CERN Computing Seminar

The real costs of Open Source Sustainability

by VM (Vicky) Brasseur (Director of Open Source Strategy, Juniper Networks)

513/1-024 (CERN)



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In 2016 Nadia Eghbal released "Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure," which shines a light on how few people maintain the software that underpins a large amount of the internet and the services that run on it.

The software world has rallied around Open Source Sustainability. Going with what they know, folks mostly focus on paying FOSS developers. Funding drives were funded. Foundations were founded. Startups started up. Venture capitalists ventured that capital.

Money isn't the only part of sustainable FOSS projects. Sustainability is a multi-faceted concept that can't work if people focus on only one of its many elements.

This talk will:

  • Review literature around the concept of sustainability
  • Propose a definition that more accurately details what "sustainable" means to FOSS
  • Provide tips for starting with your FOSS sustainability efforts

About the speaker

VM (aka Vicky) spent most of her twenty-plus years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses, and helping companies understand, use, release, and contribute to free and open source software in a way that's good for both their bottom line and for the community. Now, as the Director of Open Source Strategy for Juniper Networks, she leverages her nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and a strong business background to help Juniper be successful through free and open source software.

She is the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first and only book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects. The book is published by The Pragmatic Programmers and is now available at

Vicky has been a moderator and author for, an author for Linux Journal, the Vice President of the Open Source Initiative, and is a frequent and popular speaker at free/open source conferences and events. She's the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014), the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016), and two Moderator's Choice Awards (2018, 2019). She blogs about free/open source, business, and technical management at {anonymous => 'hash'};.

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