We all rely on open source software. As companies grow, they build up policies for managing license compliance and programs for cultivating mutually supportive relationships with the communities behind the software they rely on—often forming an OSPO to drive all this.
Drawing on recent discussions with dozens of leaders from corporate OSPOs, nonprofit foundations, and open source communities, Josh Simmons and Cat Allman explore what companies are doing to support open source communities, what kind of support open source communities are actually asking for, and the gaps that remain. By understanding the state of the art in corporate open source engagement and knowing what needs remain unmet, you can help your company be even more effective in supporting healthy open source communities—not just because it’s the right thing to do but because healthy communities translate into greater productivity, innovation, and stability and better security.
Josh Simmons is a senior open source strategist at Salesforce and vice president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). A community strategist, open source advocate, and dusty-foot philosopher, he’s a frequent traveler promoting free and open source software, inclusive community building, and teaching aspiring and junior developers how to learn by contributing to open source. Previously, he was an open source program manager at Google, a community manager at O’Reilly, a freelance web developer, a startup CEO, and a volunteer community organizer in rural Sonoma County, California.
Cat Allman is an open source outreach manager at Google, where she works on Google Summer of Code, Google Code-in, and other programs to increase participation in open source. She’s been involved with the free and open source community since the mid-1980s, including stints at Mt Xinu, Sendmail, Inc, and USENIX. She’s also a coorganizer of the annual Science Foo Camp un-conference and a board member of the USENIX Association. Cat has spoken at conferences including LinuxTag, BSDCan, SCALE, OSCON, SELF, SIGCSE, LCA, OSDC, the GoOpen Arctic Forum, and the Ohio Linux Fest and was recently a keynote speaker at FOSSASIA 2014. She cochaired and moderated the first open source track at the 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
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