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A Marketing Guy’s Perspective on Open Source

Power Systems Worldwide Content and Community Manager Brandon Pederson guest authors this Open Your i blog.

"Open Your i" in white against a purple banner, white chat bubble in righthand corner, with multicolored patterned lines against a black background below.

For a change of pace, I thought it would be interesting to explore some observations from someone who works in the marketing side of IBM i. For this, I reached out to Brandon Pederson, today’s guest author. Brandon works hard to promote IBM i on a daily basis (you can catch him in a supporting role in the IBM i 30th Birthday Video), and he’s a great guy to work with. I thank him for sharing his point of view!
As the worldwide content and community Manger for IBM Power Systems, I’m responsible for the IBM Champions for Power Systems and Fresh Faces programs, as well as our relationship with the community and user groups all around the world. I sit within the marketing organization for IBM Systems. I love my job and am lucky to be able to interact and work with so many great people across the IBM i community. Your usual author, my colleague Jesse Gorzinski, asked me today to give a perspective on how we view open source from a marketing perspective, and I can tell you we get just as excited about it as you probably do. 
To me, first and foremost, open source is about community. User groups, meetups and conferences wouldn’t be the thriving events they are today without open source and the ability for everyone to participate and get involved with a project. Open source has made the IBM i community even stronger and more passionate (if that was even possible), and has helped welcome young developers onto the platform who have an “open first” mindset.    
Second, open source is about inclusion. Anyone can participate in the development of a solution or platform, no matter who you are. All you need is interest and passion for a project and a laptop. Tools like GitHub, Bitbucket and more have helped accelerate the usage of open source within communities and enterprises alike.      
Finally, open source to me is about innovation and moving the platform forward. Look at how far the Docker and Node.js communities have come in such a short period of time. This wouldn’t have been possible if they didn’t embrace open source right from the very start. For IBM i, that means bringing new developers into the community and getting them interested in building new solutions on the platform. Check out our latest Fresh Faces of IBM i class and the work they’re doing with open source, modernization and even machine learning. The work Jesse and his team (along with the community) have been doing has helped move the platform forward by porting Node.js, Ruby, PHP and more onto IBM i, which has helped create further interest and involvement from those “open first” developers.  
I am fortunate to be able to attend POWERUp18, the Common Europe Congress and the IBM Systems Technical Universities every year, and I see up close the excitement and innovation happening around open source and IBM i. The IBM Champions for Power Systems are leading the open source charge on IBM i, whether Liam Allan and Yum, Aaron Bartell and Node.js, Alan Seiden and PHP and more. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for open source and IBM i. To learn more about open source and IBM i, read some of the customer stories on the IBM i 30th anniversary microsite, and visit the IBM i homepage. 
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