PowerHour Universal Dashboard: Building a Community (Tool)

By Michael T Lombardi

Elevator Pitch

Over the last year the community has built a dashboard for submitting, watching, and discussing the PSPowerHour lightning talks. This talk will cover the lessons learned, the architecture, how to host your own version, and how to apply these lessons to “inner source” at your organization.


This talk will cover the Universal Dashboard for the PSPowerHour community to enhance the experience of interacting with the speakers. We’ll cover the process of designing a community tool in the open with input and contributions from the community, the lessons learned, explore how the project works under the covers, and discuss building “inner source” projects and communities in your work organization.

The talk is broken into two parts: a case study where we examine how the PowerHour dashboard was designed, built, contributed to, and maintained over the last year; and a deep dive into the benefits and tips for starting and maintaining both open source projects and projects which are only open to its members (also known as “inner source” projects).

By the end of this session you’ll have learned how you can contribute to, start, and help maintain open and inner source projects and the benefits and business values of doing so.

1. PowerHour Implementation Case Study

  • What is the PowerHour?
  • What were the project goals?
  • How was it built?
  • How was it maintained?
  • How did people contribute?
  • How did we improve?
  • What did we learn?


2. Open and Inner Source

  • What are the benefits of open source?
  • How do organizations benefit from inner source?
  • How do you start a community project?
  • How do you get contributions?
  • How do you onboard contributors?
  • How do you decide what to implement?
  • How do you build a community?


Ideally, this talk would be given with a second speaker as a partner (since the focus is on community) where we combine speaking about the behind-the-scenes technical and social implementations. The point of this talk is largely to help folks contribute to open source / build “inner source” communities at work and grow the skills of our community as leaders and contributors, using the PSPowerHour project and dashboard as a case study. Each point in the second section will tie back into examples and information from the first section to reinforce the lessons and benefits.

This talk would be best done in 90 minutes with two chunks - first, implementation and technical, along with some lessons learned - after the break, a deeper dive into inner source / maintainership / contributing and how these practices benefit organizations and attendees.

It could instead be given a bit more focused in 45 minutes, with less room for interaction.