While sharing of and collaborating on software has been around as long as there’s been code, the open source concept and movement only came into being in the late 1990s. There are many in our community who remember a time before open source, many of whom have helped shape the philosophy, laws, governance, and policies that are the foundation of the free and open source movement we enjoy today.
But what happens when these people decide to retire? Who will carry the baton and lead the movement?
Thankfully these people are still with us, helping to craft and lead FOSS, but there are very few younger individuals among their ranks. As we look at the next horizon for FOSS, we must consider who will take us there. VM Brasseur explains why we must take the time to do succession planning for free and open source leadership while we still have these founders in our midst.
VM (aka Vicky) is the director of open source strategy at Juniper Networks. She spent most of her 20-plus years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses, and helping companies understand, use, release, and contribute to free and open source software in a way that’s good for both their bottom line and for the community. She leverages her nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and a strong business background to help Juniper be successful through free and open source software. She’s the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first and only book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects. The book is published by The Pragmatic Programmers and is now available at https://fossforge.com. Vicky’s a moderator and author for opensource.com, an author for Linux Journal, the former vice president of the Open Source Initiative, and a frequent and popular speaker at free and open source conferences and events. She’s the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016). She blogs about free and open source, business, and technical management at https://anonymoushash.vmbrasseur.com.
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