Like for every other tech business on the planet, Open Source is crucial for Staffbase. We’re building our product on top of fantastique technology that people from the different communities create and make publicly available. Without that, our lives would not only be way more complicated, but also way more boring.
But of course it feels awkward to only consume things out of this community, we always wanted to give something back. And this is usually the part where things get interesting. I don’t want to bore you with all the considerations you come across when thinking about contributing to Open Source in a corporate environment, so let’s just assume there are plenty. So we decided to focus on three areas:
- Constantly freeing our own components, wherever possible from an Intellectual Property and maturity point of view.
- Contributing to existing projects by filing and fixing issues. Using our internal hackathons to actively contribute. Invite people to use their Staffbase “Volunteers Day” to contribute to Open Source.
- Actively sponsoring Open Source initiatives maintained by our own colleagues.
With this article I want to highlight a sponsorship for the Open Source project KOBS. This is “the extensible observability platform for Kubernetes, which brings your metrics, logs, traces and Kubernetes resources into one place”. The project is created and maintained by our very own Rico Berger.
Being the full-time nerd Rico is, he was working at night and on weekends on this project (and other amazing stuff like KubeNav). Since we’re using KOBS at Staffbase, and with our approach above in mind, it felt natural to discuss how a sponsorship for KOBS could look like. We agreed that Rico can dedicate up to 20% of his working time to maintain the project. This is now our pilot for sponsoring other projects as well.
We still have many ideas on where we can increase our activities to make an impact, so experimenting and learning from those formats is just the beginning of our journey with becoming a more active Open Source contributor. Therefore I’m curious: What is your approach within your company? What worked best for you, and where did you fail? Just approach me on LinkedIn, I’m more than happy to chat.