Corporate Open Source Anti-Patterns


While open source has long since become commercially mainstream to use and deploy, corporations -- especially traditional software concerns -- have been slower to open source the software that they themselves have developed. In the past few years, however, this too has shifted: companies have been much more willing to open source their own creations -- and many of the most important current open source projects have been initiated or helped immeasurably by commercial concerns. This does not mean, however, that the route is easy or without peril: there remain many traps for corporations as they open source their work, and many possible missteps and opportunities for bad behavior. In this talk, we will discuss our experiences open sourcing software from within commercial concerns, focussing in particular on the mistakes that we have seen made, and how they have shaped our thinking. Further, we will discuss how open source relates to the business of creating, selling and supporting software -- and the pitfalls that should be avoided in making the business case for open sourcing.

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