July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Help! I want to contribute to an open source project but my boss says no

Patrick McFadin (Datastax)
10:00am–10:40am Friday, 07/24/2015
Craft D137/138
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 5 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Attendees should have a basic understanding of open source software and how it works.


Last year I talked about being an open source business. In many of the great conversations afterward, I heard a reoccurring theme: “Our business isn’t open source, but I want to contribute back to projects and my boss says No!” Let me try to help. Open source software is prevalent across every type of development effort. Unfortunately, the rate of contributions are just a small fraction of the user base.

I’m going to attempt to enable you to become a contributor and still remain employed. Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing how to talk about contributing, and how it affects your employer. Other times, even in the face of a resounding “NO!” there are ways to help projects and give back. I’ll cover the following topics to get your OSS game on:

  • OSS licenses and compatibility with existing software and policies
  • Managing objections
  • Benefits to businesses contributing back to OSS
  • Types of contributions
  • Case studies of the effect on businesses
Photo of Patrick McFadin

Patrick McFadin


Patrick McFadin is regarded as a foremost expert on Apache Cassandra and data modeling. As chief evangelist for Apache Cassandra and consultant working for DataStax, he has been involved in some of the biggest deployments in the world.