How to talk to your Boss about Open Source without creating a Monster

A session at ApacheCon North America 2011

Wednesday 9th November, 2011

1:30pm to 2:20pm (PST)

As developers we often drive the adoption of open source technology in addition to being tasked with explaining the concepts of open source communities to management. While every company seems to be well into "leveraging open source models", there's still a great deal of confusion among management. For example, have you ever heard some C-level executive try to describe "open source"? Did it sound something like the following paragraph?

**** The past decade saw a lot of CTOs thinking "outside the box", attempting to "leverage" the collective "synergies" of open source to improve key performance indicators (KPI) all while preserving the necessary provenance and governance structures that allow the organization to really "fire on all cylinders". As they understand open source, the collaborative paradigm-shift of distributed "knowledge-workers" allows interested parties to benefit from external sources of innovation giving management the opportunity to achieve greater dominance of vertical markets without having to expend critical resources on issues irrelevant to other C-level stakeholders. In short, Open Source in the enterprise is a win-win, and everybody likes a win-win, right?

If that paragraph made you want to cry, this presentation is for you. We're going to take a look at some of the issues that arise when your boss doesn't fully understand how open source works, and we're also going to explore some ways in which you can help guide management toward a fuller, more accurate appreciation of the culture.

A humorous analysis of the various ways in which "open-source" is misapplied and misunderstood in the corporation will be presented. Along the way we'll use these misconceptions to make some strong recommendations for how not to bring Apache to your organization.

The following topics will be explored:

  • Consensus-driven Development in a Business Settings
  • Self-organizing Communities in the Corporation
  • How not to confuse your boss about "Open Source", answers to the following questions and statements:
  • "Right so Open Source is really just like Agile?" No.
  • "Why aren't these open source developers doing what we need them to do?" Errr.
  • "I don't want to spend any money developing open source. That's not what I signed up for."
  • Lastly, what if a corporation really was run as a pure Meritocracy? what would it look like?

About the speaker

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Tim O'Brien

Coder, Writer, Bass

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Time 1:30pm2:20pm PST

Date Wed 9th November 2011

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