Episode 159

Dawn Foster & Andrew Nesbitt at State of Open Con 2023


March 17th, 2023

38 mins 23 secs

Your Host
Special Guests

About this Episode


Dawn Foster | Andrew Nesbitt


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Richard is at the State of Open Con 2023 UK in London, which is a conference dedicated towards open source. Today, he has two guests joining him in-person and his first guest is Dawn Foster, who’s Director of Open Source Community Strategy in VMware’s OSPO. We’ll hear about Dawn’s responsibilities at VMWare, some highlights on what she talks about at her talk, some great tools she uses, and the importance of mentoring to grow the next wave of maintainers. Richard’s next guest is Andrew Nesbitt, who’s a Software Engineer, Founder of Libraries.io, and a new project he’s working on with Ben Nickolls called, Ecosyste.ms. We’ll learn more about a project he did a while ago called, 24 Pull Requests, and the newest project, Ecosyste.ms, and how it's different from Libraries.io. Download this episode now to hear much more!

[00:00:48] We hear about Dawn’s talk on leading in open source and taking a strategic approach and she shares some bullet points from it.

[00:03:33] Is there a way to win an ROI argument with an argumentative manager and how can you win those conversations? Dawn explains ways to justify it.

[00:06:54] Richard brings up how he thinks about open source as two different buckets, one as developers, and the other as enterprise corporate models, and wonders if they’re the same type of community, and Dawn explains how they blend together.

[00:08:13] Dawn details her job and responsibilities at VMware.

[00:10:15] We heard Dawn mention she uses CHAOSS tools, but are there others she uses to make it easier for her as a community strategy? She tells us about a metrics model for the CHAOSS Project called, Starter Project Health Metrics Model.

[00:12:19] At VMware, their business units operate independently, and Dawn tells us how they act in more of a mentor capacity for the groups.

[00:13:38] Dawn shares her thoughts on how engineers are going to move forward in their career from the project to have the skills necessary to do the same thing at a new project. She tells about a talk she did geared towards maintainers.

[00:16:57] How does Dawn operationalize the off giving of trust for maintainers?

[00:18:42] Dawn shares how she’s looking forward to a future with looking at things from a data based approach, and where you can follow her on the internet.

[00:20:17] Andrew gives us the history of how he met Ben Nickolls, a project he started a while ago called, 24 Pull Requests, and how libraries.io started.

[00:28:05] Has Andrew ever looked at projects that are popular or that are infrastructure level which may be used in closed source, but have licenses that discriminate against closed source usage?

[00:28:43] Andrew and Ben are working on a new project called Ecosyste.ms. What’s the difference between that and libraires.io?

[00:33:50] If you’re looking to improve or understand the stack of your dependencies, Andrew tells us what the most interesting use case of Ecosyste.ms is for a maintainer or community manager.

[00:37:32] Find out where you can follow Andrew on the web.



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