Words: Open source, Free, Contribute, Development

Many times I introduced employers to FLOSS and GNU/Linux. I didn’t do it with fancy words or a slick presentation but with performance/price that knocked their socks off.“Invariably, the first question that was asked was: "Who’s the vendor?" It’s a reasonable question considering that every other aspect of the university is managed by a vendor whenever a third party service is required. So, it is important to understand thier perspective and the way they are looking at making decisions. Many times, upper management’s primary concern is budgeting, and almost all issues are seen through the prism of finance.” Showing people that software works, the licences, the costs, and the flexibility will convince any thinking person that FLOSS is the right way to do IT. Everyone resists change but when the positive benefits of change are made clear, change happens.

The language of FLOSS and how you describe FLOSS to people is delivering a shocking change in mindset. Words will be resisted. Seeing the stuff in action, performing impossible feats with ease thanks to a FLOSS licence and doing all that the hardware can do without restriction is a powerful motivator. That’s why you see big images of cars being driven in ads for cars rather than just words. The words may fill in the gaps or finish the deal but performance and price should be the starting point of any conversation about migration to GNU/Linux and FLOSS applications. People resist change. They embrace doing more with less pain and suffering.

See How to approve the use of open source on the job.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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