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Open source: A Job and an Adventure - FLOSSUK 2016


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Do you love open source and want to make enough money to pay the bills? Dawn made an accidental career out of open source over 15 years ago, and it changed her life. It has given her an opportunity to work with amazing people and travel the world while doing work that is more fun than any job should be.

This session will start with why you might want to make a career out of open source. The bulk of it will explore the many ways to get open source to pay your bills. Even if you already have one of these jobs, this talk will provide options for additional career paths and tips for what to do improve your chances of getting that next gig and how to avoid sabotaging your career. Dawn will share her stories about how she ended up here along with some of her time management tips to avoid letting this work take over your entire life (unless you want it to)!


The audience is anyone who is interested in making a career out of their work with open source software or improving their existing careers. Attendees can expect to learn how to find a new career in open source software or improve an existing career. They will also get useful advice about things to do and not to do that will improve their chances of getting that next job.

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Open source: A Job and an Adventure - FLOSSUK 2016

  1. 1. OPEN SOURCE: A JOB & AN ADVENTURE Presenta(on  available  at  h0p:// Dawn M. Foster PhD  Student,  University  of  Greenwich   Consultant,  The  Scale  Factory   @geekygirldawn  
  2. 2. WHOAMI • Geek, traveler, reader • 20 year tech career. Past 15 years doing community & open source (Intel, Puppet Labs, etc.) • PhD student at University of Greenwich researching Linux kernel • Community and open source consultant at The Scale Factory Photos by Josh Bancroft, Don Park
  3. 3. AGENDA Why have a career in open source How to make this happen Time management to avoid burnout Photo byThe Linux Foundation
  4. 4. WHY: FRIENDS Meet amazing friends from around the world Photo byThomas Perl
  5. 5. WHY: TRAVEL Attend conferences and work with other companies Photo byTim Samhoff
  6. 6. WHY: FUTURE CAREER Visible work and connections to people Photo byThe Linux Foundation
  7. 7. WHY: AWESOME Free as in freedom, innovative, interesting & cooperative Photo byThe Linux Foundation
  8. 8. HOW: NEW PROJECT Start a new project that you need
  9. 9. HOW: PARTICIPATE Participate, learn new skills, and become known within the project
  10. 10. HOW: NOT JUST DEVS OSS projects need people with a variety of skills
  11. 11. HOW: JOIN A COMPANY Join a company that does open source and transition into other jobs
  12. 12. HOW: BRING OSS IN Bring OSS into your current job
  13. 13. HOW: GET OUT THERE Write and speak about your work in open source
  14. 14. HOW: CONSULTING Companies need help with implementation & open source contribution
  15. 15. HOW: DOCUMENTATION Helping with docs is one of the most common ways to get started
  16. 16. HOW: BE NICE Be nice & work well with others to improve your chances of getting work Photo by Scott Kveton
  17. 17. HOW: NETWORK Meet people and keep in touch Photo byThe Linux Foundation
  18. 18. TIME: PRIORITIZE Everything seems urgent, but most things will wait Photo by Mathew Rogers
  19. 19. TIME: DOCUMENT Document processes and write answers to common questions Photo by Hans Gerwitz
  20. 20. TIME: OFF Take time off for hobbies or even a vacation
  21. 21. BOLDLY GO Travel to strange new worlds and meet interesting people
  22. 22. THANK YOU Contact info: Dawn Foster @geekygirldawn Photo by Reggie Suplido