Episode 121

FOSS Backstage 2022 with Cornelius Schumacher, Yadira Sánchez Benítez & Thomas Fricke


May 20th, 2022

44 mins 11 secs

Your Host
Special Guests

About this Episode


Cornelius Schumacher | Yadira Sánchez Benítez | Thomas Fricke


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! On this episode, Richard is at the FOSS Backstage 2022 that is held in Berlin every year. This conference focuses on open source sustainability. He had the opportunity to interview people who were there in-person and talk about software sustainability, what they hope to find in FOSS Backstage, talks they did at FOSS Backstage, and a bunch of other good stuff. Today, we have three guests joining us. Our first guest is Cornelius Schumacher, who’s an Open Source Steward at DB Systel GmbH, where he helps teams to use open source software and to contribute to open source software. Our next guest is Yadira Sánchez Benítez, who’s a Criminology and Human-Centered AI Doctoral Student at the Faculty of Social Sciences & Web Science Institute and a Fellow at the Software Sustainability Institute. And our last guest is Thomas Fricke, who’s doing Kubernetes security consulting and started a side business supporting companies doing open source. Download this episode to find out much more!

[00:01:09] Richard gives us a brief intro about Cornelius, what he did back in 2009, and Cornelius shares his view on open source now and his current job.

[00:06:12] Looking at FOSS Backstage today, Cornelius tells us what he thinks is different now, given the amount of perspective he has, then what it used to be.

[00:09:35] Cornelius details where we can improve or do better in open source.

[00:11:35] Find out where to follow Cornelius online.

[00:12:42] Yadira joins us and tells us everything she does, as well as what it has to do with criminology and human-centered AI.

[00:15:55] Richard asks Yadira what structures we’ve built into open source which are actively excluding marginalized communities and how we can build a better open source ecosystem going forward that’s more sustainable and diverse.

[00:18:44] Yadira explains why she’s in an institution saying don’t make your software from institutions.

[00:20:50] We find out about what open source projects can do to be more communitarian, and what open source program offices and large enterprises can do to be less dominating and single-minded in their approaches towards building software.

[00:22:38] Yadira talks about the way she sees open source working by mostly voluntary contributions and people who want to be a part of this.

[00:25:39] Thomas joins us and tells us what he’s currently doing and some news in Germany about a Sovereign Tech Fund.

[00:28:11] How does Thomas quantify what open source is critical information?

[00:29:58] We learn about a little bit of the work going on by the German government that Thomas is advising on the topic about what’s critical or not.

[00:31:05] Richard and Thomas chat about the meaning of sovereign in Germany.

[00:34:21] Thomas explains more about when he mentioned earlier, “forty-year old code packages just working,” and what he thinks about what kinds of packages need what level of support.

[00:38:17] Find out if Thomas sees a future where we all work together to shore up the ecosystems and make it more sustainable and secure?

[00:39:33] A study on critical infrastructure is brought up and Richard wonders if Thomas sees a way for developers to be able to raise issues to the state or to the $10 million funds to help them out on an ecosystem level.

[00:40:44] What does Thomas see coming in the next five to ten years?

[00:42:53] Find out where you can follow Thomas online.



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