Community diversity is often a key element to community health. The most important factor is a diversity of employers, for those committers who are doing some or all work on behalf of the employers. Projects that solely comprise active committers from a single project are frequently at risk of abandonment when their employer’s business cycle changes. Projects with active committers from multiple employers - or including students and hobbyists – can continue work and to draw in new contributors, even if one employer changes direction.
At the ASF, diversity of employers is effectively a graduation requirement for Incubating projects. Incubator Podlings must show that they can attract committers from various employers to ensure that the project and technology is likely to be useful for a wider audience.
Diversity of learning and experiences within a community is often a bonus. Committers with different backgrounds will bring new ideas and perspectives to a project, which can make for stronger and more innovative technical decisions.
Diversity of employers is not required for established top level projects, however Apache projects are required to act independently of single employer influence.