Doing Business with Open Source
Open source communities provide real options for corporations seeking to improve systems design, development, and support. Yet they function quite differently than working with other sources of software, at best innovative, cost effective and fun, at worst ornery, confusing and unreliable. This class develops solutions to practical problems facing companies, large and small, as they understand and navigate the complexities of actively participating with open source communities. Building on principles of public sharing, collaboration, and corporate learning, this class focuses on why and how corporations participate with open source communities.
The class will consist of a small number of lectures, cases and guest lectures from people conducting open source strategy in firms, large and small. Participants will be encouraged to bring specific situations for the class, instructors and guests to workshop.
This course is focused toward both technical and managerial audiences. Perhaps the ideal would be a pairing of senior developer and manager with strategic responsibilities from a single company, although a single participant from either position will gain broad understanding as well.
After taking this course, participants will:
- Understand the organization, motivations and dynamics of open source software projects
- Understand management structures and risk management techniques (especially license compliance and copyright) for participation in open source
- Develop a management plan for their company's participation with open communities, both existing communities and how and when to found a new community based on the company's software.