Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

Adopting open source in your organization

Edward Thomson (Microsoft)
11:00am11:40am Wednesday, May 10, 2017
In Real Life (IRL)
Location: Meeting Room 12
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers and project managers who want to use or publish open source in their organization

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Basic familiarity with open source licenses
  • An understanding of the reasons why businesses may dislike open source

What you'll learn

  • Explore Microsoft's journey to open source
  • Learn how to integrate open source technologies into your business and begin to release your own technologies as open source, even when your business has been unfriendly (or even actively hostile) to open source


Microsoft has historically been prone to hyperbole around open source. (Executives have called it “a cancer” and compared it to communism.) Only five years ago, it seemed unlikely that Microsoft would deign to use open source software, but now there are more contributors to open source on GitHub from Microsoft than any other organization.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio team recently abandoned its outdated biases around open source, adopting the Git version control system and building tools to support it, even though Git competed with Microsoft’s own version control systems.

Edward Thomson explains how the Visual Studio team convinced Microsoft to embrace and extend open source (without extinguishing it), covering the mistakes they made along the way, and outlines how you can convince your organization to use—or better still, contribute to—open source software.

Photo of Edward Thomson

Edward Thomson


Edward Thomson is a senior program manager at Microsoft, where he focuses on Git and the version control tools in Visual Studio Team Services and ensures that customers are successful while using them. Previously, he was a software engineer building version control tools at Microsoft, GitHub, and SourceGear. He remains the maintainer of the libgit2 project. Edward is the author of the Git for Visual Studio training course from O’Reilly and a contributor to Professional Team Foundation Server 2013.