To find out more, we interviewed two leaders in this emerging field. Specifically, we wanted to know how Linux and open source software are being used and if they are in fact changing the face of the automotive industry. First, we talk to Alison Chaiken, a software engineer at Peloton Technology and an expert on automotive Linux, cybersecurity, and transparency. She previously worked for Mentor Graphics, Nokia, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Then, we chat with Steven Crumb, executive director of GENIVI, who got started in open source in high-performance computing environments (supercomputers and early cloud computing). He says that though he's not a coder anymore, he loves to help organizations solve real business problems with open source software.
Education is an important field for open source software to target. Today’s generation will define the future to come, and the lessons of open source software are important to teach to professors and students, including children, teens, and young adults. There are already several different initiatives to better teach open source, including Fedora, in school. The Fedora Council approved the University Involvement Initiative as an objective for the entire project in early 2014. Its goal is to increase the number of university students who use and contribute to Fedora.
The biggest mistake is bigger than Drupal: They don't consider it at all. This isn't a platform thing, it's a problem that is endemic to the web. Big companies get dragged into accessibility via legal threats. Small companies don't even think about it. Just the act of raising accessibility as an issue, and asking your team to keep it in mind throughout the design and development process is a big deal. You have to start somewhere.
I started using Drupal because I needed an open source content management system (CMS) to use in several community projects. One of the projects I was involved with was just getting started and had narrowed its CMS selection down to either Drupal or Joomla. At the time I was using a different framework, but I had considered Drupal in the past and knew that I liked it a lot better than Joomla. I convinced them to go with the new Drupal 6 release and converted all of my other projects for consistency. I started working with Drush because I wanted a unified mechanism to work with local and remote sites. My first major contribution to Drush was site aliases and sql-sync in Drush 3.
A veteran of the web publishing and sports media industries, Jeff Diecks leads professional services and client delivery at Mediacurrent and is an active member of the Drupal community. Jeff also organizes events for his local Louisiana Drupal Users Group and Drupalcamp New Orleans.
I was able to catch up with Jeff ahead of DrupalCon New Orleans 2016, where he'll share insights on site building tools to solve common university needs.
With open source, you're expanding the sphere of people who might potentially care a lot about your code. You find others who have similar problems, and who can leverage your work and maybe even extend it. The knowledge that you've helped someone avoid "rebuilding the wheel" is really gratifying, and it's amplified when those people actually start getting so involved that they give you contributions of code or ideas. The project picks up steam, and you might even get unforeseen help tackling those issues you didn't have bandwidth to tackle yourself. Really, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Back in the day, I was working at a large nonprofit in the "webmaster's office" of the marketing department and was churning out custom PHP/MySQL forms like nobody's business. I finally got weary of that and starting hunting around the web for a better way. I found Drupal 6 and starting diving in on my own. Years later, after a career shift and a move, I discovered the Portland Drupal User Group and landed a job as a full-time Drupal developer. I continued to regularly attend the meetups in Portland, which I found to be a great source of community, friendships, and professional development. Eventually, I landed a job with Lullabot as a trainer creating content for Drupalize.Me. Now, I'm managing the Drupalize.Me content pipeline, creating Drupal 8 content, and am very much involved in the Portland Drupal community. I'm this year's coordinator, finding and scheduling speakers.
Gabriele is a Fedora Ambassador who works both locally and internationally. He is most impressed by the jovial and warm atmosphere within the project. Everyone can share suggestions, opinions and information in a friendly, collaborative environment. Trombini stresses that respect and the willingness to change are necessary to keep the Fedora Community strong. “Let’s try something, and if it doesn’t return the expected results, we should be ready to change our way,” says Trombini.
Stallman is frequently described as an advocate of open source computing, even its father. It’s a characterization he vehemently denies. “I want people to associate me with free software, not open source,” he said. “I don’t want to make statements about open source except how it differs from free software.”
Or, as a statement on GNU.org sums it up: “The free software movement campaigns for your freedom in your computing, as a matter of justice. The open source non-movement does not campaign for anything.”