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Software Engineering

How Outreachy transforms lives and the open source community

Open source software underpins the modern world. But not everyone gets an equal chance to contribute. Outreachy strives to increase participation in open source communities by enabling people from groups underrepresented in tech to make their first contributions to open source. To support their mission, we at Zenhub ran a month-long campaign to raise money for Outreachy. As a result, we’re excited to announce that we have donated $4600 towards supporting diversity in open source.

Today, the majority of software-based innovation happens in open source by default. Given that, by some estimates, as much as 90% of a typical application is open source code, there’s no denying the impact of open source on the software industry and the global economy by extension.

Zenhub is no exception to that industry trend and, in fact, we add unique value to the open source ecosystem. Of the more than 6,900 next-generation software organizations that use our platform globally, at least 4,400 are open source projects and public entities. All of Zenhub’s features that power high-growth startups and scaleups are available free of charge for open source and public repositories, including real-time roadmap visibility, automated sprints, and team productivity insights.

Widely adopted and sustainable open source projects have a few things in common: strong communities, shared values, and a common vision, rooted in openness and transparency.

Successful projects and open source-based companies such as Grafana, O3DE, OpenSSL, New Relic, Red Hat, Swagger, and many others use Zenhub to deliver software innovation faster. We hear from our community that Zenhub helps strategic open source projects foster effective communication among team members, set goals and plan with more transparency and participation, and ship releases more predictably.

Outreachy Opens the Open Source Door to the Underrepresented

But just because the open source development model encourages open collaboration, it doesn’t mean that everyone can participate. Many lack the resources to get started, whether it’s access to education, mentorship, or opportunity. Which makes the work Outreachy is doing so important, and why Zenhub is committed to supporting that work.

Launched in 2006, Outreachy is an initiative of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Its mission is simple: increase diversity in open source communities. By providing an on-ramp to open source for people historically underrepresented in those communities, it enables the communities to leverage different points of view, skills, experience, and approaches to spur innovation and increase the global tech talent pool.

Outreachy creates opportunities for newcomers to open source through a mentorship process. It pairs mentors and projects with interns, who work remotely for three months. The internship is paid in two installments totaling USD $7,000. And while mentors are invariably experienced in open source, applicants don’t have to be. The Outreachy Internship Guide explains what interns can expect.

Many Outreachy interns have gone on to full-time work in the tech sector, working on open source projects. And, true to Outreachy’s mission, historically interns have been:

  • 92% women
  • 4% transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary people
  • 64% people of color
  • 12% people from a historically disadvantaged caste or tribe

Try Zenhub and Support Outreachy’s Mission

Zenhub believes in supporting open source developers and communities. In support of Outreachy’s mission, during the month of February 2022, Zenhub made a donation to Outreachy for every person that signed up for a free trial of Zenhub on a private repository associated with a GitHub organization. Through this campaign, Zenhub donated $4600 to Outreachy. We were happy to play a small part in ensuring everyone can participate actively in the open source ecosystem.

If you’re curious about how Zenhub can dramatically boost your team’s productivity while working in GitHub, get a free 14-day trial.

To learn more about Outreachy, and to support their programs directly, please visit

Interested in starting an open source project of your own? Learn how to start an open source project here.

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