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@EclipseFdn Neon+1 Name

The vote for the Eclipse Foundation’s Neon+1 name is over (see bug 485861):

  1. Oxygen (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
  2. Odyssey loses to Oxygen by 121–112
  3. Osiris loses to Oxygen by 141–94, loses to Odyssey by 131–97
  4. Opal loses to Oxygen by 136–95, loses to Osiris by 112–109
  5. Oberon loses to Oxygen by 143–98, loses to Opal by 115–110
  6. Orpheus loses to Oxygen by 142–90, loses to Oberon by 121–99
  7. Ozone loses to Oxygen by 152–61, loses to Orpheus by 111–103
  8. Ohm loses to Oxygen by 152–69, loses to Ozone by 103–99
  9. Oceana loses to Oxygen by 161–54, loses to Ohm by 103–94
  10. Oort loses to Oxygen by 158–63, loses to Oceana by 116–78

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 9.37.03 AM Pending legal approval, Eclipse Oxygen will be the name for Neon+1

Students: Getting Involved with Open Source

Note: This is also cross-posted as an article 

As a student, getting involved in open source is a great way to improve your programming skills. From my experience, it can even help kickstart your career. But where do you begin? And how do you get involved?

I started my open source journey during my high school days when I had a lot more free time on my hands (and lived on IRC). It was through that experience that I learned how to contribute to open source through communication media like IRC and Usenet. Open source has grown since those olden days, and there are now more formal ways to get involved with open source as a student.

Programs for university students

Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code (GSOC) is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. Student participants get paired with open source project mentors to create software. On top of getting paid, they build connections within the open source community. From my experience, these connections could lead to future employment opportunities.

There are over 100 open source organizations that take part in GSOC, from the Apache Software Foundation to Mozilla and more. I find it to be one of the best programs out there for students to get started in open source. If you’re interested in participating in GSOC, the 2016 application window opens March 14.

Outreachy (formerly known as Outreach Program for Women)

Outreachy takes people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software and guides them through their first contribution. The program provides a supportive community for beginning to contribute and offers focused internship opportunities twice a year with a number of free software organizations. Applications for the 2016 program will open February 9 and close March 22.

Rails Summer of Code

Rails Girls Summer of Code is a global fellowship program aimed at bringing more diversity into open source. Successful female applicants are paid a monthly stipend (July-September) to work on open source projects of their choice. The 2015 program was a roaring success, with 16 teams participating.

Facebook Open Academy

The Facebook Open Academy (FOA) program promotes collaboration between universities and open source organizations. FOA is similar in spirit to GSOC, but students end up participating by taking a normal university course. The course begins with a kickoff event in which all parties come together for an intensive weekend of learning and hacking. After the kickoff, students return to their home universities and continue work in virtual teams. The mentors continue to support the teams during the rest of the project. The course instructors at each university meet with student teams at regular intervals to review progress. Some instructors overlay a lecture series to provide further learning opportunities to students. At the end of the program, students receive a grade.

University Clubs and Programs

One thing to look out for if you’re at university is to see if there are any associated open source clubs. For example, Oregon State University (OSU) has the OSU Open Source Club and even an OSU Open Source Lab; other universities may have similar clubs to help you get involved with open source. Some universities are even formalizing minors around open source, for example, in 2014, RIT launched the first minor degree in open source software.

Programs for pre-university students

Google Code-in

For the younger crowd, Google Code-in is an annual programming competition that allows students aged 13-17 to complete tasks specified by various open source organizations. These open source organizations range from Drupal to KDE and even the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past five years, 2,233 students from 87 countries have completed 12,495 open source tasks through the competition.

Students who complete one task earn a certificate, and students who complete three tasks earn an extra T-shirt. At the end of the competition, each organization will choose two students as the grand prize award winners and they will visit Google HQ.

This year’s Google Code-in competition is already underway and ends January 25.

Conferences and travel scholarships

Attending an open source related conference is a great way to get involved with an open source project and community. There is usually a beginner track at conferences to help first-time contributors. You also have the opportunity to network with committers and community members.

On the downside, as a student, finances are most likely tight. On the bright side, there are conferences offering travel grants for students and underrepresented groups. PyCon, for example, has a financial assistance program, and StrangeLoop has opportunity grants. For women, the Grace Hopper Conference offers scholarship grants you can apply for every year. If you’re into Linux, every LinuxCon has deeply discounted tickets for students and a diversity scholarship program.

These are just a few of my favorite conferences that offer travel assistance or scholarships. For a more thorough list see the OpenHatch wiki.

Finding mentors and beginner issues

Another way to get involved in open source is to find a great mentor. In certain large open source organizations, there are formal mentoring programs you can take part in. For example, the Fedora project has a list of mentors offering help depending on your interests. Mozilla has a great website on how to contribute and find mentors to get involved. Furthermore, Mozilla has a great volunteer site for those who want to contribute design or translation skills if you’re not a programmer.

There are also some open source projects that mark issues as beginner-friendly. To find them, I highly recommend visiting the OpenHatch issues page or Up For Grabs site, or search for beginner issues on GitHub. As a bonus, feel free to check out the 24 Pull Requests initiative, which provides a listing of projects you can contribute to at the end of each year during the holidays.

Pay it forward

It’s important to remember that we were all students at one time and everyone starts their open source journey somewhere. If you’re reading this as a student, I hope you find these resources useful to get started (please note there are more programs out there than I listed). If you’re reading this as an experienced open source developer, remember to pay it forward, we owe it to the future generation of open source developers to spend time mentoring them and lowering the barriers to contribution.

Companies paying it forward in open source


I recently saw that Mozilla launched its amazing “Open Source Support” award program:

According to some research, at least 78% of companies are using open source in some fashion (my personal guess is that the number is higher). The fact that the Mozilla corporation realizes that it needs to give back (on top of all the work they already do), is incredibly progressive and I hope sets an example moving forward for others as it can help solve the tragedy of the commons issue that many open source projects face.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, tragedy of the commons is:

the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self interest, despite their understanding that depleting the common resource is contrary to their long-term best interests.

The key problem here is that organizations who cannot be excluded from the benefits of a good often have little incentive to contribute toward the production of that good. This is essentially known as “free-riding” and is common in open source land, even with projects that are successful.

There are many ways to tackle this problem, whether it’s through a restrictive license, guilting people to donate, or just setting up a foundation with membership rules and dues to ensure that a particular bit of software is properly funded.

These days, I’m taking a more positive outlook on this issue as I keep seeing more companies setting up open source program offices or even funding projects/developers important to their business (see this recent Capital One example below, which by the way recently established an open source program):

I think this trend will continue as long as we in the free and open source community push for it. At the end of the day, we are in it all together. The more we can convince organizations to give back, especially the ones that have strongly benefited, the more all of us will get back.

My challenge to you is to push your respective organization to give back, whether that is financially or in some other way.

FYI: #MesosCon Europe 2015

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending MesosCon 2015 in Seattle co-located with LinuxCon. I had the honor of being on the Program Committee this year and helped draft the program with a great group of folks. It’s really amazing to see how far things have come since we helped open source Mesos… it was great to see companies like Apple, Verizon, Bloomberg, Paypal, Intel, Cisco, Twitter, AT&T and many other adopters running Mesos with serious production workloads! I was also really proud of us having a diversity scholarship as part of the conference, that worked out really well and we will do it more in the future.

Anyways, if you couldn’t make it, the good news is that all of the sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube now:

Furthermore, if Seattle was a bit too far away, we are hosting MesosCon Europe in Dublin in about a month. The program isn’t live yet as we are in the community review phase for proposals so if you would like to participate in the program selection, please get your votes in!

I look forward to seeing everyone in Dublin and chatting with people over some frosty beverages!

#OSCON 2015 and the Rise of Open Source Offices

I had a fantastic time at OSCON last week. It was a crazy busy week for Twitter announcing that we are helping form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and unifying some of the work that has been going on in the Kubernetes and Mesos ecosystems:

It’s rare that you see two communities and the large companies behind them put their egos besides and do what is better for everyone in the long term in the infrastructure space. We also formally joined the Open Container Initiative and plan on donating an AppC C++ implementation in the future:

Thank you to everyone who came to our ping pong tournament party and learned a bit more about the sport of table tennis:

We also had a great @TODOGroup panel at OSCON discussing how different companies are running and establishing open source offices… along with what works and some lessons learned:

Finally, thank you to everyone who came to my talk about lessons learned from Twitter creating its open source office on Thursday:

It’s always amazing to see how many companies are starting to form open source offices, from my talk I tried to highlight some of the better known ones from larger companies and even startups (along with their mission statements):

I really expect this trend to continue in the future, for example Box is looking to hire their first Head of Open Source and even  Guy Martin was just hired to create and run an open source office at Autodesk… Autodesk!

At the end of the day, as more businesses become software companies to some nature, they will naturally depend on a plethora of open source software. Businesses will look to find ways to build better relationships with the open source communities their software depends on to maximize value for their business, it’s in their best interests.

MesosCon 2015 Keynotes and Lightning Talk CFP

Holy it’s July already!

Last year I helped organized the first MesosCon community conference and we’re doing the same this year with a slightly larger Program Committee (thankfully, organizing conferences is so under appreciated in the tech industry).

Recently we announced the schedule and some of the keynote speakers for MesosCon 2015. On top of an amazing program, we’re excited to have a bunch of keynote speakers with @benh, @neha, @kenowens12, @adrianco and more.


Honestly, it’s been great to watch the Mesos community grow over the years, from its humble beginnings at Twitter to Apple announcing their adoption to seeing a plethora of other companies using it within their infrastructure.

What’s also fun at MesosCon is that we’re co-locating it with LinuxCon and ContainerCon in Seattle so you have the opportunity to attend those events too if they are of interest.

Also, if you’re interested, the lightning talk CFP is open until July 14th.

Hope to see you there! In my opinion, there really is no better set of events if you’re interested in seeing how the future of infrastructure will be run, along with having the opportunity to shape that direction.

Eclipse Code of Conduct

At the recent Eclipse Foundation board meeting this week in Toulouse as part of EclipseCon France, the committer representatives helped move forward a code of conduct for the Eclipse community. As for a bit of background, the request for this initially came from bugzilla and also the LocationTech working group which was looking for a code of conduct for its community. The board opted for a simple code of conduct based on the Contributor Convenant, see this email from Mike Milinkovich:

I am very pleased to announce that the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors approved a Community Code of Conduct[1] at their meeting earlier this week at EclipseCon France. This brings the Eclipse community in line with the best practices for open source communities around the world.

Our community already has a strong culture of respect and professionalism. Neither I nor the Board expect anyone’s behaviour to change as a result of this. This is simply codifying the high expectations we already meet in terms of professionalism, respect, and simply courtesy.

I agree with Mike and couldn’t have said it better, we have a great community and this simply codifies our high expectations.

SourceForge Hijacking Open Source Project Downloads

Today I read about how SourceForge is hijacking nmap downloads through their old SourceForge account…

This is just plain naughty behavior in open source land… SourceForge has previously done this with the GIMP project and inserted adware into the download. They even created a response page based on the criticism from that incident stating that:

This is a 100% opt-in program for the developer, and we want to reassure you that we will NEVER bundle offers with any project without the developers consent.

Outside of this just being dubious behavior, this looks to be a lie based on what the  nmap developers have stated. Also, what is concerning is that who knows what other open source projects SourceForge is trying to do this for.

This should be a lesson and even a wake up call to open source projects who use external services like SourceForge… there’s inherent risk if the tide of the business you depend on changes.

Furthermore, this is another reason hosting your project at a quality open source foundation can be beneficial as they generally won’t do these type of shenanigans as they protect your projects best interests. These open source foundations can also help you secure a trademark for your project which can help fight against these types of issues.

Stay diligent!

UPDATE: A response from SourceForge

@ApacheParquet Graduating and Mesos with Siri

The last week for me has been fun in open source land outside of me getting two of my wisdom teeth pulled out of my face. On the bright side, I have some pain killers now and also, two notable things happened. First it was nice to finally graduate Parquet out of the Apache Incubator:

It’s been a little over two years since we (Twitter) announced the open source columnar storage project with Cloudera. It’s a great feeling to see a plan come together and see this project grow over the years with 60+ contributors while hitting the notable achievement of graduating out of the Apache incubator gauntlet. If there’s any lesson here for me, it’s much easier to build an open source community when you do it an independent fashion with at least someone else in the beginning (thanks Cloudera).

Another notable thing that happened was that Apple finally announced that they are using Mesos to power Siri’s massive infrastructure.

In my experience of building open source communities, there are usually your public adopters and private adopters. There are companies that wish to remain private about the software they use at times and that’s fine, it’s understandable when it can be viewed as a competitive advantage. The challenge is how you work with these private adopters when they use an open source project of yours while wanting to collaborate behind the scenes.

Anyways, it’s a great feeling to see Apple opening up a bit about their infrastructure and open source usage after working with them for awhile. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come from them. Also, it would be nice if Apple just updated Siri so when you ask what Mesos is, it replies with a funny response and proclaims her love of open source infrastructure technology.

Overall, it’s been a great last week.

Thoughts on running an open source program (via @TODOGroup)

I recently posted on the @TODOGroup blog on why we run an open source program at Twitter:

Outside of just my experience, it’s been great to see other companies participating in this effort so you can hear from them too on running open source programs:

There should be more blog posts from us in the future about this topic, on top of us discussing other issues pertinent to companies working with open source communities.

Anyways, I hope you learned something new from these posts and if you’re a fan of company open source programs, please consider pushing your company or others to establish an official open source program or office. We all should give back as it’s in our best interest.