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Open Source Software

What To Know, Do, and Risk-Manage Now, For Savvy Engineers and Software Developers/Managers, Henry W. (Hank) Jones, III

Is "open" or "free" software (a) beneficial, (b) risky, (c) accelerating, (d) cost-cutting, (e) poorly-managed, (f) career-enhancing, (g) company-challenging, (h) necessary to be a modern, educated engineer in the info. tech. area -- or (i) all the above? This session will both (1) analyze the new challenges and (2) suggest emerging best practices, associated with community-developed, semi-proprietary, conditionally-licensed code, components, tools, and products.

Topics will include:
- news versus fact: common OSS myths
- new external rules: what?s changed recently and changing now in the requirements and assumptions of customers, employers, suppliers, and investors
- why bother?: how to assess if your company (and career) should include OSS experimentation
- what's new?: certain, possible, and recently-emerging impacts of OSS on new product and service design, development, documentation, testing, and support
- why worry?: new "gotchas" in licensing and intellectual property impacting your projects, financing, and products (other than the well-publicized, overblown SCO v. IBM, Novell v SCO, SCO v Daimler-Benz, and SCO v. AutoZone litigation)
- how to interface with (clueless or semi-cluefull) non-engineers: why and how to educate and advocate regarding new OSS issues and updated decision-making processes with new likely colleagues and constituents in finance, H.R., legal, senior management, and other non-engineering roles
- new internal rules: what to expect and initiate in future corporate OSS processes and policies
- new revenue filters: impacts and actions regarding your suppliers' and customers' OSS activities

Please contact Henry W. (Hank) Jones, III at memphishank@aol.com or 512-695-4673 to get the slides presented

About the Speaker

Henry W. (Hank) Jones, III

The speaker is a nationally known, Austin-based OSS consultant and lawyer with 24 years of software industry managerial experience. Mr. Jones initiated and co-chaired SDForum.org's full-day 12/11/03 "OSS Summit" and has led, developed and delivered OSS-specific programs for the University of Texas at Austin's Software Quality Institute, Austin Software Council, PMI-Austin, SXSW/Interactive, and national lawyer seminars. He is the founder of full-day software licensing workshops delivered in San Francisco for the University of California at Berkeley's Engineering School Extension. His OSS articles have appeared in Linux Journal, Software Business, Darwin, Upgrade, and other periodicals. He has worked in blended legal/business roles on the senior management teams of three fast-growth, publicly traded information technology corporations, and as head counsel of two, including as Vice President, I.P. Development at U.S. Robotics. Mr. Jones maintains both law and technology business consulting practices, and can be contacted at memphishank@aol.com.

Mr. Jones' recent open source publications include:

- A recent article re. recommended action items for software company management team re. open source software challenges was published in the 4-5/04 issue of Upgrade (magazine of The Software and Information Industry Ass?n.) (table of contents at http://www.siia.net/store/default.asp; full text available on request or on Web to SIIA members) (Open Up to New Management Action)

- Open Source impacts on technology companies M&A deals and hence on their management now; www.softwarebusinessonline.com/newsletter2_march04.htm#feature2

- OPEN SOURCE: Is Code Cleanliness a Prerequisite to Corporate Marriage??: is available on www.DarwinMag.com at http://www.darwinmag.com/read/110103/openmerger.html?action=print (free & w/out registration):

- A recent article re. impacts of Open Source Software on tech. vendor sales execs. and teams, posted 10/24/03; it's here (free & without registration):

- "Are You "OSS-SOL" or "OSS-OK"?: The New "Battle-Preparedness" Requirement: Open Source Challenges For Software Sales Teams" is available at: http://www.sterlinghoffman.com/cgi-bin/index.pl?p=newsletter/articles/article78.html

- 4/28/03: Open Source Software: Risks & Rewards; http://www.isacaaustin.org/0403events.html

- 4/29/03: Learn Free Or Die: What We All Need To Learn And Do About Open Source Licensing To Protect Our Companies, Customers, and Careers?; http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/q203/project-ose.htm

- 5/21/03: Open Source Challenges and Best Practices for Software Users and M.I.S. Managers, full-day workshop by Univ. of Texas at Austin?s Software Quality Institute (2d half)