Kim Polese


O'Reilly Media's OSCON 2005
21 minutes, 9.7mb, recorded 2005-08-03
Kim Polese
The companies that use open source products typically dedicate some resources to maintaining, testing and building software stacks for internal use. This is the typical do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality. Companies are slowly moving from DIY to do-it-together (DIT), in which the community helps maintain some of the stack. Some companies such as SpikeSource are seeing a business opportunity in this proposition.

Software is becoming more customisable and commoditised. You have different building blocks to put together software stacks. This, however, leads to other problems such as patch management and testing compatible versions of various components of the stack. Testing, certifying and supporting open source software stacks is going to be the opportunity of the future. Testing on a massive scale and automating testing is the biggest challenge open source software is going to face in the near future. The only way it can be solved is with the participation of the community.

The economics of the long tail is going to provide opportunities for companies which can help in automating testing and certifying software for use in small and medium size companies which do not have large IT budgets.

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Kim Polese is CEO of SpikeSource, a Kleiner-Perkins-backed startup. Polese served as president and chief executive officer of Marimba until July 2000. Prior to co-founding Marimba, Polese spent more than seven years at Sun Microsystems and was the original product manager for Java. During her tenure at Sun, she played a pivotal role in the strategic definition, direction, and launch of Java. Prior to joining Sun, Polese worked for IntelliCorp Inc., consulting with companies in the development of expert system application frameworks. She holds a Bachelors degree in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley (1984) and studied Computer Science at the University of Washington, Seattle.


This program is from the O'Reilly Open Source Convention held in Portland, Oregon August 1-5, 2005.

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