Creating an Open Source & Transparent Culture @ Samsung

Welcome everyone, to this, the new Samsung Open Source Group (OSG) blog!

We’re glad you’re here, and we’re excited to show you what our team has been up to in the first two years of our existence, as well as what we’re working on going forward…

But first, a little background…

In 2012, Samsung leadership realized their consumption of Open Source software to help develop their products was increasing at a rapid pace.  Also, since most of the company’s developers were focused on product development, there was a lack of sufficient upstream contributions to give the company enough technical equity to influence the strategic direction of these key open source projects.

Enter Ibrahim Haddad, formerly of the Linux Foundation, who was hired in early 2013 to start the Samsung Open Source Group, and charged with hiring strong open source talent in several key technology areas (system, web, multimedia, graphics, and virtualization).  The goal of the team is to contribute to strategic open source projects on Samsung’s behalf, and also to begin influencing the internal company culture, slowly but surely, to reflect a more transparent and open source stance.

Promoting the business case for Open Source

To be clear, while our team consists of individuals who believe strongly in the value of open source, this effort is not led by ideology. There are solid business reasons why our team exists, much like comparable teams found within other large companies.  Our focus is not on things like making Samsung devices ‘rootable,’ or making Samsung products more hackable via open source software or tools. Instead, our goal is to contribute sustained and valuable code, ideas, documentation, etc. into key projects, including the Linux Kernel, Blink, Webkit, Gstreamer, Wayland, KVM, EFL, and others.  We want to help grow these communities in addition to having a say in their strategic project directions, and our hope is to be as valuable to them as we try to be to Samsung.

Our team is excited to begin posting here on topics that we’re passionate about – be it technical areas, or lessons learned in helping move Samsung forward in our open source journey.  We strongly believe in the power of collaborative development for all companies involved in software development, including Samsung.

As author Dana Blankenhorn said all the way back in 2005:

The same point is clear in software as in business and in politics. Transparency wins.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Author: Guy Martin

Guy Martin is no longer employed by Samsung. We thank him for all of his great work and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Guy Martin was a Senior Strategist with the Samsung Open Source Group, where he represented the company to the broader open source community and works with internal Samsung teams to help accelerate their use of and collaboration with open source software. Guy has more than 20 years of experience in software engineering, technical marketing, and community management consulting. He has helped develop collaborative & open source communities for groups such as the US Department of Defense, Motorola, and Sun Microsystems. He speaks regularly on open source and community topics to audiences of all levels at conferences such as LinuxCon, OSCON, Red Hat Summit, SCALE and Korea Linux Forum.

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