Simon Phipps

Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems Inc.

Technometria: Open Source Without Borders
56 minutes, 25.8mb, recorded 2007-06-28
Simon Phipps

Open source continues to grow as a viable alternative for enterprises and Sun Microsystems is a leading proponent of its use.  Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer for the company, joins Phil, Scott, and Ben to discuss Sun's activities.  Simon first reviews his somewhat unusual job title, talking about how he came into the work.  He assesses how open source is growing worldwide and how important it is to nuture these new markets.

The group also review Sun's open source activities, as well as how the company sees open source as a business strategy.  The discussion helps to show how open source can be used in a financially successful way.


Simon Phipps is the Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems, co-ordinating Sun's extensive participation in free and open source software communities, promoting consistency and best practice and actively participating in the global conversation they express. Prior to this appointment he co-founded Sun's pioneering staff weblog facility at blogs.sun.com.

A computer industry insider of 20+ years standing, Simon has worked in such hands-on roles as field engineer, programmer and systems analyst as well as being involved at a strategic level in some of the world's leading computer companies. Fascinated by the idea of 'action at a distance', he worked with OSI standards in the eighties, on the first commercial collaborative conferencing software in the nineties, and helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM. He joined Sun in mid-2000.

Simon has served on the Community Advisory Boards of both the OpenSolaris the OpenSPARC projects. He holds a degree in electronic engineering and is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the British Computer Society where he is on the committee of his local branch.

Simon lives in the UK with his wife and three children but is based in Silicon Valley in the US. With membership of airline frequent flyer clubs thus taken care of, he is free to indulge in his favourite pastimes of reading, writing poetry, collecting music, taking photographs and playing with cool toys.

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