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Open Source Engagement to Empower Business

Profile picture for user cyberswat
Co-Founder & CTO
Drud Technology
Experience level
45 minutes
2.04 titanium
Starts at
Ends at
Industry track

Keystones for successful open source projects include motivated contributors, a collective belief in the goals of the project, and a governance and support model that empowers contributors new and old.  In this session we will explore the science of motivation and examples of systems that apply Open Source practices to effective business management.  You will learn how to communicate more effectively with your teams and why a traditional top-down business model is not the most effective for a healthy team.


We’ve seen the success of this model in projects like Drupal and Kubernetes. Kubernetes is one of the largest open source projects with 37k+ stars on GitHub. It’s grown in popularity as some of the largest organizations adopt and thousands contribute to it.


But what impact do open source concepts have on a business?


In my session, I will share research into what motivates individuals to perform their jobs well. Once we understand what motivates individuals, we will explore how an organization’s behavior from the “top-down” impacts motivation across teams.

We will compare and contrast examples of organizational models that use this information to their advantage and those that disregard what we’ve learned in open source communities. 

I think these concepts apply to anyone that who is building a team and needs to connect management with the rest of the organization. If you create a culture where everyone has common ground, you will create amazing things and grow together.

An excellent way to understand the difference in a healthy organization is to evaluate a dishwasher on a Naval ship. If you ask that person what their job is they would likely respond with “I clean the dishes so that my crew can be well fed because they need to be at their best to win the war. Without my contribution, we would all fail”. Conversely, if you ask a disgruntled dishwasher the same question, you may get a colorful answer that ultimately focuses on performing a job for a paycheck.

I’ve spent the past five years on an incredible journey working to solve these issues. There have been instances of greatness and of failure in our decisions as we’ve grown from one type of company to the next. We’ve transitioned from hobbyists to designers and implementers, into a successful hosting and tooling company. None of it has been pain-free, but being in a healthy business with diverse teams of people that respect each other, the organization, and the work they are focused on is transformative.

At DDEV, our goal is to help you be the best at what you do. I will walk through specific tools and workflows that we use on a daily basis to bring our organization together and thrive. This session will share what we have learned along the way.

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