After the Community Leadership Summit — Open Source Think Tank 2014

Tags: EventsOSTT

For the third year in a row, iText took part in the Open Source Think Tank, organized by Black Duck Software. In previous years, this event consisted of two days of brainstorming about specific topics, after which the results are presented in the morning of the third day.

This year, we had an experimental edition. Instead of two plenary days, the first day consisted of two tracks: one traditional track, the other a one-day Community Leadership Summit (CLS), led by Jono Bacon. The idea was to bring the CLS to the executives as executives usually don't attend a CLS.

During the Community Leadership Summit, three teams were presented a case study of a (fictitious) open source project that was conceived by an organization that eventually became a (fictitious) open source company. This company wants to assure profitability and commercial success.

Three teams were formed to answer questions about Governance (team 1), strategic/technical direction (team 2), and developer growth (team 3). Our CEO was assigned to team 3 and this team had to answer the following questions:

  • How will you attract new developers to participate?

  • How will you retain developers so they become significant and sustained contributors?

  • How will you attract new demographic of developers, outside of the current industry?

  • How will you encourage existing partner organizations to contribute developers to the project?

  • How will you deal with organizational requirements (e.g. NDAs, copyright assignment, re-licensing requirements, etc)?

  • How will you keep developers motivated and feeling they have a sense of personal influence on the project?

  • How will you avoid entitlement?

The answers to these questions were presented by Bruno using the following slide deck:

The slides were well accepted because the presentation was done using real data from a real-world project created by a group of active open source developers. What's that project? iText, what else? ;-)

It was a pity that the participants of the Community Leadership Summit missed the larger part of the discussions on the Internet of Things (IoT), but there's a promise to add an extra day to the event next year.

As always, the venue was fantastic. There was a networking reception at the Solage in Calistoga, there were networking activities in two wineries (Tamber Bey en Bennett Lane) and there was a gala dinner at the Castello Di Amorosa (see photo).

If we can give another point of advice: in previous years, we had the impression that there were more companies the size of iText. In this year's edition, there were mainly representatives from larger corporations (Adobe, Intel, Amazon, HP,...). Especially now that there may be an extra Community Leadership Summit day, we really recommend companies "our size" to take a look at the event and to consider participating.