Everything open source
May 16–17, 2016: Training & Tutorials
May 18–19, 2016: Conference
Austin, TX

Open source lessons from the TODO Group

Chris Aniszczyk (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), Nithya Ruff (Comcast), Jeff McAffer (Microsoft), Chris DiBona (Google), Benjamin VanEvery (Simon Data, Inc.), Andrew Spyker (Netflix)
1:50pm–2:30pm Wednesday, 05/18/2016
Location: Meeting Room 9C Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ***..
(3.64, 11 ratings)

The Black Duck and North Bridge 2015 Future of Open Source survey recently showed that 64% of companies participate in open source projects and over 78% run (at least in part) on open source software. There are common challenges when companies start adopting open source, from how to contribute to what projects to open source. A growing trend is that companies like Box, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Paypal, and SanDisk are creating in-house open source offices to maximize the value of open source collaboration.

Members of the TODO Group—an open group of companies who collaborate on practices, tools, and other ways to run successful and effective open source projects and programs—discuss why they started open source offices in their respective companies (Twitter, Netflix, Box, Google, Microsoft, and SanDisk) and share the lessons they learned along the way, some of which have been featured on the TODO blog. You’ll walk away with an idea on how to start an open source office.

Photo of Chris Aniszczyk

Chris Aniszczyk

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Chris Aniszczyk is an engineer by trade with a passion for open source and building communities. Currently, Chris is serving as interim executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Previously, at Twitter, he created their open source program (@TwitterOSS) and led their open source efforts for many years. Chris has served for many years on the Eclipse Foundation’s board of directors, representing the committer community, and represents Twitter on the Java Community Process (JCP) organization. In a previous life, he bootstrapped a consulting company, made many mistakes, and led and hacked on many Eclipse.org and Gentoo Linux-related projects. In his spare time, you’ll find Chris doing yoga, writing, running, or cycling.

Photo of Nithya Ruff

Nithya Ruff


Nithya A. Ruff is the senior director for Comcast’s Open Source Strategy practice. Nithya first glimpsed the power of open source while at SGI in the ‘90s and has been building bridges between hardware developers and the open source community ever since. Previously, she created and managed Western’s Digital’s Open Source office and has held leadership positions at Wind River (an Intel company), Synopsys, Avaya, Tripwire, and Eastman Kodak. Nithya has been a passionate advocate for opening doors to new people in open source for many years and has promoted diverse ways of contributing to open source projects. She is coleader of the Women of OpenStack (WOO) group and a liaison into the OpenStack Foundation. Her work has included partnering with NCWIT on a Male Allies Workshop and panel and serving as a mentor at OpenStack. She is also a sponsor of the Women in Open Source (WIOS) Lunch at the Linux Foundation and an active leader of WIOS, advocating for reducing barriers for women and underrepresented minorities. Nithya was invited to be on a diversity leader panel at the 2015 All Things Open conference and has spoken at a number of other conferences, including OSCON, SCALE, Grace Hopper, OpenStack, and Red Hat Summit. Her writing on open source and best practices for increasing diversity has appeared in Light Reading, the Huffington Post, Opensource.com, and the San Jose Business Journal. You can often find her on social media promoting dialogue on diversity and open source. In recognition of her work in open source both on the business and community side, Nithya was named to CIO Magazine’s most influential women in open source list. In 2014, she was invited to be president of SanDisk’s Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), dedicated to the development of women’s highest potential in the work place. Nithya holds an MS in computer science from NDSU and an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. She lives in the Bay Area and is a proud mother of two daughters.

Photo of Jeff McAffer

Jeff McAffer


Jeff McAffer is the director of open source engineering at Microsoft, where he helps drive the company’s transition to an “open source engagement first” model. Jeff was one of the founders of the Eclipse open source project. He is an active community leader, core contributor, book author, and frequent conference speaker.

Photo of Chris DiBona

Chris DiBona


Chris DiBona is the open source programs manager for Google, where his job includes managing open source-related compliance and outreach programs for the company. Before joining Google, Chris was an editor and author for the hugely popular online website Slashdot.org, and he is an internationally known advocate of open source software and related methodologies. He coedited the award-winning essay compilations Open Sources and Open Sources 2.0 for O’Reilly and writes for a great number of publications. Chris was briefly the Linux guy on TechTV, starred in FLOSS Weekly, and speaks internationally on a variety of open source issues.

Photo of Benjamin VanEvery

Benjamin VanEvery

Simon Data, Inc.

Formerly the lead of the Open Source program and Technical Operations Platform team at Box, Inc, Benjamin VanEvery is currently doing “everything engineering” for New York based Simon Data. An avid software developer since the dot-com crash, Benjamin has experience shared between enterprise software development and technical operations in both the .NET and Red Hat worlds. Benjamin is passionate about education and helping make open source software a better place.

Photo of Andrew Spyker

Andrew Spyker


Andrew Spyker is a software engineer on Netflix’s Cloud Platform team, where he works on overall consistency in the areas of architecture, performance, and open source. Recently, Andrew has been focused on the Netflix container cloud for batch- and service-style applications.