Carol Smith manages PROGRAMS, COMMUNITIES, and partnerships. SHE IS A PROGRAM MANAGER IN MICROSOFT’S OSPO AND BOARD DIRECTOR AND SECRETARY OF THE OSI. She previously worked at GitHub AND Google. She has a degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge, and is a cook, cyclist, and horseback rider.

Making My Way in Open Source

I have to admit, I didn’t plan to be here right now.

I spent a couple minutes a couple years ago looking around jobs at Google that random people were doing and came across the Summer of Code program. I knew that Summer of Code happened, vaguely, somewhere in the regions of Google I Didn’t Participate In. I thought it was an amazing program, an amazing group of people, and not something I would ever get to participate in first-hand. Little did I know.

Around the same time I met another amazing guy named Rob Kaye of the MusicBrainzproject. We saw each other in some of the same social circles but never really talked business. He knew I worked at Google, I knew he worked at Open Source, it was just one of those things.

Rob came to me a few months ago and said he’d lost the Treasurer and Secretary of his BOD. Would I like to do it? Sure, I said. I had experience as a project manager and an admin, so taking notes, getting people to do stuff, and running numbers was really up my alley. It was a fortuitous move – just around the same time I had a lunch with Leslie Hawthorn on a whim.

Talking to Leslie made me so excited. It got me back into the mindset of “I want to change the world and I just need to figure out how” and here was my opportunity. The more I learned about Open Source the more I felt like I could change the world. I really wanted to join the team. I told Leslie that and came and sat on her couch in Mountain View to prove my devotion to the cause.

Now I’m here and just the experiences I had in the last couple months in the midst of my transition to the team have been outstanding. The people I’ve met, the emails I’ve received, the happiness and the thankfulness of the community is just astounding. If I can give these people a fraction of what they’ve already given me I will have changed at least my own world.

Google Code-in and Why I Care