Episode 54

Danese Cooper on the History of Open Source, InnerSource, and What's Next


September 18th, 2020

42 mins 33 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode


Pia Mancini | Richard Littauer


Danese Cooper

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! On today’s episode, we have special guest, Danese Cooper, from her home in West Counties of Ireland. She currently works for NearForm, as VP of Special Initiatives. We will learn all about how the InnerSource Commons and Open Source are related. We find out about Danese’s last tech job at PayPal, where she started talking about InnerSource and why she moved to a remote part of Ireland with her new job. We find out about the concept of “trusted committer” and two companies that are practicing InnerSource. Also, find out why Danese said, “Open Source has won.” Download this episode now!

[00:01:45] Danese gives us a bio about herself and fills us in on her job at NearForm and InnerSource Commons.

[00:05:40] Richard is curious to know when Danese talked about InnerSource and Open Source being related, how do they both work together to actually sustain open source.

[00:10:50] Danese talks about the “sustainability quotient” and how there are not enough practitioners of open source.

[00:13:02] We hear the twenty-year old “fake stories” about why people are afraid when we talk about InnerSource and Danese tells us about the concept of “trusted committer” and what they do.

[00:18:38] Danese tells us two stories about two companies that are practicing InnerSource that have been talked about publicly.

[00:24:34] Pia asks Danese if she’s seen a lot of InnerSource or projects that were born in InnerSource and then they were released to the wild as successfully and she shares some stories.

[00:31:49] Danese explains what she means when she said says, “Open source has won.”

[00:34:54] Danese fills us in on what she’s doing now, what’s next, what’s exciting, and where to find her on the internet.


  • Richard’s spotlight is kalm.js.org.
  • Danese’s spotlight is have a look at Mozilla and try to lend them some support and COVID Green App.


[00:11:17] “I feel like this area of endeavor has been so generous to me, giving me a means to make a living and an interesting means to make a living for this last 35 years. I kind of owe a give back of something to make the campground better than I found it and I think that is InnerSource.”

[00:11:35] “Getting those poor 85% out of the salt mines and helping companies modernize now, because in another ten years they won’t be able to hire people that don’t expect transparency. So, they are going to have to figure it out, but if they figure it out now for the right reasons, they have a better chance of being in a good position to accept those new workers when that’s all you can hire.”

[00:32:23] “There would be no Google if there was not Linux, period, full stop. It would not exist because their cost of acquisition for that kernel and their ability to modify it to their needs meant that they could optimize better than AltaVista, which was the search engine of choice before there was Google.”



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