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Roadmaps, Surveys, and Community-Led Software Development

Parsons is sending out its yearly community survey, and hosting two community roadmapping sessions. Why? Because people deserve a say in the things that matter to them - including the software libraries they use and the communities they're a part of.

Published onFeb 08, 2023
Roadmaps, Surveys, and Community-Led Software Development

Every progressive group ought to ask themselves occasionally, “Who are we fighting for? And how do we know what their needs really are?” Self critique, reflection, and open dialogue are vital tactics for organizers, and our work as maintainers of Parsons is no different. 

Yes, our work is centered around maintaining a software library, but our mission is to make the lives of movement data and technology professionals easier. To do this well, we can’t assume we know what our community needs. We need to ask.

There’s a trade-off here: we want to empower our community members to participate in the design of the Parsons library and the shape and culture of our community. But we also know y’all are busy. That’s why we’ve created two options:

The quick version: fill out our community survey

The survey should take five minutes or less and includes an open-ended final question for you to share thoughts on anything we might have forgotten to ask you about. You can take it here.

The more involved version: join us for a roadmapping session (or two)

We’ve also scheduled two roadmapping sessions, one focused on Parsons as a software library, and the other focused on Parsons as a community. In these sessions, participants will share their wants and needs. The items with the most consensus and enthusiasm end up becoming our priorities and incorporated into our 2023 roadmap.

The Community Roadmap Session will take place Thursday, Feb 16th 2-3pm ET and will focus on community activities such as events, trainings, the Parsons blog/website, and more.

The Technical Roadmap Session will take place Friday, February 24,⋅3:30–4:30pm ET and will focus on improvements to the Parsons codebase and user experience, including feature requests, new uses or components for the library, infrastructure improvements, etc.

To join us at either or both roadmapping sessions,sign up here.


The global tech industry is hyper-capitalist, with little interest in democratic participation. As users of tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc, we’ve grown accustomed  to having absolutely no influence over the software we use.

But that doesn’t mean it’s right. Progressives believe that those impacted by decisions should have a say in decision-making. Why should that be different when developing software?

We don’t have to build software like Silicon Valley does. We can do better.

Our community roadmapping sessions are one way of experimenting with community-led design. We hope to continue experimenting and empowering community members to make decisions about the direction of the project.

If that’s something that excites you, please join us. We love to learn from you and with you how to make a better, more community-led progressive tech movement.

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