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How to Sponsor an Open Source Sprint

Jun 11, 2009, 03:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Esther Schindler)

"For many IT managers, the most compelling reason for the company to sponsor a sprint is financial, because you just might be able to cover the costs out of petty cash.

"That's because a sprint's basic logistics are fairly simple. For example, the sprint organized by Brightcove's Whatcott was held at the online video platform company's offices in Cambridge, MA. Brightcove, which wanted to help the Drupal community improve its video support in the content management system, gave the open source developers a conference room, provided a projector and Internet access - and then mostly got out of the way. Brightcove gave the team coffee, drinks, and lunch, but left them on their own for dinner.

"As another example, ONE/Northwest, a Seattle nonprofit that provides technology and communications strategy assistance to environmental advocacy organizations, organized a two-day sprint to focus on adding specific functionality to an add-on module for the Plone content management system. The half-dozen or so developers were local, with one exception. "We covered travel expenses to bring lead PloneFormGen developer Steve McMahon to Seattle from his home in Davis, CA," says Jon Stahl, director of web solutions at ONE/Northwest. "Our total 'hard' cost was on the order of $300." ONE/Northwest provided the office space and beer."

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