Belgium 2014 - Proposal

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Why open source is to free software what automation is to devops

If you’ve been to a devopsdays event before, you’ll have understood that deploying an open source automation tool doesn’t mean you magically reach DevOps nirvana. Similarly, using open source code doesn’t mean you magically get software for free, become independent from those who develop it, and don’t need to worry about those foundations you’re about to build your business on top of.

One could argue that the DevOps movement grew around existing open source tools and inspired many new ones, and it certainly builds on the spirit of sharing. Looking beyond that, I will consider the evolution of DevOps from the perspective of a long history of success and failure in free/libre software projects (with a particular focus on infrastructure components - MySQL anyone?).

Some food for thought, applicable to both devops and open source projects:

  • Sharing is great, but is pushing to GitHub enough?
  • Innovation is the way forward, but stability of some parts is necessary to continue innovating in others - where is the balance?
  • Over-commercialization can kill, but success helps us grow - what is the limit?
  • If you teach others to contribute to your project, isn’t there a risk of them changing it in ways you disagree with… all while making it sustainable and long-lasting?

Jonathan Clarke is the Product Owner for Rudder, the open source IT automation & compliance tool, at Normation, a software company he co-founded in Paris in 2009.

He has been working in IT infrastructure, almost exclusively with open source tools, since his beginnings as a system administrator. His work is now focused around automation for configuration and compliance, in particular Rudder. He is also a contributor to several open source projects including CFEngine, LSC and OpenLDAP. In his spare time, he enjoys good food, real ale, cinema and cycling around Paris.

Jonathan is a regular speaker at international events including Solutions Linux, Open World Forum, FOSDEM, RMLL, Floss UK Spring Conference, Loadays, LDAPCon...

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