“Open source everything you can:” Advice from open source experts at CodeConf LA

On June 27-29, join us at the Avalon Theater in Los Angeles for CodeConf 2016, where experts in open source systems will take the stage to share projects, practices, and programs with you.

In anticipation of this year’s event, we’ve asked several of our speakers how and why they contribute to open source, their creative processes, and how to drive change within an organization. Check out their responses below for some inspiration, and make sure to grab a ticket while they last.

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Nadia Eghbal Q: How do you see the open source industry and/or community evolving over the next few years?

“As open source hits the mainstream, we’ll see deeper interest in the human side of things, with a focus on collaboration, improving workflows, and diverse skill sets like documentation and design.”

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John Feminella Q: What advice would you give to leaders who have been put in charge of driving open innovation at their companies?

“One of my favorite philosophical thought puzzles is the ship of ‘Theseus’. If you keep replacing different parts of a ship until everything is different than the original, at what point is it a new ship? A related but more relevant question for businesses is: how do you know you’re making your ship better?

Innovation needs to be paired with a way of measuring or understanding the improvement that occurred. Otherwise it’s probably only going to improve things by serendipity. And it can’t be done in isolation: it needs to come from continuous improvement at all levels of the organization: engineering, functional business units, information security, IT operations, project management, testing, and so on.”

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Anjuan Simmons Q: Why do you contribute to free and open source software?

“I contribute to free and open source software because I believe in the principles of the original movement that sought to distribute publicly available source code under a license. Namely, that the most stable, secure, and flexible software can only come from a diverse community of developers and that the best practices of software development can only be distilled and distributed through the open collaboration of this community. Free and open source software is the best way to truly optimize software development.”

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Cedric Williams Q: What advice would you give to leaders who have been put in charge of driving open innovation at their companies?

“Create a pull request culture. Mentorship is driven by empathy, learning, and a need to share knowledge. Foster that in your organization.”

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Emily Xie Q: How does working with open source shape your ideas about what you like to create?

“The transparency of open source is amazing. With access to the underlying code, you are empowered with both the ability to understand how a given piece of open source software operates and to contribute back. Not only that but the learning opportunities are incredible; you can examine how a repository evolves over time in response to user feedback and gain exposure to the various coding techniques and styles of your peers—which of course inspires and informs what you yourself create with code.”

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Mike McQuaid Q: What advice would you give to leaders who have been put in charge of driving open innovation at their company?

“Open source everything you can. Ask what you can’t open source rather than the opposite. Start development in the open rather than open-sourcing large existing projects.”

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About CodeConf LA

CodeConf LA is an annual three-day event dedicated to the open source community. This year’s conference is packed with sessions and celebrations focused on systems engineering projects, practices, and programs in the open source community. We’ll explore topics ranging from systems programming practices to operating applications at scale across more than 30 sessions, lightning talks, and workshops.

For more information on workshops and for the complete CodeConf LA schedule, check out codeconf.com or stay tuned on Twitter.

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