Know Your History: Ethical Source with Coraline Ehmke
Episode 516th September 2021 • Collaborative Craft • 8th Light
00:00:00 00:41:58

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Coraline Ehmke’s path to the tech industry was non-traditional. It took someone to turn the key for her to find the community that she sought. 25 years later, Coraline is still in the tech industry and has been open about her experience as a trans person.

Coraline is our guest this week on Collaborative Craft. She shared what it was like in the early days of the internet and how the smoking lounge was the great equalizer. Coraline also discussed the evolution of open-source communities and why it is important for her to talk publicly about her personal journey. Coraline is inspirational, listen to the episode for her insights.

  • 6:46 - Early programming path
  • 11:55 - Smoke break networking
  • 14:29 - Growth of the tech community
  • 17:24 - Learning in public
  • 21:35 - Creating the Contributor’s Covenant and the Hippocratic License
  • 28:43 - Intent is not magical
  • 31:02 - Ergonomics: the product of design and ethics
  • 34:00 - Know your history

Coraline Ehmke is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, activist, and software engineer with over 25 years of experience in the technology industry. She’s best known as the creator of Contributor Covenant, the first and most popular code of conduct for open source communities, she was recognized for her work in the Ruby community with a Ruby Hero Award in 2016, she created the Hippocratic License, an Ethical Source license prohibiting the use of open source in conjunction with human rights violations, and today, she is co-founder and executive director of the Organization for Ethical Source: a global, multidisciplinary community working to empower open source developers by creating tools to ensure that their work is used for social good and in service of human rights. Visit her website at and find the Hippocratic License at

Thomas Countz is a Senior Software Crafter at 8th Light where he works with a variety of ambitious teams on a variety of ambitious projects. A true curious nerd at heart, Thomas digs into everything from robotics and cider making to bouldering and Shakespeare’s comedies. To hear even more about Thomas, you can follow him on Twitter at @thomascountz and visit his blog at

Jerome Goodrich is an adoring husband, new dog dad, and all-around curious explorer. Through his work as a Principal Software Crafter at 8th Light, Jerome leads amazing software teams to design and develop thoughtful solutions to complex problems. He loves pairing strenuous hikes with deep conversations and is always trying to see things clearly and with an open heart. Jerome lives much of his life off of the internet, but he occasionally writes on his website:

8th Light partners with businesses and community groups to craft software that unlocks human potential and makes the world a better place. We’re passionate about designing for people, inspiring through education, and empowering the future. With teams spread across the globe—including Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Madison—we’re always eager to hear about ambitious new projects. Learn more about our team and reach out at

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Podcast episode production by Dante32.