Meet the Community DevRoom Speakers (vol. 6)

Laura and I are continuing our interview series with the FOSDEM Community DevRoom speakers on why they submitted their particular talk, thoughts on their ideal audience members and what else they plan to see at the conference. If you missed the first five posts, they’re linked at the end of this one!

We hope to see you in the Community DevRoom in Building K, room K.4.601 from 10:30 to 19:00 on Saturday, 3 February. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. (And yes, we have a much bigger room this year!)

For this set of speaker interviews, we’re hearing from two gentleman I have been fortunate enough to have known for several years due to their participation as mentors in the Google Summer of Code program.

Ludovic Dubost on XWiki:
a case study on managing corporate and community interests


Ludovic Dubost

Ludovic is the creator of XWiki and the CEO of XWiki SAS, an LGPL-licensed open source project used by thousands of individuals and companies, including Amazon. Once upon a time, he was a software architect at Netscape, later joining NetValue as its CTO prior to its acquisition by Nielsen. After these adventures, he went on to launch XWiki in 2004.

When we asked Ludovic why he submitted this particular talk, he let us know “the call for proposal of the dev room mentioned ‘balancing community and corporate interest’ and this is a subject that I find important and interesting for the Open Source community and not enough treated. Open Source also needs companies, especially SMEs[,] and these companies need to find a complex balance between interest[s] that sometime conflict with the sharing concepts of Open Source. Our company has had to find this balance and I would like to share this experience so that more companies can contribute to Open Source and be successful in their business.”

Ludvoic’s talk will be most beneficial to “Entrepreneurs, [who] could find experience for their own projects, while developers could also learn about how Open Source software can get created in the context of a small company. ” (I am personally a huge fan of the power of FLOSS to empower small and medium business owners; if you are interested in this topic a bit more, see my remarks in the Open Source Initiative Board Member Retrospective on the organization’s 20th Anniversary.)

You can check out Ludovic’s thoughts on all matters open source on Twitter: @ldubost

Bertrand Delacretaz on Asynchronous Decision Making – why and how


Ceci n’est pas un Bertrand Delacretaz. (Et merci, nathanmac87!)

For his day job, Bertrand works as a Principal Scientist with Adobe Research. He is also an active Member of the Apache Software Foundation and currently on his ninth term on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He enjoys advocating for open development methodologies so that teams are more efficient at communicating and creating software.

When we asked Bertrand why this talk topic was important to him, he replied “I’m passionate about community topics, fascinated by how efficient our open source communities can be, compared to corporate teams which are supposed to be better organized. I’m very much looking forward to sharing my ideas and getting feedback about them.”

Bertand has spent a long time pondering what makes open source communities work so well, and he’s pretty sure that it’s Asynchronous Decision Making. “Asynchronous Decision Making is at the core of our efficiency. Being able to progress without waiting on others, and being efficient without meetings, makes a huge difference in remote
teams. I have practical examples from a Board of Directors as well as from a Federal Government, I think that’s solid stuff!”

Agreed, can’t wait to hear more about it. And for Bertrand and Riccardo to share notes!

When not in the Community DevRoom, Bertrand intends to head to Stef Walter’s talk Cyborg Teams: Training machines to be Open Source contributors.  (I saw this talk at Open Source Summit Europe and it was fantastic, and I am not just saying this because Stef is my buddy and co-worker.)

You can read more from Bertrand on Twitter: @bdelacretaz

Previous Speaker Interviews

In case you missed them, here are all of our previous FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom speaker interviews:

We have more speaker interviews coming, so stay tuned…

And, if I have time, I plan to pen a post on two must-see talks that were almost in the Community DevRoom, but you can now enjoy in the Main Track!

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