The Syllabus of Open Source 101

*Reading time – 5 minutes*

We’re truly excited about the speaker lineup at our first ever Open Source 101. With it being the first event of this type we’ve hosted, we know the lineup and accompanying sessions will say a lot about the overall purpose and where our priorities lie.

Why and Who’s it for?

First and foremost, we’re doing Open Source 101 to provide an accessible educational opportunity, which guides everything we do. We hope everyone leaves with a better understanding of open source fundamentals, better able to contribute and communicate, and ultimately, a better technologist and community member.

We’ve set things up to target two primary groups of people:

  1. Professionals new to open source or those needing a refresher
  2. Students that want to learn more and contribute.

Many current professionals need or want to learn more, and all will have to work in an environment in the future in which open source plays an ever increasing role. We feel basic information is vital and extremely helpful.

Students, a group we care a lot about, sometimes receive exposure to open source and education while in school, but many simply do not. And very few ever have the opportunity to meet, network, and learn from some of the top technology professionals from the top companies in the world. We sincerely hope Open Source 101 provides the knowledge required for more students from all schools and backgrounds to participant and contribute.

The schedule


We’ll start the day with 5 quick keynote talks, one of which will be 5 minutes and four 15 minutes in duration. We always start the event together, in a plenary session, and we’ll feature topics we feel everyone needs to hear about.

They’ll include:

  • Why is open source important and why should current and future technologists care? This will be data driven and answer the question “why?”.
  • An explanation of what “open source” means in today’s modern technology environment. Many technologists, even experienced ones, do not fully understand why and how it is impacting organizations today, perhaps even their own.
  • IoT is exploding and the possibilities are endless, but did you know the future of IoT is open source?
  • Community is perhaps the single most important success factor in open source, and even more important are the codes of conduct that run throughout. This factor, more than any other, will determine whether an effort is a success or failure.
  • If you join a project how do you choose the right one for you? We’ll look at basic tips to help people new to OS determine which projects may be best.

Topics and sessions

We generally group topics and sessions into three (3) tracks – processes, tools and case studies/demos. While there are gray areas for sure, most of what will be covered can be placed into one of these categories.

Technology and tools vary and there are many out there, but we’ve chosen to focus on a few we feel are important.

Just a few include:

  • Containers, containerisation and container orchestration
  • OpenStack and cloud tools
  • Tools for the open source developer
  • Git & GitHub, delivered by the GitHub team
  • Advanced Git, delivered by Brent Laster, Senior SAS manager and author of “Professional Git”
  • Tools and techniques for enhancing project productivity
  • Continuous deployment (CD) and the open source tools that get your project out of source and into it’s final application
  • The continuous integration and delivery tools traditionally reserved for enterprises and proprietary code now available for open source projects.
  • How to go from just an app developer to an open source developer


We’re covering multiple processes within larger topics, just a few of which include:

  • Software development practices that keep FLOSS values front and center
  • How to build a great open source community, looking at the NativeScript experience
  • Managing consensus in open source projects
  • Building open source community looking at the community and ecosystem
  • How to build community using Twitter chats
  • The QA process and engaging the open source community
  • How to create your very first open source project the “right” way

Case Studies and Demos

We’ve found case studies and demos to be excellent educational tools. Just a few will include:

  • How to contribute to Apache OpenWhisk
  • How to get involved in open source and The Javascript Foundation, with Kris Borchers, Executive Director, Javascript Foundation
  • Did you know an organization can be open? The “open” organization will be explained
  • A short tour of Linux distributions – look at the features of each major distro
  • An explanation of how today’s enterprises use Linux

Finally, we’ll take a look at a few topics that are extremely important yet don’t “fit” into tracks. These include:

  • How to sell open source while keeping your soul
  • How to make money doing what you love – many still believe open source and making money are mutually exclusive
  • The evolution of open source business models, a fascinating look at how things are changing and what’s causing it
  • Open source hardware – the tools and resources available

Head over to our schedule page for a closer look at the talks, and register starting Tuesday, January 3rd before tickets run out!