October 20, 2011

Jump-Starting Open Source Participation


One of the great things about being The Linux Foundation is that we get to work with the foremost open source contributors in the world on a regular basis. What's just as exciting, though, is watching companies evolve from traditional, closed source development organizations into full-fledged open source contributors. This is happening every day, and the pace is astounding.

However, this transition doesn't usually happen overnight. We're often asked, "How can I be more effective at consuming open source and up-streaming our own code?" Most companies would love to be active participants but also recognize that it takes a number of years to get to where they want to get. The implied question is actually, "How can I accelerate this process so that I see the benefits sooner?"

In a similar vein, we also get asked about starting new open source projects and releasing existing proprietary technology as open source. This trend is becoming increasingly common as companies discover their business partners have a vested interest in the success of their technology and are willing to share in the destiny of the code.

Fortunately we have a lot of internal experience answering these very questions, based upon more than a decade of experience in hosting and starting new open source projects, working with leading open source companies and interacting with leading open source developers and maintainers.

We're excited to announce that we're consolidating this knowledge into a new, one-day, onsite training course titled Practical Guide to Open Source Development. This course, which is part of our Linux training offering, is for development teams and managers who will be working directly within an open source community. It is intended to jump-start internal understanding of what the open source development process is, how and why it works, and includes tangible instruction on how to get started quickly. While it draws many specific examples from participation in the Linux kernel community, it is aimed at broader open source participation. For companies that plan to go beyond participation and will be either hosting a new project or open sourcing proprietary code, there are specific and tangible recommendations on the steps to get started quickly.