Presented by Damien McKenna
Open Source Software is software where the source is open for others to read, critique and improve upon. In today’s world there are huge communities built around these software projects, with hundreds and thousands of people collaborating to support them and make them better. The majority of software used to build and run websites is open source. Part of the benefit of using open source software is being able to improve upon it collaboratively. Instead of having to create everything from scratch every single time - every plugin, every documentation page, every tutorial, every bugfix, working together with others gives a greater chance to build better, more secure software. While pushing ahead on new improvements this process can work really well. There’s excitement, people are energized to driving the platform forwards, and great advancements are made. However, a problem may start setting in once the project is launched or the functionality is completed - who’s going to maintain it? Who’s going to continue improving the documentation? Who’s going to provide support and fix bugs that arise? Using the example of Mediacurrent’s successful contrib committee, you will learn the importance of this work, both for the long term benefit of the tools you use and those who work with it. You will learn how contributing to open source software can lead to happier, more skilled and productive staff. You will also learn tips for better organizing internal contribution efforts, including working with others outside of the business. Lastly, you’ll learn how contributing to open source can help with sales, marketing, and, ultimately, the business’ bottom line. All that without forcing anyone to work insane numbers of hours or prematurely go grey.