[svlug] a course on managing open source...

David N. Welton davidw at dedasys.com
Thu Jul 14 03:14:57 PDT 2005

Sameer Verma wrote:

> 2) What is the most critically needed area of education that an analyst 
> or manager should get with respect to open source?

I think you should include some material on "how to interact with the
open source community", which would probably touch on why people do
this, and the best way to deal with them.  For example, think of a
budding manager saying to himself "Ok, Mr. Stallman - can I call you
Richard? - how much is it going to take to buy out your portion of the
GCC compiler?"   Bzzzzt!  Other people are perfectly amenable to selling
proprietary versions of their own software, so an overview of people and
motivations would be beneficial.  I gave a talk on this subject and
while it was probably pretty boring for the open source crowd, the
business folks seemed interested.

> 3) Would you expect a course like this to be a "Get the Facts" type or 
> more along the lines of a "We report, you decide" ?
> 4) What kind of activities would be more suitable: Hands-on, exams, 
> papers, presentations?

Research reading mailing lists, web pages and so on.

> 5) Do you expect such a course to fly in a business curriculum?

I think so.  Mentions of open source are showing up all over the place,
I think a smart manager would want to further their understanding of
something that isn't all that obvious at first glance, yet is evidently
quite important in the software field, and, perhaps, beyond.

David N. Welton
- http://www.dedasys.com/davidw/

Apache, Linux, Tcl Consulting
- http://www.dedasys.com/

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