James Dixon’s Blog

James Dixon’s thoughts on commercial open source and open source business intelligence

Archive for June 3rd, 2008

Re: Open Source as An Easy Answer for Better Developer Visibility (and Career Opportunity)

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In response to :


I agree that contributing to open source projects can help your career.

Because of the transparency of open source a hiring manager is able to assess your technical communication abilities in a way that is not otherwise possible.

In addition the choice of project can be important. If you contribute to a commercial open source project (JBoss, Alfresco, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Pentaho etc) your contributions could lead to a job offer from the company. At Pentaho we have hired several community members so far not only because we were able to get to know them and their work but also because we know their ramp-up time is close to zero. It is also even cheaper for us than Monster.com or Dice.com.

If you contribute to organic open source projects (Apache etc) a vendor that provides support or services for that technology might offer a position.

Written by James

June 3, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Re: Evaluating an Open-Source Project’s Business Model (CIO.com blogathon)

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I think a good starting point when looking at this is to think about Ray Lane’s six barriers to the adoption of open source from his keynote as OSBC in 2004:

1. Lack of formal support
2. Velocity of change
3. Lack of a defined roadmap (that you can influence)
4. Functional gaps
5. License issues
6. Lack of ISV endorsements

Most of the open source business models in use today are there to solve one or more (or all) of these problems.

When deciding whether or how to adopt and open source technology or product ask yourself whether the business model of the project handles these barriers or whether you have to solve it on your own.

* An organic or community-driven development project won’t be able to solve most of these.
* A multi-vendor or services-only commercial company might not be able to solve roadmap issues (as no-one owns or drives it) or license issues (as the IP of the licensable code is distributed)
* A single-vendor commercial open source company typically packages the solution to these in a single offering (subscription).

If the business model around an open source technology or product you are evaluating does not give you a solution to one of these six barriers ask yourself how you are going to mitigate the risk it brings.

Written by James

June 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

CIO.com Blogathon

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CIO.com is doing a blogathon this week. Well they call it a ‘Executives Online discussion panel’ which is a bit of a mouthful. They have some interesting people involved, some of whom I know and some of whom are ‘new to me’. Hopefully this will be interesting

The RSS feed for the blog is: http://advice.cio.com/blog/37/feed

Written by James

June 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm