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UTOSC 2009 - Stormy Peters - Would you do it again for free?

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Published on Dec 31, 2009

Stormy's presentation on motivations, incentives, and business around open source software communities.

One of the things about the free software community that continues to baffle those non-open source people is, "why do you do it?" Free software developers work on open source software for a number of reasons from scratching an itch to gaining a reputation to building a resume to contributing to a good cause. The interesting problem comes when money enters into the equation. Research shows that when someone works on something for free (for internal rewards) if you start paying them you replace those internal rewards. Then if you stop paying them, they will stop working on it. Does that hold true for open source software? Are commercial companies killing open source by paying people to work on it?

Stormy Peters currently works as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. Stormy joined the GNOME Foundation from OpenLogic where she set up their OpenLogic Expert Community and helped Global 2000 companies develop open source software policies. Previously, Stormy worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP) where she founded and managed the Open Source Program Office that is responsible for HP's open source strategy, policy and business practices. Stormy joined HP as a software engineer in the Unix Development Lab after graduating from Rice University with a B.A. in Computer Science. Stormy is an advisor for HFOSS, OpenSource World, IntraHealth Open and Open Source America, as well as founder and president of Kids on Computers, a nonprofit organization setting up computer labs in developing countries. Stormy is a frequent keynote speaker on business aspects of Open Source Software at major conferences such as the Open Source Business Conference and the O'Reilly conferences, as well as government organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. Stormy is involved in GNOME and free source software because it is changing the world and the community is full of smart, passionate people!

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