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©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
How to Be a Good
Corporate Citizen
in Open Source
stackconf Berlin - July 2022
Dr. Dawn M. Foster
Director of OSS Community Strategy
fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com
Open Source at VMware @vmwopensource
blogs.vmware.com/opensource
@geekygirldawn
©2022 VMware, Inc.
• Dynamics of collaboration: individuals, companies,
and communities.
• Contribution Strategy and Plans
• Tips for being a good corporate citizen in open
source projects.
• Resources and Final Thoughts
2
Agenda
Photo by Marco Verch - CC BY 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 3
whoami
• Geek, traveler, reader

• 20+ yr tech career focused on
community & open source 

(Intel, Puppet, Scale Factory, …)

• OpenUK Board, CHAOSS Board and
Maintainer, TODO Group Steering

• CNCF TAG Contrib Strategy co-chair

• PhD from the University of Greenwich
focused on Linux kernel collaboration
Photos by Mom, Josh Bancroft, Don Park
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
Collaboration in OSS Projects:
individuals, companies, and communities
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Make contributions
and earn
leadership positions
5
Individuals
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Employees contribute as
individuals, but
on their company’s behalf
6
Companies
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Kubernetes CNCF CC BY 4.0
Community comes before company or individual needs
7
Community = People
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Your organization needs to
balance individual, company,
and community needs
8
Balance
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash
Contribution Strategy and Plans
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Align with business
goals to highlight
importance and impact
Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash
10
Contribution
Strategy and Plans
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Focus on strategic projects
with the biggest impact
to your company
11
Which Projects?
Image by Thomas Hawk
CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Find or hire people
who want to contribute
12
Staffing
Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Guidelines and processes
should make it easy to contribute
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
13
Guidelines
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Define success criteria
and data required
to measure it
https://chaoss.community
14
Measure
Success
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Image by Thomas Hawk CC BY-NC 2.0
Making Contributions as a Good
Corporate Citizen in OSS
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Lurk and understand
before starting with a
small contribution
Image by Filip Maljković CC BY-SA
16
Getting Started
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Avoid getting defensive
and prepare to iterate
on feedback
17
Learn from Feedback
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Discuss changes first
and break them into
smaller contributions
Photo by Christine on Unsplash
18
Work with the
Community
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Attend events and
get to know people
Image by The Linux Foundation CC BY
19
Relationships
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Reduces your work
and benefits the
community
20
Upstream
Your Patches
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Don’t expect someone
else to maintain a
large contribution
21
Maintenance
Expectations
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Prepare to maintain it
over the long-term
and build community
Image by C. Watts CC BY 22
Open Sourcing
Your Software
@geekygirldawn
©2020 VMware, Inc. 23
Resources
Linux Foundation’s TODO Group
https://todogroup.org/guides/
CNCF Contributor Strategy TAG Docs & Templates
https://contribute.cncf.io/maintainers/
https://github.com/cncf/project-template
The Open Source Way Guidebook
https://github.com/theopensourceway/guidebook/
Photo by Vicente - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
@geekygirldawn
©2022 VMware, Inc.
Participation in OSS
communities impacts
your organization’s brand.
Strive to make it a
positive impact.
24
Final Thoughts
Photo by
©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn
Dr. Dawn M. Foster
fosterd@vmware.com
fastwonderblog.com
Open Source at VMware
blogs.vmware.com/opensource
@vmwopensource
25
Thank You!
Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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How to Be a Good Corporate Citizen in Open Source

  • 1. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn How to Be a Good Corporate Citizen in Open Source stackconf Berlin - July 2022 Dr. Dawn M. Foster Director of OSS Community Strategy fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com Open Source at VMware @vmwopensource blogs.vmware.com/opensource
  • 2. @geekygirldawn ©2022 VMware, Inc. • Dynamics of collaboration: individuals, companies, and communities. • Contribution Strategy and Plans • Tips for being a good corporate citizen in open source projects. • Resources and Final Thoughts 2 Agenda Photo by Marco Verch - CC BY 2.0
  • 3. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn 3 whoami • Geek, traveler, reader • 20+ yr tech career focused on community & open source 
 (Intel, Puppet, Scale Factory, …) • OpenUK Board, CHAOSS Board and Maintainer, TODO Group Steering • CNCF TAG Contrib Strategy co-chair • PhD from the University of Greenwich focused on Linux kernel collaboration Photos by Mom, Josh Bancroft, Don Park
  • 4. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0 Collaboration in OSS Projects: individuals, companies, and communities
  • 5. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Make contributions and earn leadership positions 5 Individuals Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 6. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Employees contribute as individuals, but on their company’s behalf 6 Companies Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 7. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Kubernetes CNCF CC BY 4.0 Community comes before company or individual needs 7 Community = People
  • 8. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Your organization needs to balance individual, company, and community needs 8 Balance Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
  • 9. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash Contribution Strategy and Plans
  • 10. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Align with business goals to highlight importance and impact Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash 10 Contribution Strategy and Plans
  • 11. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Focus on strategic projects with the biggest impact to your company 11 Which Projects? Image by Thomas Hawk CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 12. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Find or hire people who want to contribute 12 Staffing Image by the CNCF CC BY-NC 2.0
  • 13. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Guidelines and processes should make it easy to contribute Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash 13 Guidelines
  • 14. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Define success criteria and data required to measure it https://chaoss.community 14 Measure Success
  • 15. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Image by Thomas Hawk CC BY-NC 2.0 Making Contributions as a Good Corporate Citizen in OSS
  • 16. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Lurk and understand before starting with a small contribution Image by Filip Maljković CC BY-SA 16 Getting Started
  • 17. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Avoid getting defensive and prepare to iterate on feedback 17 Learn from Feedback
  • 18. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Discuss changes first and break them into smaller contributions Photo by Christine on Unsplash 18 Work with the Community
  • 19. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Attend events and get to know people Image by The Linux Foundation CC BY 19 Relationships
  • 20. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Reduces your work and benefits the community 20 Upstream Your Patches
  • 21. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Don’t expect someone else to maintain a large contribution 21 Maintenance Expectations
  • 22. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Prepare to maintain it over the long-term and build community Image by C. Watts CC BY 22 Open Sourcing Your Software
  • 23. @geekygirldawn ©2020 VMware, Inc. 23 Resources Linux Foundation’s TODO Group https://todogroup.org/guides/ CNCF Contributor Strategy TAG Docs & Templates https://contribute.cncf.io/maintainers/ https://github.com/cncf/project-template The Open Source Way Guidebook https://github.com/theopensourceway/guidebook/ Photo by Vicente - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 24. @geekygirldawn ©2022 VMware, Inc. Participation in OSS communities impacts your organization’s brand. Strive to make it a positive impact. 24 Final Thoughts Photo by
  • 25. ©2022 VMware, Inc. @geekygirldawn Dr. Dawn M. Foster fosterd@vmware.com fastwonderblog.com Open Source at VMware blogs.vmware.com/opensource @vmwopensource 25 Thank You! Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0