)
- Open Source Bridge 2011: "Learn
Tech Management In 45 Minutes" and "What's
New in MediaWiki 1.17 & How You Can Help"
- Open Source Bridge 2010: "The
Second Step: HOWTO encourage open source work at for-profits"
- various Foo Camp and WisCon panels and sessions 2009-2015, e.g., "Models We Use to Understand the World",
"Facebook and Its Discontents", "Must Pleasures Be Guilty?", "SF/F and Higher Ed", "Lighthearted Shorthand Sans Fail", and "How Should
Magazines and Anthologies Review Submissions?"
- Seattle MindCamp 2008: "Powerpoint
Karaoke", "You, Yes You, Can Do Standup", "Zany Insta-Debates", and
"Three Models of Power: A Political Science Lens On Your
Back to homepage
- 2016: Worldcon (MidAmericon II)
- 2015: AlterConf (video)
- 2014: Subdrift NYC
- 2011: a half-hour standup comedy act, performed at various New York and DC
locations, Community Leadership Summit, Open Source Bridge, and the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit
- 2003: Bear In Mind (transcript)