Corporations are not people, despite their treatment in law, and as such they’re unlikely to “embrace” software freedom as an ethical concept. But the values that software freedom unlocks—including engineering agility, marketing appeal and customer satisfaction—make many business leaders embark on a journey to open source.
What does a corporate journey to open source look like? There are commonly encountered stages between denial and full community membership, from superficial support through product-level embrace to full corporate engagement. Drawing from experiences in several corporate journeys, this session will explain some of the stages of change and what it takes to successfully traverse them.
Simon Phipps has engaged at a strategic level in the world’s leading technology companies, starting in roles such as field engineer, programmer, systems analyst and more recently taking executive leadership roles around open source. He worked with OSI standards in the 80s, on collaborative conferencing software in the 90s, helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM and was instrumental in open sourcing the whole software portfolio at Sun Microsystems.
As President of the Open Source Initiative and a director of the UK’s Open Rights Group, he takes an active interest in digital rights issues and is a widely read commentator at InfoWorld, Computerworld and his own Webmink blog.
He holds a BSc in electronic engineering and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the Open Forum Academy.
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