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The Unsung Heroes of Open Source: Getting started

The introduction to the Unsung Heroes of Open Source Series.

In every company - open source or proprietary - the executives get the credit (and blame). I've always found this frustrating, and particularly now that I wear an executive hat at Alfresco. I know from working with my own team that but for the talents of my team, I'd be a complete waste. (In fact, I am aware that the best thing I can do is hire exceptional people. If I do that well, I (that is, my team) will deliver.)

All of which made me want to solicit the executives of various open source companies for the unsung heroes among them, as I noted before. People who do excellent work, but remain mostly anonymous.

Frankly, I didn't want to simply give them 15 seconds of fame, but rather wanted to tap into their expertise. The individual contribors and front-line managers at today's open source comapnies will take their employers to IPOs and acquisitions, and they will be the ones who create the next generation of open source software companies.

I figured, given this, it would be ideal to get a sense of who these people are, and try to glean some insight from their experience.

I therefore am asking the following questions:
  1. Name, company, title, and what you actually do (as titles rarely tell the full story)
  2. Do you work remotely or in an office with co-workers?
  3. If you've had a similar role in a proprietary software company, how does your current role compare? Similarities? Differences?
  4. How familiar were you with open source before you joined your current company?
  5. Why did you join an open source vendor?
  6. How long did it take you to adjust to an open source operational mode?
  7. What do you think open source companies could learn from proprietary vendors?

Over the next two weeks, I'll be profiling these unsung heroes here at The Open Road. I invite you to submit the names of people who work for or with you, so that I can include them here.