Open Source development is no longer the new kid on the block, we’ve had 30 years of GNU, 20 of Linux, and over a decade of SourceForge. When a lot of people dove in a decade ago scratching your own itch was about starting something from scratch, weaving from whole cloth. Now this is more about joining existing projects or dusting off efforts whose maintainer has moved on.

Contributing to open source projects is a grand adventure. As some one that’s been doing open source development for over a decade, on a wide range of projects, Sean’s got stories galore. These involve starting projects from scratch, joining and becoming an active core member of existing projects, and becoming the accidental maintainer of abandoned projects. These stories bring lessons about communities, communicating, and meeting new people: sometimes successfully, and sometimes failing horribly on all accounts.

The talk will cover personal lessons, specific examples, and will at times be directly embarressing. But in the end it should bring a much more real sense of what it means to dive into an open source community, what might work, what surely won’t, and why open source development skills are a sure fire way to stay relevant and employable in the 21st century.

Sean Dague is the president and founder of MHVLUG. By day he’s a software engineer in IBM’s Linux Technology Center, currently working on Samba development. By night he’s an open source hacker who is especially interested in web and mobile technologies. He’s presented in the past on numerous topics.

Lightning Talks

  • MHVLUG Study Group - Joe Appuzo 
  • Report from Android Development Day 1 - Sean Swehla