Matt is Director of Developer Relations at Snyk. He has spent more than 15 years building products and services around open source software, from embedded devices to large scale distributed systems. Matt is a regular speaker on open source software at conferences across the world, including KubeCon, DockerCon, FOSDEM, Open Infra Summit and All Things Open, a past winner of the OpenStack Outstanding Community Contributor award, and in 2021 was named one of the Top 100 Influencers in Open Technologies in the UK. He is also the founder of several successful open source communities and events including Cloud Native Manchester, Kubernetes Community Days UK and Cloud Natives UK.
Matt has been involved in open source software and communities since the 1990’s and has seen open source go from an individual contributor hobbyist model through to the modern era of well funded Foundations. Throughout that time he’s worked with communities with a huge variety of governance models, and contributed broadly. For the OpenStack community he helped to draw up the Active User Contributor model, and built the EMEA user community, in the CNCF he has been active in various TAG’s and community groups worldwide, and has recently been working with the OpenSSF around supply chain security for open source.
Matt also created the Open Source Program Office at Mesosphere, an early stage OSPO.
As a founding member of the OpenUK Board Matt has contributed to building the organization and helped to draw up the supporter model and membership structure, enabling OpenUK to become one of the most recognised organizations in Open Technology today. Matt is currently the Vice Chair of OpenUK.
How the candidate will contribute to the board
Massive adoption of open source software across all sectors has thrown up many new challenges for the open source community. The principles of our movement are increasingly under threat, principally because of misunderstandings about the freedoms at the heart of the open source definition and why they exist.
In my experience the OSI is under-represented in the mainstream of adopters, with relatively little understanding of the context around the OSD. My day job is building awareness and community on a global scale, and I would bring those skills and experiences to bear in growing the OSI community, promoting awareness of the mission and goals as well as building a better understanding of the meaning of open source.
I would also support the executive function as required bringing practical organizational management, open source engineering, governance and Board experience.
Why the candidate should be elected
I am not a lawyer, I represent open source end users and the organizations who rely on it, but I also have a solid understanding of licenses and the OSD. I believe that a proper understanding of why those licenses exist in the form that they do is critical to the future of open source software.
I’ve been a user, a developer, a contributor, an advocate and an educator, and have worked for many years with end users across almost every industry. I have a deep bias towards action, and am equally comfortable at a strategic level or being involved more directly in execution. I’m both a pragmatic thinker and a doer, and focused on achievable goals and outcomes.
In my day job I work with license compliance and open source users across the world, and can bring that perspective to the board. I also have significant experience around new consumption models like cloud and SaaS, and in emerging technologies and their potential impacts
Based in Europe, I am engaged in UK leadership and global collaboration across the entire field of open technologies, and have deep links across many different ecosystems.
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Questions for the candidates received from Luis Villa:
Your time: You have 24 hours in the day and could do many different things. Why do you want to give some of those hours to OSI? What do you expect your focus to be during those hours?
Licensing process: The organization has proposed improvements to the license-review process. What do you think of them?
Broader knowledge: What should OSI do about the tens of millions of people who regularly collaborate to build software online (often calling that activity, colloquially, open source) but don’t know what OSI is or what it does?
Regulation: New industry regulation in both the EU and US suggests government will be more involved in open source in the future. What role do you think OSI should play in these discussions? How would you, as a board member, impact that?
Solo maintainers: The median number of developers on open source projects is one, and regulation and industry standards are increasing their burden. How (if at all) should OSI address that? Is there tension between that and industry needs?
OSI initiative on AI: What did you think of the recent OSI initiative on AI? If you liked it, what topics would you suggest for similar treatment in the future? If you didn’t like it, what would you improve, or do instead?
Responsible licensing: There are now multiple initiatives around “responsible” or “ethical” licensing, particularly (but not limited to) around machine learning. What should OSI’s relationship to these movements and organizations be?