We will see a lot of companies on the OSCON 2019 keynote stage, each one sharing how much they love free and open source software. If you’re like many people in the audience, you probably will sit through these keynotes thinking “Wow! Gosh am I ever glad I got to hear from all of these Brands™! Hearing about their experiences really makes me feel like a part of the greater open source community! Yay, Brands™!”
VM Brasseur gets it. To a lot of you these companies are ruining open source, opportunistically exploiting free and open source software rather than giving back to the greater community. You may even feel that open source itself has sold out and is a lost cause because of the presence of all of these companies.
This perspective isn’t helpful. For every Amazon, for every Google, for every Microsoft and IBM out there—each already finding success with free and open source software and communities—there are thousands of companies that are just getting started. They’re trying to do open source correctly but don’t have the slightest clue where to start. They need the guidance of the people who know free and open source software best. They need us. However, by dismissing enterprise engagement with free and open source software, we’re depriving these companies of the help they need to become true and authentic members of the free and open source software community.
VM shares a little bit about what these companies are going through as they start trying to do the right thing by free and open source software and its communities and explains how you can make a difference by sharing not just your code but also your knowledge, experience, and compassion outside of your community as well as in.
VM (Vicky) Brasseur is the director of open source strategy at Juniper, where she leverages her nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and strong business background to help Juniper be successful through free and open source software. She spent most of her 20-plus years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses, and helping companies understand, use, release, and contribute to free and open source software in a way that’s good for both their bottom line and for the community. She’s the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first and only book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects (published by the Pragmatic Programmers). Vicky’s a moderator and author for Opensource.com, an author for Linux Journal, the former vice president of the Open Source Initiative, and a frequent and popular speaker at free and open source conferences and events. She’s the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016). She blogs about free and open source, business, and technical management.
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