Episode 23

Why Companies Should Invest Money in Open Source with Josh Simmons


February 7th, 2020

53 mins 42 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sponsored By:


Pia Mancini | Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer | Allen “Gunner” Gunn


Josh Simmons
Salesforce | Open Source Initiative

Show Notes

In this episode we talk with Josh Simmons, Senior Open Source Strategist at Salesforce Engineering. He is a community strategist, open source advocate, and dusty- foot philosopher. He also serves as Vice President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

4:10 Josh talks about how he started in Open Source and his background.

7:27 Josh explains why companies/people should invest money in Open Source even though it’s free and why it’s a good business, adding features, fixing bugs, and risk mitigation.

10:28 Richard says, “As a dusty-foot philosopher,” Josh believes it’s ethical to give back and non-ethical for enterprise companies not to give back.

11:03 We are lucky to have this concept of Open Source. Our fore fathers twenty plus years ago realized there was another approach to intellectual property. Open Source was such a radical concept. Also, as contributors, if we don’t give back who will? If no one does, what are we here for?

20:50 A panelist asks Josh, “What are the challenges of running an OSPO?” In an organization with over 8,000 developers, Josh explains how he tries to pull all the docs and pool everything together and create coherent set of documents and policies. Also, the main challenge is the outreach to the staff.

25:27 Josh tells us tools he likes using such as CLA Assistant (BOT) and OSS Review Toolkit. He also gives a shout out to the TODO Group: talk openly, develop openly which is a project for the LINUX Foundation. Both tools were found through the “To Do Group.”

28:16 Josh talks about his role in OSI (Open Source Initiative). Josh is Vice President of the Open Source Initiative. He gives us the history of how it started and how their goal is to protect and promote Open Source, including maintaining the approved OSI license list.

36:55 Richard and Josh debate whether or not OSI is a vehicle for the community. Richard brings up how dual licensing does not fall under Open Source under OSI’s definitions.


50:04 Justin's spotlight this week is cURL
50:20 Eric’s pick is Ruby-Grape.org
51:22 Gunner’s pick is F-Droid.org
51:52 Richard gives Pia a shout out to Open Collective
52:02 Richard’s pick is SpoofMAC on GitHub
52:40 Josh’s spotlight is Drupal.org




Josh Simmons Website
Josh Simmons LinkedIn
Josh Simmons Twitter
The Linux Foundation
Open Collective
Open Source Initiative
CLA Assistant
OSS Review Toolkit

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