Organizational Change: Challenges in shipping open source firmware

Presented by Stewart Smith
Wednesday 2:15 p.m.–3 p.m.
Target audience: Developer


It’s (relatively) easy to ship the first version of a product and publish the source code on Github. What comes next is no less challenging: a service pack needs to be made, you need to start a community, to produce upstream releases, and to transform an organisation into one that breathes openness when a large part of it has not grown up in the free software world.

This is the story of what came after we shipped the first OpenPOWER machine with Free and Open Source firmware, and the associated challenges.

Many unique components go into an OpenPower firmware build. Some of these come from existing open source projects, and some of these come from existing proprietary projects that are now open sourced.

This talk will cover challenges (old and new) and strategies that have worked, haven’t worked, and are in the works.

Challenges include: Teams not used to FOSS development The mere concept of upstream Becoming an upstream project, rather than product Releasing downstream How we behave in creating official firmware releases and service for our machines in tandem with maintaining upstream code Internal bug trackers (plural) External bug tracker (singular) Documentation Specifications Conformance Testing (internal, external) Email

Presented by

Stewart Smith

Stewart currently works for IBM in the Linux Technology Center on OPAL, the OpenPOWER Abstraction Layer - open source firmware for POWER. He currently finds it weird when you don't have the source code to your firmware.

Previously, Stewart worked for Percona as Director of Server Development with a deep background in database internals including MySQL, MySQL Cluster, Drizzle, InnoDB and HailDB. He was one of the founding core developers of the Drizzle database server project which he worked on at Sun Microsystems and later Rackspace. He started in the database world at MySQL AB working on MySQL Cluster.

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