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At organizations of all types, launching and maintaining successful open source programs has become a business priority. A strong open source program office helps to ensure that open source is supported, nurtured, shared, explained, and leveraged. With such an office, organizations can establish and execute on their open source strategies in clear terms.

With all this in mind, The Linux Foundation and The TODO Group (Talk Openly Develop Openly) have published a free collection of detailed open source guides to aid companies developing open source programs. The guides are available to you now, and this is the first in a series of articles that can introduce you to the value of the guides.

How to Create an Open Source Program is the first of the guides, and it explores everything from the role of the open source program office to how successful open source programs at companies like Google function. The guide also includes insights and advice from open source experts, including John Mark Walker, Founder of the Open Source Entrepreneur Network, and Will Norris, Open Source Office Manager at Google.

“The open source program office is an essential part of any modern company with a reasonably ambitious plan to influence various sectors of software ecosystems,” notes Walker, in the guide. “If a company wants to increase its influence, clarify its open source messaging, maximize the clout of its projects, or increase the efficiency of its product development, a multifaceted approach to open source programs is essential.”

The How to Create an Open Source Program guide makes clear that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful program. In fact, Google’s Norris notes that stakeholders from individual business units play a key role in how open source projects advance at Google.

“We allow the various business units around the company to make the decision on whether it makes sense to open source a given project from a business perspective, because there’s a lot of different reasons why you might open source a project or a piece of code,” he notes. “We’re comfortable with allowing projects to take the approach that works for them given their goals. We play more of a role of facilitating and advising.”

The first guide lays out recommendations for how to include stakeholders ranging from Legal to Engineering in the maintenance of a program office. It also delves into the importance of setting clear program policies and observing compliance guidelines.

“Having a well-defined policy in place, that’s great, but it’s got to be a well-defined minimal policy,” said Jeff Mcaffer, director of the Open Source Programs Office at Microsoft, who was interviewed for the first guide. “Otherwise you get lawyers, security folks, business folks, all piling in their concerns and constraints. Soon you end up with a straitjacket full of policy that basically means that nobody can do anything.”

These free guides are extremely valuable for any organization setting up an open source program. Notably, the guides were not produced in a vacuum. Far from it. The advice you will find in them grew organically out of many interviews with some of the world’s leading open source experts. We strongly encourage you to check out the guides, and stay tuned to this space for more articles in this series.

 

The upcoming APIStrat conference – Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Portland – features three days of technical sessions, keynotes, and workshops.

The API Strategy & Practice conference (APIStrat) – taking place Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in Portland – features three days of technical sessions, keynotes, and more, including several workshops providing hands-on learning opportunities. These sessions cover topics such as RESTful API integration, OpenID Connect, API security, and REST API testing.

Check out the following workshops happening at APIStrat:

Connect Your RESTful API to Hundreds of Others in Minutes (Zapier and other Integration Platforms) – Sean Matthews, Left Hook Digital

In this workshop, the Left Hook team will show how to connect your app to hundreds of others on Zapier’s platform in a matter of minutes. We’ll walk you through a quick integration, and then talk about the pros and cons of 30+ different integration platforms out there, as well as highlighting platforms upon which developers can build out their own API connectors today.

Creating Communication Applications using the Asterisk RESTFul Interface (ARI) – Chris Howard, Digium

The Asterisk RESTFul Interface (ARI) is an asynchronous API that lets developers build communications applications by exposing the raw primitive objects in Asterisk – channels, bridges, endpoints, media, etc. This presentation will provide information on getting started using ARI and provide a working demonstration of using the ARI to create a telephone application.

From 0 to  000s – Starting and Growing your Developer Program – Caroline Lewko, WIP

Learn the basics of starting a developer program from segmentation and polishing your personas, along with the seven most important onboarding activities. We will also include some extra special super sensory developer experience techniques.   

How Mature are You? A Developer Experience Maturity Model – Jenny Wanger, Arity, founded by Allstate

At Arity, we developed a maturity model for API programs to help you focus your time and effort on the areas that will provide the greatest value for your customers. We’ll go through the model together so you can score your company’s program. You’ll leave the session with a score and roadmap of how this can help you influence your stakeholders.

OpenID Connect Done the Right Way – Vinay Bhalerao, Red Hat

With the rise of mobile applications, OpenID Connect adoption has increased in the API market and is the preferred choice in API security. This workshop will help people to understand the differences between OAuth, JWT, and openID Connect and when to use the respective flows.

OWASP’s Latest Category – API Underprotection – Skip Hovsmith, CriticalBlue

In this workshop, you’ll learn about potential threats resulting from undersecured web APIs. You should gain a good understanding of the underprotected API problem, learn practical tips to improve your API security posture, and gain a sense of emerging tools and technologies that enable a significant step change in API security.

Simplify and Scale Your Connections To Data – William Broza, BitScoop Labs

The BitScoop platform radically simplifies data integration and streamlines the data and services development process with unified access to APIs, microservices, and more. Learn how to unify all internal and external data in your ecosystem under one API or SDK using our powerful and feature-rich iPaaS.

Starting with GTK – Julita Inca, UNI

GTK is a toolkit to create GUIs based on C program language. Glib and clutter are other technologies involved with GTK, and in this workshop, we’ll look at interactions with databases that support Linux (Fedora 25), such as SQLite or PostgreSQL. We can achieve at least four forms with an interaction of a database to build a system to register people in an event.

Super-Powered REST API Testing – James Messinger, Postman

In this workshop, I’ll show you just how easy – and dare I say, fun – it can be to test REST APIs. Whether you prefer the command line, a text editor, or a GUI, there are tools that will fit nicely into your workflow. Plus, you’ll leave with sample code and a working demo to get you started.

See the full APIStrat schedule here and register now!

The Linux operating system was created some 26 years ago by a young Finnish engineer, and it now powers the global economy. Not only has Linux survived for more than quarter of a century, it continues to grow its influence and dominance.

Not all open source software projects thrive, however; many promising projects die untimely deaths. So, what’s unique about projects like Linux that thrive where others fail? What’s the secret sauce that sustains one project over others? Is it the community? The license? The code? The organizations backing it?

We talked to open source veteran Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and current Executive Director of the Hyperledger project, for some answers to these questions. Here is an edited version of the interview conducted at Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles.

What are the core components of sustainable open source projects?

Brian Behlendorf: By definition, any open source project that is still alive needs some critical mass of developers contributing to it.  The Linux kernel is 25+ years old, and it still sees 5,000 new lines of code every day. It’s still such an incredibly active project.

In my book, that means you need this body of maintainers and contributors who are willing to continue to nurture the project even as it goes into adolescence and later life.

For me, the only way to more or less guarantee that happens is to see that there are companies out there who are making money off of open source software. They have embedded it at the core of their business. And even if it’s not what they do as a business, it’s still something that they need. So they’ll provide feedback, contribute, and continue to invest in shepherding it forward.

So, having companies use and contribute to your project and in return inject resources does help. What role do non-profit organizations like The Linux Foundation and ASF play?

Behlendorf: What The Linux Foundation, I think, has figured out, is how to identify these technology spaces, bring companies together around them, and then help them make money from it and profit from it.

But it’s not the only viable model. The Apache Software Foundation model is entirely volunteer driven, with developers even doing things like running the books or doing marketing.

There’s an incredibly empowering side to that, but it doesn’t always work. There weren’t enough developers who showed up around OpenOffice, for example, for that to work for the Apache OpenOffice community.

It’s almost hard to say if any model is better than the others. They’re all very unique for the kind of software being built and the developers who are attracted to that software.

You talked about commercialization of open source, yet we have seen that some open source communities are averse to the idea of any commercial or corporate links.

Behlendorf: I don’t think there was really ever a truly long tradition of a battle between open source developers and commercial interests. I think many of the people I know who were contributing to open source even before me were building businesses on top of it. Michael Tiemann built Cygnus on top of the GNU compiler suite. So this template, and every ISP, every web business is building on top of open source web components.

I think the real battle might have been between proprietary software and free software. And the real question was, did we need to vanquish proprietary software in order for free software to flourish?

Do licenses play any role in sustainability of open source projects?

Behlendorf: I tend to think of companies that have played games with licensing. There’s not a lot of successful examples out there. Why don’t we just put these kind of games to the side? Let’s build the software we need together, and go out and build great applications and great websites and great other things on top of that.

And this is what we carried forward in the Hyperledger project as well. All the Hyperledger code is under an Apache license. All of it is designed to be embedded inside of other people’s products and services.

We want to see lots of cloud hosts running Hyperledger technology. We want to see a lot of application developers embedding this inside and, say, putting it inside of cars or IoT sensors or those sorts of things. The less time that we have to spend with lawyers and with MBAs explaining to them how and why they can make money with this code, the better off we all are.

Diversity is necessary for the survival of organisms, can the same be said for open source projects?

Behlendorf: If your community doesn’t look like the global community, then something’s wrong. 

The blockchain movement is a great example of diversity. India and China and Europe have been running as fast with this technology as anybody in the United States. We are constantly looking at what countries are we visiting. Where are our companies based? How do we go and empower those companies in a country like China or a country like India, to go and be champions of what they’re doing, of the technology that they’re building?

What about culture?

Behlendorf: I’d say the final thing I’d throw out about sustainability is if your project isn’t comprised of people who are nice to each other, it’s not going to be very sustainable. Even the smartest people, even the most enthusiastic people will burn out if the dynamic in the community is very harsh, or if every time a good idea is brought up you hear crickets or somebody talks it down. You need to be nice to each other on an open source project in order to have any hope of being sustainable.

This week in open source news, AGL reveals new infotainment platform, mainstream enterprises derive the most benefit from OSS, and more! Read on to stay on top of the latest open source news. 

1) Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) recently revealed the latest infotainment platform along with a new Virtualization Expert Group (EG-VIRT) to develop a virtualized architecture.

Linux Foundation Focuses on Bringing Virtualization to Your Car– RCRWireless News

2) “Combing through the last few quarters of earnings transcripts, it’s clear that open source has arrived…but to very different destinations, depending on the company.”

Open Source is Driving Digital Transformation, According to Mainstream Businesses– Tech Republic

3) Amazon Web Services joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), (open source home of the Kubernetes project,) as a Platinum Member.

AWS joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation– TechCrunch

4) “On August 24 and 25, the Ubuntu Desktop team will be holding a “Fit and Finish Sprint,” where they will aggressively test GNOME.”

Canonical Needs Your Help Transitioning Ubuntu Linux From Unity to GNOME– BetaNews

5) The VoltaStream Zero (an open source integrated audio module in the same form as a Raspberry Pi Zero) has launched.

Raspberry Pi Zero Clone: This Open Source Board Offers Chromecast-Quality Sound– ZDNet

This week in OSS and Linux news, two opinion writers at The New York Times consider the safeguards of open source software in future elections, Prodip Sen of HP shares the growing role of OPNFV, and more! Read on to stay in the open source know this week. 

1) The National Association of Voting Officials is leading a movement to encourage officials to stop purchasing insecure systems and use open source software to “guard our votes against manipulation.”

To Protect Voting, Use Open-Source Software– New York Times

2) As NFV becomes more central in transitioning to 5G, so too does OPNFV.

OPNFV’s Role in NFV Testing and the Road to 5G– Telecom TV

3) Microsoft continues trend towards being more open with new CNCF Platinum membership.

Microsoft Expands Role In Cloud By Joining Cloud Native Computing Foundation– Forbes

4) Windows 10 users will be able to run an array of Linux software this Fall.

Windows 10 Will Let Everyone Run Linux Inside Windows Following Fall Creators Update– TechRepublic

5) The effort to save Adobe Flash continues.

GitHub Developer Starts Petition to Open Source Adobe Flash– Computer Business Review

This week in open source and Linux news, Hortonworks CTO considers why open source is the new normal in analytics, new Linux Foundation edX MOOC called a “no-brainer” and more! Read on for the top headlines of the week

1) Hortonworks CTO unpacks how open source data architectures are “now considered mainstream in the IT environments and are widely deployed in live production in several industries.”

Open Source Is The New Normal In Data and Analytics – Forbes

2) Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols calls new Linux Foundation Kubernetes MOOC a “no-brainer.”

Linux Foundation Offers Free Introduction to Kubernetes Class – ZDNet

3) “Lyft’s move is part of a greater trend among tech companies to open-source their internal tools for performing machine learning work.”

Lyft to Open-Source some of its AI Algorithm Testing Tools – VentureBeat

4) The Linux Foundation has become a catalyst for the shift toward network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN)

How is The Linux Foundation Shaping Telecom? – RCRWireless News

5) You can now download a flavor of the popular Linux distribution to run inside Windows 10

Ubuntu Linux is Available in the Windows Store– engadget

Do you use or contribute to open source technologies? Or, are you responsible for hiring open source professionals? If so, please take a minute to complete a short open source jobs survey from Dice and The Linux Foundation and make your voice heard.

During the past decade, open source development has experienced a massive shift, becoming a mainstay of the IT industry. Flexibility in accommodating new technologies and adapting to a changing market make open source software vital to modern companies, which are increasingly investing in open source talent.

To gather more information about the changing landscape and opportunities for developers, administrators, managers, and other open source professionals, Dice and The Linux Foundation have partnered to produce two open source jobs surveys — designed specifically for hiring managers and industry professionals.

Take the Hiring Managers Survey

Take the Professionals/Candidates Survey 

As a token of our appreciation, $2,000 in Amazon gift cards will be awarded to survey respondents selected at random after the closing date. Complete the survey for a chance to win one of 10 $100 gift cards, or one of two $500 gift cards. 

The survey results will be compiled into the 2017 Open Source Jobs Report. This annual report evaluates the state of the job market for open source professionals and examines what hiring managers are looking for and what motivates employees in the industry. You can download the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report for free.  

Survey responses must be received by Thursday, July 27, at 12:00 pm Eastern time.

This week in open source and Linux news, GitHub takes their Friday enthusiasm beyond casual Friday in creating a weekly “Open Source Day”, a new Linux Foundation Project was announced, and much more! Read on, stay open-source-informed.

1) GitHub encourages companies to devote time every Friday for their employees to work on open source projects. 

GitHub Declares Every Friday Open Source Day– VentureBeat

2) New Linux Foundation Project focuses on centralizing security services orchestration for multi-cloud environments.

Open Security Controller: Security Service Orchestration for Multi-Cloud Environments– HelpNetSecurity

3) Linux Foundation Projects top list of open source networking projects

10 Most Important Open Source Networking Projects– NetworkWorld

4) “Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux explains how open source can be key to establishing future industry standards.”

The Linux Foundation Explains the Importance of Open Source in Autonomous, Connected Cars– Digit

5) Hackers have turned their attention towards attacking IoT devices running open-source operating systems.

Linux Malware Gaining Favor Among Cybercriminals– SCMagazine

Open source is the new normal for startups and large enterprises looking to stay competitive in the digital economy. That means that open source is now also a viable long-term career path.

“It is important to start thinking about the career road map, and the pathway that you can take and how Linux and open source in general can help you meet your career goals,” said Clyde Seepersad, general manager of training at The Linux Foundation, in a recent webinar.

Certification is one clear path with real career benefits. Forty-four percent of hiring managers in our recent 2016 Open Source Jobs Report said they’re more likely to hire certified candidates. And 76 percent of open source pros surveyed believe certifications lead to a career boost.

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Certified Engineer (LFCE) exams are great opportunities for sysadmins to polish and prove their skills. The exams are available online to anyone in the world at any time. They’re also performance based, working within a Linux server terminal and overseen by a proctor. Because the format is not multiple choice, even seasoned pros will need some preparation in order to avoid common mistakes and complete the exam within the time limit.

To help you prepare for the certification exam, and a long and successful sysadmin career, we’ve gathered some tips, below, from Linux Foundation certified sysadmins who have completed the LFCS or LFCE exams.

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Chris van Horn

Chris van Horn, LFCS

1. Practice

“Experience is key. Spin up a VM, take a fresh snapshot of it and go to work applying all the requirements of the exam in practice. When you feel you have satisfied all the exam topics thoroughly, apply that fresh snapshot to revert changes and begin again until it is second nature. Also, feel comfortable with man pages; they are your best friend when Google is not an option.”

Chris Van Horn, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and a “Debian guy.”

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Dashamir Hoxha

Dashamir Hoxha, LFCS

2. Give it time

“The best preparation is your experience. If you feel that you have enough experience with the topics required by the exam, you can give it a try. Otherwise, you have to work hard to get those skills.

Don’t think that in a short time you can learn everything.”

Dashamir Hoxha, LFCS, an Ubuntu user and open source contributor.

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William Brawner

William Brawner, LFCS

3. Learn how to use man pages

“If you haven’t already, get familiar with the man pages. Know what they are and how to use them efficiently.

No matter how much you study, you can’t learn everything, and if you could, you wouldn’t retain it all anyway. The man pages will fill in the gaps.”

William Brawner, LFCS, and Arch Linux user who plans to take the LFCE exam next.

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Francisco Tsao

Francisco Tsao, LFCE

4. Understand the material, don’t just memorize it

“Forget recipes, it’s not about memorization. Understand what are you doing by reading some books and documentation that give you a deep background of the tasks you’ll perform at the exam and in real life.

Imagine real problems and try to solve them.”

Francisco Tsao, LFCE, self-professed Debian fanboy and Fedora contributor.

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George Doumas

George Doumas, LFCS

5. The boring stuff is still important

“Do not rely on one book only! Study and practice…even the stuff that you find mundane.

A portion of the tasks are boring, but you cannot avoid them.”

George Doumas, LFCS, and a fan of Scientific Linux, openSUSE, and Linux Mint.

6. Follow the instructions

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Jorge Tudela Gonzalez de Riancho

Jorge Tudela Gonzalez de Riancho, LFCS

“For experienced professionals, I recommend that they prepare the environment for the exam, and follow the instructions. It’s not a difficult exam if you work daily with Linux.

On the other hand, for newcomers, apart from having a look to open/free resources, I just encourage them to set up a Linux environment at home and get their hands dirty!!”

Jorge Tudela Gonzalez de Riancho, LFCS, Debian user and Raspberry Pi enthusiast.

7. Have fun!

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Gabriel Canepa

Gabriel Canepa, LFCS

“Make sure you love what you are doing, and do not forget to have fun, to experiment, and then to do it all over again and again, and make sure you learn something new each time.”

Gabriel Canepa, LFCS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux admin and technical writer.

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