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From Naveen Swamy <>
Subject FOSS BackStage/Apache EU Roadshow summary
Date Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:13:03 GMT
Hi all,

I was at the FOSS Backstage/Apache EU Roadshow last week, it covered many
important topics in open-source software and governance. I also gave a
presentation on Distributed Inference using Apache MXNet and Apache Spark.

I also had the opportunity to listen and meet some of the Open source
pioneers and discuss various aspects of the project and seek their guidance
on how to build successful community around MXNet. Talking to board members
gave several insights that could be helpful in growing our community such
as having meetings at different time zones, etc.,

Here is the summary of the various sessions I attended and I hope you'll
find it useful.

*Keynote by Danese Cooper <>: *

She is well known for being instrumental in open-sourcing Java while at Sun
Microsystems. Danese shared her success stories from her 20 years of
Experience at Open source and key elements necessary for open source success

   - Transparency is not negotiable in Open source, it not enough to ride
   the movement but also important to shape. Called upon each one of us to
   review Open-source history, Apache way and help shape the
   - Open source is all about people, At Aapche we say Community over Code
   — It is important to speak the truth, it even more important you are kind
   in telling the truth.
   - Companies want to use it for strategic advantage:  She shared the
   story of Sun wanting to open source Java since 1999 but there was no
   alignment amongst the leaders and it happened only in 2006 due to largely
   due ASF telling them it was going to leave the effort which made Sun to
   change their mind and come up with the Apache Compromise
   - Develop Patronage and shared the story of how GNOME open source
   project had world class accessibility tools that Sun was able to use.
   - Money changes everything even open source
   - Focus on Tech: Focus on building a differentiator for your project
   that users would love and want to come to you.

*They don’t understand me — Tales from Multicultural trenches.*

Bertrand Delacrétaz, Director of Apache and Principal Scientist

   - Cultural diversity is a great asset in our community but makes it
   harder to communicate especially on low-bandwidth channels such as email.
   - Culture does not necessarily mean only origin, it is your affiliation
   to sports, Education, various facets to life.
   - When you work on a project led by a community, you count on your
   fellow contributors to course correct your blindsight -- involve them by
   being friendly and welcoming
   - Communication is really complicated and cultures hides it in
   unexpected places.
   - To avoid misunderstanding, use simple language.
   - Avoid misunderstanding by assuming good intentions, ask for
   - Reformulate your understanding without being aggressive, very often
   the message is not what you understood.
   - For the sake of the project find ways to work.
   - Mistakes happen, don’t be hung up on it and instead find the course
   - talk less. Code speaks louder than words! — show them the code -
   prototype, unfinished, ugly it doesn’t matter
   - Find allies on the other side of the aisle and work with them and make
   them role models, people tend to trust of the same clan.

*Apache Flink:*

Fabian Heuske – Cofounder of Apache Flink & Data Artisans.

   - Apache Flink focuses on growing community in a competitive landscape.
   - Speaking at Conferences and Meetups helped spread the word about Flink.
   - *Find early users/partners and growing them into evangelists also
   helped in its growth*
   - Find your niche — Stream processing though was hard against biggest
   players on their turf.
   - Being just better at the same thing does not cut it.
   - Community and Minshare - technology is easier to evolve than
   - In 2016, Flink pioneers many important stream processing and added
   features that no else had.
   - Being in Apache was very good to get mentorship in building the
   project and get legal protection.
   - Mentors associated during incubation helped a lot in growing the
   - Community trumps technology to a large extent.
   - *Being the first of its kind is also important, unique technology also
   attracts community.*

*The Apache Way - Panel discussion*

*If it didn’t happen on the list, it didn’t happen*

   - works across timezones
   - being transparent helps when you want to call for help since you have
   built the trust.
   - being asynchrnous helps for people who are really volunteering and can
   find time at night or weekends.
   - can go back in time and look why we did it in a certain way.
   - easy to follow for users, they cannot become active if you don't share.

*Minimum of 72 hours.*

   - helps contributors across different timezones.


   - Vote in moderation
   - Voting to get consensus
   - use Lazy consensus

There is an Apache move and call for Action from contributors to educate
and build trust amongst contributors/users.

*Open Source at Amazon:*

(Aloliata Sharma- Principal Tecnologist, Amazon)

   - Amazon’s Motivation comes from requests from many of our partners and
   - OSS helps us to innovate and work with our partners effectively
   - Scaling AWS Services around OSS helps us meet customer demand
   - Amazon also is seeding the OSS with open data such as satellite,
   genome data
   - Amazon works on many open standards and is a member of many OSS
   foundations such as ASF, PSF, OSI, Linux Foundation, CNI, etc,.
   - talked about Apache MXNet, GluOn, ONNX.

*Mentoring: Your path to Immortality*

Rich Bowen, Apache Board of directors

   - Leave a legacy
   - You can be immortal by either leaving an extensive body of work or
   Leave a student who will carry your legacy like how Socrates did with
   - Be careful whom you mentor and don’t create deamons Alexandar the
   Great was Aristotle’s mentee
   - Give permission explicitly both Socially and Technically
   - Withholding trust is a great way to ensure that they don’t stick
   around to earn trust
   - Ask people people to do things directly and specific things and it
   serves a number of purposes including believing in themselves.
   - I’m always doing things that I can’t do that’s how I get to do them
   - Don’t say “come help” instead say “please do this task” and point to a
   - Set a time expectation and offer to help before the deadline.
   - Don’t be condescending, assuming competence and help only when needed
   otherwise it signals as lack of trust
   - Identify people who ask good questions, on other sites(stackoverflow)
   and bring them.
   - Identify people who are different from yourself.

Thanks, Naveen

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