Fueling innovative software
July 15-18, 2019
Portland, OR

Open Source Citizenship

Josh Simmons (Salesforce + Open Source Initiative), Cat Allman (Google)
11:50am12:30pm Thursday, July 18, 2019
Open Source
Location: E145/146

Who is this presentation for?

Director of Open Source, Office of CTO, Program Manager, Open Source Strategist



Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have some experience participating in open source communities.

What you'll learn

Attendees will learn what enterprise Open Source Programs Offices are doing to support open source communities and what needs are being left unmet, which they can use to make their own companies better open source citizens OR leverage to support their own project communities.


We all rely on open source software and, as companies grow, we build up policies for managing license compliance and programs for cultivating mutually supportive relationships with the communities behind the software they rely on. Often, companies will form an Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) to drive all this.

In this session, attendees will be given a thorough accounting of:

  • 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.

Based on recent discussions with dozens of leaders from corporate OSPOs, nonprofit foundations, and open source communities, attendees will leave with a very current and truly sweeping perspective on open source citizenship.

By understanding the state of the art in corporate open source engagement, and knowing what needs remain unmet, we can help our companies be even more effective in supporting healthy open source communities. And not just because it’s the right thing to do…

After all, healthy communities translate into greater productivity, innovation, and stability, and better security!

Photo of Josh Simmons

Josh Simmons

Salesforce + Open Source Initiative

Josh Simmons is a community strategist, open source advocate, and dusty foot philosopher. He is a Senior Open Source Strategist at Salesforce and serves as volunteer CFO for Open Source Initiative (OSI). Previously an Open Source Program Manager at Google and Community Manager at O’Reilly Media, he is 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. He worked as a freelance web developer, startup CEO, and volunteer community organizer in rural Sonoma County, California before finding his footing as a professional.

Photo of Cat Allman

Cat Allman


Working with FOSS communities since the 1980’s, I’ve spoken at events including the first http://makerstown.eu/ with members of the EU Parliament, LinuxConfAU, FOSS Oman, GoOpen Arctic Forum, SIGCSE, OSCON, USENIX Women in Advanced Computing Summit, keynotes at CROSS, FOSSASIA 2014 and 2016, organized events including the 1st Open Source Track at GHC2010, and Science Foo Camp, produced with Nature, O’Reilly Media, and Digital Science 2007-2019 and am the creator of Education & Livelong Learning Foo Camp with O’Reilly Media, Sesame Workshop & Macmillan Learning. I’m currently on my 3rd term as a USENIX Board Member and am a co-organizer of the upcoming Sustain! Conference, and was a PC member for GHC 2018 Open Source Track, a Jury member for http://www.falling-walls.com/lab/about, and a judge for https://riskinnovation.asu.edu/scienceshowcase2017/ and the 2018 UNESCO Hackathon (https://sg18.sciencehack.asia/) in Singapore.

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