Session: Hidden Infrastructure: The Foundations of Open Source

Modern software development wouldn’t be possible but for the work of countless nonprofits, yet we the benefactors of their work largely labor in blissful ignorance of this hidden infrastructure. I did too, for 15 years.

Linux, Git, Python, Drupal, Homebrew, Eclipse, Apache Web Server, and Kubernetes–these are just a few of the ubiquitous projects that rely on nonprofits. Even open source licensing itself relies on a nonprofit!

In this talk, we’ll survey the nonprofit ecosystem that undergirds our industry. We’ll answer questions, including:

  • Who are these nonprofits?
  • What do they do?
  • Why does it matter?

We’ll explore why the future of open source, and our livelihoods, rests on the continued existence of these nonprofits. And lastly, we’ll answer the question: what is our role, as creators and consumers of open source software, in light of all this?