Open Source: A New Developer Career

Update, 2010-03-19: Linux Magazin made the talk video available. Their data shows that more than 10,000 people watched it live!

I noticed an increasing interest into a general-interest talk of mine on how open source creates a new software developer career. This is not a rara (pep) talk but rather (I hope) an economically rational and sound analysis of changes in the software developer labor market brought about by open source. Here is the current abstract:

Continue reading “Open Source: A New Developer Career”

Next Three Public Open Source Talks

Next three public talks on open source that I’ll be giving in Germany:

  • Nuremberg, 25.02.10 – Talend Business Lunch, talk topic: Sustainability of Commercial Open Source
  • Hannover, 02.03.10 – CeBIT Open Source Forum keynote: Open Source Software Developer Careers
  • Erlangen, 30.04.10 – Tag der Informatik, Uni Erlangen-N├╝rnberg: Open Source and the Software End-Game

OOPSLA 2010 Call for Papers, Expanded Scope!

Update 2010-05-28: The accepted papers are listed here now. If you are looking for a well-documented object-oriented framework to try your method, check-out this JUnit 3.8 documentation. There is more object-oriented software design case study documentation, of course.

OOPSLA 2010 Research Papers

October 17 to 20
Reno/Tahoe Nevada, USA

Paper Submission Deadline: March 25, 2010
Accept/Reject Notification Date: May 24, 2010

OOPSLA 2010 solicits research papers that present new research, report novel technical results, advance the state of the art, or discuss experience or experimentation. The scope of OOPSLA includes all aspects of programming languages and software engineering, broadly construed.

Continue reading “OOPSLA 2010 Call for Papers, Expanded Scope!”

Research Positions for CCC's 2010 Future of Open Source Research Workshop

I will be participating in the Computing Community Consortium’s workshop on the future of open source research at UC Irvine next month. The organizers asked participants to provide a short opinion on three research areas they feel warrant further research. I chose the following three general topics:

  1. Quantitative Analyses of Actual Programmer Behavior
  2. Improved Open Source Process and Tooling
  3. Decision Models for Industry Participation in Community Open Source

You can find the full descriptions of these topics over at the website of the open source research group. For your convenience, I’ve also appended it as a PDF file.

Call for Open Source Dated Dec 12, 1968

Ike Nassi, an Executive Vice President and my former manager at SAP, writes in an email:

By accident, while reviewing a very old CACM paper “Programming Semantics for Multiprogrammed Computations” by Dennis and Van Horn from March 1966 (!) reprinted in the CACM 25th Anniversary issue (Volume 26, Issue 1 (Jan. 1983) Special 25th Anniversary Issue) I found a letter to the editor from Galler et al. dated 12-DEC-1968 (“Proprietary Packages: a Point of View”) in which the authors call for what is essentially open source:

“… In any case, we believe that the protected nature of such a proprietary package and the fact that it cannot be examined and evaluated impartially imply that descriptions and evaluations of it deserve to be related as sales literature and by nature are not appropriate for professional publications. When a scholarly report on such work is published in a professional publication, all supporting data (and programs) which are referenced in a professional publication should be freely available to all readers, as is usual with such a publication …”

There were follow up letters on the same theme. I wonder if this is the earliest reference to the concept.

Ike may well be right and this may be the earliest reference arguing against closed source, at least in research. Pointers for earlier references, if there are any, are welcome! And yes, open source licenses had still to be invented…

The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations

Abstract: An open source foundation is a group of people and companies that has come together to jointly develop community open source software. Examples include the Apache Software Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, and the Gnome Foundation. There are many reasons why software development firms join and support a foundation. One common economic motivation is to save costs in the development of the software by spreading them over the participating parties. However, this is just the beginning. Beyond sharing costs, participating firms can increase their revenue through the provision and increased sale of complementary products. Also, by establishing a successful open source platform, software firms can compete more effectively across technology stacks and thereby increase their addressable market. Not to be neglected, community open source software is a common good, creating increased general welfare and hence goodwill for the involved companies.

Reference: Dirk Riehle. “The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations.” IEEE Computer, vol. 43, no. 1 (January 2010). Page 86-90.

Available as HTML or as a PDF file.

Workshop on Open Source, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

The Chair for Economic Policy (Prof. Andreas Freytag) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max Planck Institute of Econonics, Jena, Germany, is organizing a workshop on “open source, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” It takes place next week, on Jan 14, 2010. It used to be a private, invitation-only workshop, but the organizers decided to open it up to the general public.

The workshop program (PDF) consists mainly of invited speakers from economics and related departments around the world; I guess it is more of a small symposium than a workshop in any way. I’ll be giving the closing keynote of the event talking about “why open source is hard for closed source vendors.”

Participation is free but you’ll have to cover your travel and accommodation costs, if any. If you are interested in participating, please contact Sebastian von Engelhardt.

Four Months of Open Source Professorship

2009 is coming to an end and so are my first four months as a professor. Time to take stock, if only shortly.

All in all, a good end to a year that most of us would prefer to forget. But as Matt Asay is suggesting, this may have been the year that Open Source made it big, so this is something to celebrate!

Stay tuned for upcoming research work on open source, using this blog’s RSS feed, or the OSR group’s home page and RSS feed, and of course the @dirkriehle and @osrgroup Twitter streams!

And of course a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010 to everyone!

2010 Open Source Research Workshops Galore!

It is no big news that open source research has been growing strongly in recent years. However, the recent string of conference and workshop announcements is just amazing. Here is a short run-down of what reached me the last two weeks:

These are all international academic/research open source research events!

Up and Coming Conference Calls for Papers

If you are interested in open source and software engineering, please take a look at these upcoming events:

Disclaimer: Except for the last one I’m on each program committee.