Episode 59

The Craft of Coding and Code Metrics for Open Source in M&As


20 May 2022

33 mins 57 secs

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About this Episode

Hello and welcome to CHAOSScast Community podcast, where we share use cases and experiences with measuring open source community health. Elevating conversations about metrics, analytics, and software from the Community Health Analytics Open Source Software, or short CHAOSS Project, to wherever you like to listen. Today, our special guest is Matt Van Itallie, who’s the Founder and CEO of Sema, a software company focused on code quality. Today, we find out about Sema’s tools, one being an analytics tool to understand open source, the other one helps developers build a portfolio of their work, and we learn how these tools relate to the work CHAOSS is doing. Also, Matt goes in depth about “code is a craft,” using Sonar for Linting, and ScanCode, and some things he would like to make better in the future. Download this episode now to find out much more, and don’t forget to subscribe for free to this podcast on your favorite podcast app and share this podcast with your friends and colleagues!

[00:01:42] Matt tells us his background and what brought him to CHAOSS.

[00:03:17] We hear Matt’s thoughts on the various paradoxes and complexities when evaluating code quality in open source, Sean asks Matt if anyone has cataloged the available Linters, and we hear about an open source project called ScanCode.

[00:07:21] Sean brings up the language agnostic code quality analysis tool, and Matt explains how it works, what the benefits are, and some constraints that he’s discovered in his work.

[00:09:54] Georg wonders how detailed Matt gets looking at the process analysis.

[00:12:37] Matt talks about explaining quality measurement to executives and non-technical executives.

[00:15:19] Since security is always a concern, Sean tells us about a challenge they have in the Risk working group at CHAOSS with identifying various declared recognized risks, and Matt explains how this relates to the work he’s doing.

[00:21:10] Georg wonders if there’s anything Matt wants to make better in the future and if the CHAOSS Community can help him with it. He explains an automated tool to understand the health of the guild.

[00:26:40] Matt talks about a tool from Sema that makes it easier and faster to write code reviews and using ScanCode.

[00:29:33] Find out where you can follow Matt online.


[00:19:29] “Code is a craft means that creators matter a ton because there’s so much institutional knowledge in their heads about how things fit together and the meaning of it. Crafts people create meaning that is incredibly hard to transfer.”

Value Adds (Picks) of the week:

  • [00:30:29] Georg’s pick is moving into a new house.
  • [00:30:46] Matt’s pick are two extraordinary open source community leaders, Kunal and Eddie.
  • [00:31:30] Sean’s picks are being back on his bicycle, TREK 520 with Schwalbe tires, and to thank Google, Red Hat, and VMware for all the support they’ve provided for CHAOSS Project.


  • Georg Link
  • Sean Goggins


Matt Van Itallie




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