What Open Source Community is the Healthiest?

Start serving apples and vegetables at your next open source event

When thinking of an open source developer, most us of probably think of a male in his 30’s, overweight, long beard, and socially awkward. While this is just a stereotype and not a true reflection of all open source developers, there is some truth in the weight category.

I believe that many open source developers (even general software developers) are typically overweight and you can easily see this in action at any open source event. However, I have just come back from an open source event where I was amazed at how healthy the developers were and can prove it.

Over the past three years I have planned and attended many open source events and predictably follow this pattern when ordering t-shirts for the attendees:

(% total shirts by size)

SMALL  - 5%


LARGE – 30%

X-LARGE – 35%

2X-LARGE - 15%

3X-LARGE – 10%

** Please realize that I am focusing on US open source developers only; when I host events in Asia and Europe I do order a much larger amount of SMALL and MEDIUM and much less in the 3X, 2X, and X-LARGE category).

Most people planning events might have an adjustment here or there for shirt sizes but I am comfortable using these percentages.  So, at last weeks OpenStack Design Summit event I followed the typical t-shirt order pattern that turned out to be a huge mistake.

Within the first 10 minutes of on-site registration, attendees took all SMALL and MEDIUM shirts with the majority of attendees having to take a X-LARGE or LARGE when they clearly needed a SMALL or MEDIUM. I just received all the left over shirts back at my office and can easily ship out most of the 2X-LARGE and 3X-LARGE shirts to anyone needing one.

My conclusion, OpenStack must have the healthiest open source community of developers in the United States. During the event, I picked up on this noticeable difference and discussed with several other people who also agreed with me. So, I am calling out a challenge to other open source communities in the US – prove to me that you are healthier than OpenStack.! Perhaps we can upload some photos to a common site with pictures of various developer communities to compare and maybe even we can try and start a US weight loss open source developer initiative.

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