The Profile

This rubric is to be used as a guideline to help your group develop a document and presentation about a company, organization, product, project, or community. Not all sections will be applicable to your particular subject, but you must fill in why that particular query does not apply in your case.

You don't have to get too fancy with it, but your profile MUST include some type of appendix, footnotes, bibliography, or in-line citations for all sources where your information was gathered. (Attribution is the coin of the realm in FOSS, and the core of Academic Honesty.)

Your group will have 10 Minutes to present your findings, and answer questions. Your presentation must be internet accessible, creative commons licensed (see: syllabus), and will preferably available after the completion of this course. Building a crowd-sourced body of research profiles on FOSS organizations and projects is one small way we all can contribute back to the Hackademic Community, and help future iterations of the bizlegfoss course here at RIT (and maybe even elsewhere someday!)


There are so many subjects you could choose to profile, so why did you choose this one? What drew you into wanting to know more about the organization? How did you/your group decide on and agree?

Organizational Details

  1. Is the subject of your profile a corporate entity?
  2. What type?
  3. When was it founded?
  4. By whom?
  5. Original founder(s) still active?
  6. Publicly Traded? Since when? Initial Stock Price? Current stock price?
  7. Has the company made any acquisitions? If yes, which companies, and what were their core products?
  8. Has the company made any investments in other companies? If yes, which ones.
  9. Number of Employees?
  10. Where is HQ?
  11. Does it have any other offices or locations?
  12. Website?
  13. Wikipedia?
  14. Does your organization file any annual reports? Please include links to any relevant documents (i.e. 990, Annual Report, Year in Review, etc...)


  1. Does your subject participate in social media? If yes, please list a URL for each account, and reach within that community. (i.e. Twitter: @RedHatNews - 61.9K Followers.
  2. What communication channels does your subject use to reach their public? Briefly describe and include a URL for each.
  3. Does your subject organize or participate in any conferences? If so, list them here, and provide links to any relevant sessions, keynotes, or content.

Community Architecture

Your subject likely runs or contributes to one or more Open Source products or projects. Choose one (or more) of these and answer the following questions:

    If applicable, list and provide links to:

  1. Describe the software project, its purpose and goals.
  2. Give brief history of the project. When was the Initial Commit? The latest commit?
  3. Who approves patches? How many people?
  4. Who has commit access, or has had patches accepted? How many total?
  5. Has there been any turnover in the Core Team? (i.e. has the top 20% of contributors stayed the same over time? If not, how has it changed?)
  6. Does the project have a BDFL, or Lead Developer? (BDFL == Benevolent Dictator for Life)
  7. Are the front and back end developers the same people? What is the proportion of each?
  8. What have been some of the major bugs/problems/issues that have arisen during development? Who is responsible for quality control and bug repair?
  9. How is the project's participation trending and why?
  10. In your opinion, does the project pass "The Raptor Test?" (i.e. Would the project survive if the BDFL, or most active contributor were eaten by a Velociraptor?) Why or why not?
  11. In your opinion, would the project survive if the core team, or most active 20% of contributors, were hit by a bus? Why or why not?
  12. Does the project have an official "on-boarding" process in place? (new contributor guides, quickstarts, communication leads who focus specifically on newbies, etc...)
  13. Does the project have Documentation available? Is it extensive? Does it include code examples?
  14. If you were going to contribute to this project, but ran into trouble or hit blockers, who would you contact, and how?
  15. Based on these answers, how would you describe the decision making structure/process of this group? Is it hierarchical, consensus building, ruled by a small group, barely contained chaos, or ruled by a single or pair of individuals?
  16. Is this the kind of structure you would enjoy working in? Why, or why not?

Technology/Product (Section adapted from EFF Worksheet)

  1. Who invented, created, or sponsored the technology?
  2. What is the technology designed to do? How is it used?
  3. Who would benefit from using this technology?
  4. What kinds of companies or organizations (stakeholders) might have been concerned about the development of this technology? Why?
  5. Does/Did an aspect of copyright law play a role in controversies about the technology? How?