Keynote – Jennifer Nerlich

Jennifer Nerlich

Survive with Open Source in the rich man‘s world


Open Source projects are frequently started by enthusiastic and talented people. They often do it because they love programming and want to share what they did in their spare time or because it is stated in their job description, or because it is part of a funded project that has to be Open Source, or, or, or.

Starting an Open Source project involves that the source code gets uploaded e.g. to a public repo on Github, an Open Source license is selected, and that’s it. This is easy. But what makes an Open Source project successful? How does an Open Source project attract contributors and users?

And at some point the community which is involved with the project wants to get financial compensation for working on it or with it. Some want to build up a whole business based on an Open Source project. But because Open Source has often the misleading interpretation of just being for free, in terms of ‚no costs‘ one has to find a way to sell services or products based on something people can get for free. Some business models succeed and some may fail.

In this talk I present different models for the co-existence of OS and business and discuss which ones work for us at our company and which don’t.

Bio: Jennifer Nerlich is CEO of the vogella GmbH based in Hamburg, Germany.  After finishing her studies on computer sciences at the University of Tübingen, she joined well known IT companies such as IBM and SAP. During this time she took different roles such as developer, product manager and expert consultant. In 2012 she co-founded the vogella company where she is responsible for customer engagement, financials and project management.

Access to the Keynote slides