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Good things about Google: Part 2

  • 20th Dec, 2006 at 11:44 PM

Leslie Hawthorn
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

One of the interesting things about Google is how it supports the free software world. Like many companies built on web services, it keeps much of its software proprietary. Yet they do have a lot of their systems running free software and the way they redress that balance is fairly different.

Chris DiBona has a small group that heads their Open Source Program. They do normal things like help with pieces of Google's own open source projects. They also do strange things, like sponsor students to hack on software through their Summer of Code program. But their most bizarre project is that they sponsor free and open source conferences.

Leslie Hawthorn's in charge of that. Amongst the other work she does as an Open Source Project Co-ordinator, she organizes conferences on Google's many campuses. She told me that they used to give people money for travel expenses, but that did not work out very well. Instead, they offer to host them and provide food and space and Internet access. Which is pretty neat!

Now Leslie showed up on a Sunday morning to take care of us. But then I realized that she was more than just dedicated, she was utterly insane. In a good way, of course. She spent all her day with us and then showed us around town in the evenings. Not only that, she invited us back to her house and threw parties.


Insanely great.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
21st Dec, 2006 05:57 (UTC)
Small world! Chris was the President (?) of the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group when I was its Speaker coordinator in... 2000? Something like that.

I'd be very happy to run into him again.
21st Dec, 2006 06:24 (UTC)
Stranger things have been known to happen. I mean, you live in the same state, so how difficult could it be?
21st Dec, 2006 06:30 (UTC)
True. But I'm so out of his field these days, and he's so in it... we don't have that much serendipitous opportunity to run into each other. We'll have to make it. :)
21st Dec, 2006 06:30 (UTC)
Go for it!
21st Dec, 2006 17:47 (UTC)
Chris DiBona also is the host of TWiT's FLOSS Weekly, where he is often making note of the fact tht he works for Google and how great it is that he has the time for doing things like the podcast.
21st Dec, 2006 18:38 (UTC)
Working for Google is a pretty desirable thing, I'll tell you.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )