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Open Source for Closed Source Companies

Open Source for Closed Source Companies

Just because you’re selling SaaS doesn’t mean you can’t adopt open source principles in your organization. We'll talk about how individuals and companies can open source their documentation, libraries, and ideas for the greater good of the community in a way that doesn’t mean giving it all away for free.

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Amanda Folson

May 18, 2016
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  1. Open Source for Closed Source Companies Amanda Folson Developer Advocate

    @ GitLab @AmbassadorAwsum
  2. Who Am I? • Developer Advocate @ GitLab • Tinkerer

    • Owe my career to OSS
  3. What is Open Source? • Releasing source code under a

    permissive license for greater good ◦ Allows adaptation and re-release • Facilitates global maintenance and collaboration ◦ Usually for free! ◦ Offers more diverse opinions than any company can sustain internally
  4. What Open Source Isn’t • Giving it all away for

    nothing ◦ Giving it away in exchange for out of house development ◦ Giving it away in hopes someone else finds it useful • Giving away your business
  5. “WE CAN’T DO THAT!!!”

  6. “There’s no value to OSS…”

  7. “We have to hire someone to maintain it.”

  8. “What about my bottom line?” • Truly great ideas will

    be built on • Leechers are probably not as successful as you • There’s more to a product than the code
  9. “Someone will steal my idea!” • Your idea is probably

    not unique ◦ Are you reinventing the wheel? • People don’t care about your idea as much as you think ◦ If they did, they’d build it themselves ◦ Value is subjective
  10. How Open Source Helps

  11. Try Before You Buy • Everyone loves this ◦ They

    don’t all want to talk to sales reps just to get critical info • If people know what they’re getting, they’ll tell you how it will/won’t work for them ◦ You win either way ▪ Product improvements ▪ Revenue
  12. One Size Doesn’t Fit All

  13. Silos

  14. Sooner or later... • …someone will make an open source

    alternative to your product. • It may as well be you from the start. ◦ Keep that marketshare
  15. I’m not convinced.

  16. Internal Transparency • Internal documentation • Open-invitation meetings • Open

    training • Office hours
  17. Open Information

  18. Cross-Team Functionality • Anyone can contribute to anything ◦ Obviously

    not saying anyone can be CEO for a day • Teams own specific projects ◦ Establish contribution guidelines ◦ Keep bug queue organized ◦ Handle feature requests
  19. Learn From Failure • Everyone makes mistakes • Someone’s failure

    is some else’s lesson • Blameless post-mortems
  20. What Else Can We Open Up? • Documentation • Libraries/tools

    • SDKs • Frameworks • Modules
  21. Thank You! Amanda Folson - Developer Advocate at GitLab amanda@gitlab.com