Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

How to open source an internal project

VM Brasseur (@vmbrasseur)
1:45pm2:25pm Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Level: Non-technical

Who is this presentation for?

The audience for this talk is anyone who is considering open sourcing an internal project but has no clue where to start. By the end of this talk, audience members will have a much better sense of the steps and work required to release projects in a way which benefit both the company _and_ the community.

Prerequisite knowledge


What you'll learn

Every one of my clients has had unrealistic expectations about how simple it is to release a project as free/open source. Fact: It's not simple, and if you do it wrong at the start it's very difficult to fix (much like any other software project). This talk will help reset expectations so audience members are aware of all the moving parts of this process and why each one is important to project success for their company.


Your company is going to release an internal project as open source. Are you ready for your new responsibilities? You could just throw the code up on a forge (like GitHub, GitLab), but it’s unlikely to receive attention or provide much benefit to the company. Open sourcing an internal project requires a lot of thought & work.

Releasing a project as open source requires changes to the development/build/release workflow. This is not about the code per se; it’s about the processes & infrastructure that surround the code & that make the project successful.

This talk will introduce what you need to know & to expect before you release your internal project, including:

  • Identifying company goals for the project
  • Pre-release due diligence: licenses & code hygiene
  • Community expectations & maintenance
  • Processes which need to happen in the open
  • Communication: internal & external
Photo of VM Brasseur

VM Brasseur


VM (ak Vicky) spent most of her 20 years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, and providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses. Now she leverages nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and a strong business background to advise companies about free/open source, technology, community, business, and the intersections between them.

Vicky is the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016). She’s a moderator and author for opensource.com and a frequent and popular speaker at free/open source conferences and events. She frequently blog about free/open source, business, and technical management at http://anonymoushash.vmbrasseur.com.

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