FOSS Backstage Micro-Summit: Program online now!

We are pleased to announce the final list of speakers and talks for FOSS Backstage Micro Summit taking place in November 2017. Please stay tuned for registration – if you want to get a notification as soon as registration opens please feel free to subscribe to our newsletter. If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, get in touch at

Program for FOSS Backstage Micro-Summit
Registration opens at 9:30


Opening Session
Isabel Drost-Fromm & Stefan Rudnitzki

10:15 – 11:00

Open Source and Trusting the Water
Sharan Foga

Remember when you were learning to swim and it was hard to imagine that the water would ever support you? Even though you saw others swimming and the swimming teachers told you what to do? It seemed like an endless battle and for a while you just couldn't swim. No matter how hard you tried it just didn't work! Why? Because learning to swim involves having to let go of a part of yourself and your fears, and to have confidence that the water will support you. Being in open source is a bit like that. People have ideas and opinions about how it should be, talk about how it all works but to really be part of it you need to let go and “trust the water”. In this presentation Sharan talks about what it means to dive into open source, swim around and have confidence in your source community to help and support you.

Sharan Foga is an independent consultant who has over 20 years experience in the IT industry working on the delivery and implementation of ERP and business systems. She has been involved with the ASF since 2008 and is involved with Apache OFBiz and also Apache Community development. She enjoys working on open source community management and presented at conferences in Europe and the US.

11:10 – 12:00

Open Source Licensing for Rocket Scientists
Andreas Schreiber (DLR)

In science and engineering, more and more software is published as Open Source software or uses other Open Source projects. Due to the different licenses with their requirements and restrictions as well as the resultant license compatibility issues, scientists and engineers must be aware of these issues. Ideally, they have some basic understanding about Open Source licensing. Unfortunately, in practice this understanding is not present, especially if more than one Open Source license is involved. In this talk, we describe our strategy at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to awake the awareness among our domain scientists for licensing issues and to enable and support them in using and publishing Open Source software without facing licensing problems. Our strategy is based on providing hands-on material and training courses first, instead of starting issuing "official" but impractical process guides. Our current focus is on knowledge sharing between peer scientists using online tools as well as face-to-face workshops. Thereby collected findings and feedback from DLR scientist have proven to be helpful to improve existing documentation and to identify further steps.

Andreas Schreiber is head of the Department for Intelligent and Distributed Systems and at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), located in Berlin, Braunschweig and Cologne. His research fields include reproducible and open data science, distributed computing, provenance, machine learning, information visualization, and software analytics. His mission is to combine these fields to creative cutting-edge software systems to solve challenging tasks in aeronautics and space research. He is also an Open Source and Open Science advocate at DLR.

11:10 – 11:35

Building distributed systems in distributed teams
Philipp Krenn (Elastic)

At Elastic — the company behind the open source tools Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash — everything is distributed; both the company and all our products. Building distributed systems is notoriously hard ... building a distributed team even more so. This talk dives into the details how Elastic is thriving on its distributed model:

  • How Elastic started to be distributed by design.
  • Why we prefer the term distributed over remote.
  • What are our shared core values and which aspects are on an individual basis.
  • How the day of an Elastician looks like with totally different examples.
  • What our tooling looks like.
  • What we have learned as we have progressed and grown.   

Philipp Krenn is part of the infrastructure team and a developer advocate at Elastic. He is frequently talking about full-text search, databases, operations, and security. Additionally, he is organizing multiple meetups in Vienna.

11:35 – 11:55

The hateful 20
Lars Francke (Open Core)

I’ll spent a good chunk of these 20 minutes listing a bunch of pet peeves (like the value of documentation contributions or how hard it is to even get started contributing) I have acquired while participating as an outsider in various FOSS projects (mostly ASF). It might involve some ranting - to be precise there will almost certainly be ranting. And I’m afraid there'll be very little in the way of offering solutions. That’s why I’d love to start a discussion in the hope that others have more ideas than I do.   

Lars Francke has been working with Hadoop and the other tools from the ecosystem since 2008. He's become a Hive committer and was recently invited to be a Apache Foundation member.

12:00 – 13:50

Lunch break

14:00 – 14:20

How mentoring projects can help newcomers get started with Open Source
Luciano Resende (IBM)

As adoption of Open Source code and development practices continues to gain momentum, more newcomers have become interested in getting involved and contributing to Open Source. However,  it's usually not easy for newcomers to start contributing to open source projects.  This session will discuss how mentoring programs can ease the way for newcomers to get started with open source, and will discuss existing mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code and our in-house Apache Mentoring Programme.   

Luciano Resende is an Architect at IBM Spark Technology Center. He has been contributing to open source at The ASF for over 10 years, he is a member of ASF and is currently contributing to various big data related Apache projects including Apache Spark, Apache Zeppelin, Apache Bahir, Apache Toree and Apache SystemML. Luciano is the project chair for Apache Bahir, and also spend time mentoring newly created Apache Incubator projects. Recently, Luciano has started contributing to Jupyter Ecosystem projects around Enterprise Notebook Platform. At IBM, he contributed to several IBM big data offerings, including BigInsights, IOP and its respective Bluemix Cloud services.

14:30 – 14:50

Open Source: Access or Contribution?
Michael Hausenblas (Red Hat)

Just because something is open source doesn't mean there exists a way to contribute to that very source. We'll review open source and open governance models and discuss pros and cons in the context of commercial settings.   

Michael Hausenblas is a Developer Advocate for Go, Kubernetes, and OpenShift at Red Hat where he helps appops to build and operate distributed services. His background is in large-scale data processing and container orchestration and he's experienced in advocacy and standardization at W3C and IETF. Before Red Hat, Michael worked at Mesosphere, MapR and in two research institutions in Ireland and Austria. He contributes to open source software (mainly using Go), blogs and hangs out on Twitter too much.

Training our team in the ApacheWay
Owen O'Malley (Hortonworks)

Hortonworks contributes to a number of Apache projects. When we started we depended on our many experienced Apache community members to train their fellow Hortonworkers in the Apache Way.  However, as we grew we found that training "by osmosis" was no longer sufficient. So we have instituted training for our teams in what Apache is, how it works, their responsibilities as part of Apache and how that meshes with their responsibilities as Hortonworkers, as well as a practical list of best practices and what to avoid. This talk will share some thoughts on the need for this training, give an overview of the content, talk about the results we have seen, and discuss how we are now working to role this out beyond engineering into the rest of the company.

Owen O'Malley has been contributing patches to Hadoop since before it became an independent Apache project. He was the first committer added and still remains one of the most active contributors to Apache Hadoop. He was also the founding chair of the Apache Hadoop Project Management Committee. Prior to co-founding Hortonworks, Owen worked on Yahoo! Search’s WebMap project, which built a graph of the known web and applied many heuristics to the entire graph. Once ported to Apache Hadoop, it became the single largest known Hadoop application. He has a PhD in Software Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

15:00 – 15:45

Ant's Community - Looking Back and Current State
Stefan Bodewig (innoQ)

Apache Ant has been created almost twenty years ago. It's been a large success in its early years and the community grew with it. Today Ant no longer makes headlines - unlike its grandchildren - but is still happily serving its friends, even if the party is smaller now. In this talk Stefan looks back at events inside Ant's community, how they affected the community in the long term, and what other communities may learn from this. He'll also talk about the specific challenges of an aging project.

Stefan Bodewig works as a Senior Consultant at innoQ. Stefan became involved with the Apache Software Foundation in 2000 when he started to send patches for Apache Ant. He was the first release manager of Ant and still regularly contributes to it. He is a member of the ASF, the PMC chairman of Apache Gump and can also be found in the Commons, log4net and Lucene.NET projects. During the incubation of Ivy and Lucene.NET Stefan acted as one of the projects' mentors.

16:00 – 16:50

Beware of geeks bearing gifts
Krzysztof (Chris)

Open source software is one of the most important inventions of modern world. Sometimes, we create open source software because we believe it makes better world, and that everyone should be able to inspect the code and improve it, a.k.a. contribute back. While this is a very noble goal, business does not care about 'nobility'. What business cares about, is money. Therefore, open source software is usually created because of more down-to-earth reasons, such as (the list is not complete) cutting costs, desperation or... intention to destroy competition. The latter is particularly interesting, only a few companies in the world has learned how to exploit this mechanism properly. I will reveal how open source can be weaponised, and what does it mean for governance and financing.   

Chris has spent the last 12 years in a variety of business roles including compliance, software engineering, quality assurance and software development and thus has broad experience ranging from IT through legal issues to business strategy.  Almost all of that work was related to open-source software. He is a passionate problem solver whilst always keeping a firm eye on the big picture. Chris has a Masters in Computer Science from Poznan University of Technology.

17:00 – 17:50

Asynchronous Decision Making – why and how?
Bertrand Delacretaz (Adobe)

The Asynchronous Decision Making techniques commonly used in open source projects enable efficient remote collaboration, in teams which have no boss, no schedule and often no cultural consistency yet produce world-changing software. These very efficient collaboration techniques can even work without computers and apply to most types of projects, not just software development. This talk describes the key elements and tools of the Asynchronous Decision Making process, based on concrete examples from the Apache Software Foundation and from federated governments, which, interestingly, work in a similar way.

Bertrand Delacretaz works as a Principal Scientist with the Adobe Research team in Basel, Switzerland. He spends a good portion of his time advocating and implementing Open Development as a way to make geographically dispersed teams more efficient and more fun for his coworkers. Bertrand is also an active Member of the Apache Software Foundation, currently (2017-2018) on his ninth term on the Foundation's Board of Directors.

17:50 – 18:00

Closing Session


As previously announced during berlinbuzzwords, we are working on a new conference scheduled for next summer in Berlin – “FOSS Backstage”! The summit comprises of everything related to FOSS governance and open collaboration, including thoughts on how to build and manage communities within the open source space.

We are hosting a Micro-Summit this fall to get prepared for the conference, especially in terms of the content.
Date: November, 20th, 2017
Location: Europace AG, Klosterstr. 71, 10179 Berlin