Michelle CasbonHeidi EllisChristian GrailGina Likins

Open Source 101

Date: This event took place live on October 11 2016

Presented by: Michelle Casbon, Heidi Ellis, Christian Grail, Gina Likins

Duration: Approximately 3 hours.

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Open source software is everywhere, but do you know where to start if you want to contribute, convince your manager your next project should be open source, or avoid recreating the wheel? Join these four seasoned open source contributors, as they discuss why open source is so important, how to avoid obstacles, and find the right solutions for your project.

What you'll learn—and how you can apply it

  • How to begin your open source project
  • How to convince business leaders that open source is the right choice
  • What open source methods, tools, and culture exist to help with your project

This online conference is for you because

  • Developer considering contributing to an open source project
  • Business person wondering if open source is right for your company
  • Project manager wondering if open source will work for your next project

How-to: Your First Contribution - 10amPT/1pmET
Michelle Casbon

Starting with little more than enthusiasm, I made my first contribution to the Apache Spark project this year. I will tell the story of this journey, sharing the key lessons I learned in a format that serves as a guide for anyone looking to get started, especially if they don't know where to begin.


About Michelle Casbon

Michelle Casbon is Director of Data Science at Qordoba, where she helps companies improve their global reach by simplifying the localization process through the use of machine learning. She previously built tools for generating predictions on textual datasets as a Senior Data Science Engineer at Idibon. Her development experience spans more than a decade across various industries, including media, investment banking, healthcare, retail, and geospatial services. Michelle completed a Masters at the University of Cambridge, focusing on NLP, speech recognition, speech synthesis, and machine translation. She loves working with and contributing to open source projects and has contributed to Apache Spark and Apache Flume.

Want Students Ready to Contribute? Let's Discuss What They Should Know! - 11amPT/2pmET
Gina Likins and Heidi Ellis

To contribute to an open source project, students should learn open source methods, tools, and culture. However, many computing degrees do not cover these topics. We will describe why we think learning open source is important, what blockers exist now, and the possible paths to a solution, including a National Science Foundation-funded effort to advance FOSS learning in undergraduate computing programs.


About Gina Likins

Gina Likins has been working in internet strategy for more than 20 years, participating in online communities for nearly 25, and working in open source for more than four. She's passionate about finding ways to help our open source communities thrive and be more welcoming for everyone.

In addition to her interests in communication, conflict resolution and open source community dynamics, Gina also has a long history with and interest in education, having obtained her North Carolina teacher certification and taught both high school biology and environmental science.

Her current role on the the University Outreach team at Red Hat exists to help universities incorporate open source into their curriculum.

About Heidi Ellis

Heidi Ellis is a Professor at Western New England University and has been active in software engineering education for the past 20 years. She has been involving students in humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS) since 2006 and has been co-PI on four different NSF grants to support this effort. She is part of a group of academics who are working with Red Hat to support Professor’s Open Source Software Experience (POSSE) workshops that bring professors up to speed on student involvement in HFOSS projects. She has multiple publications and presentations related to student participation in HFOSS.

How to convince your manager to go open source - 12pmPT/3pmET
Christian Grail

I will talk about how I convinced my managers to go Open Source. Very often you hear similar concerns and sorrows about loss of business, inconvenient transparency and the loss of control. Based on some examples I will give you some guidance how you can argue against this points and how you can convince your manager to go Open Source.


About Christian Grail

Christian Grail is a development architect at SAP in Walldorf,Germany, working in the User Experience and Design team, where he helps to dramatically improve the appearance and usability of enterprise applications. Christian loves working with Angular, SAP UI5, and Node.js and is evangelizing agile development methods like test-driven development, pair programming, and code reviews.