Sample videos of previous talks


Stormy Peters educates companies and communities on how open source software is changing the software industry and how they can best use, interact and participate with open source software projects and companies using open source software.

She is a passionate speaker who engages her audiences during and after her presentations. She is a frequent keynote speaker on business aspects of Open Source Software at major conferences such as the Open Source Business Conference and the O’Reilly conferences, as well as government organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union.

Stormy is involved in free and open source software because it is changing the world and the community is full of smart, passionate people!

Stormy Peters currently works as Vice President of Technical Evangelism at the Cloud Foundry Foundation. She is on the board of directors for Software Freedom Conservancy, as well as founder and board member of Kids on Computers, a nonprofit organization setting up computer labs in developing countries.

She joined Cloud Foundry from Mozilla where she was Director of Websites & Developer Engagement. Before that, she has held numerous leadership roles in open source software organizations. She served as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation; at OpenLogic she set up their OpenLogic Expert Community, and at Hewlett-Packard she founded and managed the Open Source Program Office that is responsible for HP’s open source strategy, policy and business practices. She has also acted as an advisor for HFOSS, IntraHealth Open and Open Source for America.

Stormy graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Computer Science.

Email Stormy at stormy at stormyscorner dot com for more information.

Speaking topics

  • How do things actually get done in open source?New comers to open source software projects often have the most basic of questions about how things get done, and without someone sitting at the desk next to you to  ask, it’s often hard to find answers. Come discuss the questions that come up like:
    • How do I propose a new idea? People liked it, now what?
    • How do I report a problem?
    • When should I email an individual versus the mailing list? Is it ok to email them or IM them directly? Who’s on this mailing list anyway?
    • How come everyone seem to know something I don’t? (Hint: IRC)
    • How do I figure out who’s who, with email addresses, IRC nics and real name – how do you keep them all straight?
  • Companies & Communities, partners in open source? Open source communities are set up for individuals to work together. When they invite companies, they expect individuals to show up, but companies are sending company representatives. The company representatives, while empowered to work on their own, must also represent their company and as companies are not individuals, their motivations are different. The problem is even more complicated when companies set up open source communities of their own.However, many companies have successfully met the challenge and they participate successfully in many open source communities, including ones they’ve set up and sponsored themselves. Come learn and discuss how:
    • Companies can best participate in existing communities using employees and money as well as tactics like transparency.
    • How communities can best invite and work with companies.
    • How companies can build communities that grow to be bigger than one company.
  • Increasing Ecosystem Cooperation Through Open Source
    • Creating an open environment where developers can build on any
    • The role GNOME Mobile wishes to play within open source
    • Developing for Gnome Mobile, a developer call to arms
  • GNOME Mobile: Free Software Enabling Collaboration and Competition
    • How existing desktop technologies can provide fundamental building blocks for mobile technologies
    • How organizations can collaborate and still compete
    • How the mobile industry and the open source community can work together
  • Would you do it again for free? One of the things about the open source community that continues to baffle those non-open source people is, “why do you do it?” Open source developers work on open source software for a number of reasons from scratching an itch to gaining a reputation to building a resume to contributing to a good cause. The interesting problem comes when money enters into the equation. Research shows that when someone works on something for free (for internal rewards), those internal rewards are replaced if you start paying them. Then if you stop paying them, they will stop working on it.Does that hold true for open source software?  Are commercial companies killing open source by paying people to work on it? How should commercial companies work with the open source software community?
  • Building businesses around open source software. Using open source technologies, companies and governments are cutting costs, gaining flexibility, and discovering powerful new sources of business value. However, they must also learn how to maintain solutions that include both proprietary and open source software.Learn how to assess the benefits, costs, and risks of open source versus proprietary software in your organization. Learn when to use open source software profitably in your business, how to pick a license, how to build relationships with the open source community, and how to manage open source projects in your organization, along with your proprietary software.
  • What is a community manager? The open source movement has changed the software world—impacting individuals and businesses as well as society has a whole. It’s even brought about a couple of new job descriptions — like that of community managers. Community managers have the unique ability to influence the changes that can come with open source — they cajole, facilitate, resolve issues, track goals and progress, and foster the growth of the communities of people around their open source software projects.A large number of community managers are women, especially compared to the number of women in open source software. Come learn what a community manager does, why women are attracted to the role, and how men and women might play the role differently.
  • Avoiding open source lawsuits: 5 steps to effective open source governance in the enterprise.< Enterprises need to be aware of open source legal issues, but an effective open source governance program can help mitigate risks while enabling enterprises to maximize the benefits of open source software.Attendees will learn about the five steps to effective open source governance including:
    • Creating an open source inventory
    • Implementing an open source strategy and policy
    • Managing the approval process
    • Tracking and auditing open source usage
    • Ensuring compliance with open source licenses
  • GNOME, free and open source software for the future. The GNOME project provides a free and open source desktop, accessible to all. Today this desktop is providing the foundation for the desktop of the future, whether it be a web device or a mobile device or a computing platform designed just for children. Working with its core values such as accessibility, internationalization and developer-friendly products, the GNOME community is working effectively with its contributors and users, as well as the companies and other organizations in the industry.Come learn what GNOME is planning for the future and how you can be a part of the GNOME community and help develop free and open source technologies that are building our future.
  • Making the world’s best and brightest developers happy to help you. More and more businesses are finding unique and creative ways to utilize the open source model for both internal development and management of strategic parts of their business. In recent years, open source use was limited to maintaining an internal SourceForge. But today, companies such as Google are allowing developers to work on whatever project interests them most at the moment. And on the open sourcing front, while companies such as Qualcomm are successfully following the traditional model and open sourcing software products such as the email program Eudora, other companies are using open source techniques. For example, Yahoo is opening the code to their email program with the hopes that users in the community will start developing applications to run on top of Yahoo Mail. They are hoping that Yahoo Mail can have as many different applications as Google Maps does. Others, such as Netflix, are opening up their biggest problems to the open source community. In Netflix’s case, this is the ability to automate movie recommendations to clients. Netflix is asking users for help developing an algorithm that would be key to their business. They are also rewarding handsomely for it.Come learn how to use the open source model in a way that works for your business, whether it is engaging the community in a key aspect of your business or invigorating your developers by giving them some of the same motivation that caused the open source community to develop Apache in their free time.
  • Open Source 101. What is open source, where did it come from, why is it such a big deal? This talk covers a brief history of open source software, the ideology and motivations behind it, open source licensing, open source policies and managing the risks associated with open source software.
  • Making Open Source Work For You Directed to both users and vendors of open source technology this talk covers legal and operational best practices for assessing open source software benefits.
  • How to convince your manager to use open source. This is a how-to talk that addresses how to convince your management that open source software solutions will benefit your organization. There is a lot of hype in the media about using open source technologies. According to many sources, companies and governments are cutting costs, gaining flexibility, and discovering powerful new sources of business value. However, individuals within organizations often encounter resistance to bringing open source software solutions in house.During this talk, Stormy addresses where open source software usually enters a company and how it spreads. In addition, she discusses where it makes sense to use open source software in a large organization and ways you can convince your organization to move to open source software solutions.
  • Custom Topics. All talks are customized to their audiences. Stormy speaks on a variety of topics from open source software to communities to raising guide dog puppies. Feel free to ask about the topic you are interested in!

Speaking Experience


  • Zak Greant: “One of the sessions that I caught during this day was Stormy Peters’ excellent, “What is a Community Manager?” presentation. My notes – in point form rather than prose – follow.”
  • Zonker: “Overall, Peters’ talk was a lot of fun, she’s a really engaging speaker and did a great job of getting the audience involved and getting feedback from the group — I’d strongly recommend catching one of her talks if you have the opportunity to do so at another conference and to check out her blog.”
  • OpenMedia: “Once again Stormy Peters gave an excellent talk on Open Source Governance”
  • JayGodse: “Stormy Peters has some great insights on managing software IP in an enterprise.”
  • Computing Assistance Support & Education: “She is a fantastic presenter and I really enjoyed what she had to say.”
  • Leslie Hawthorne: “All the Keynotes were great; Stormy Peters’ “Would You Do It Again for Free?” is real food for thought given some of the discussions going on around money in open source.”

Contact Information

To contact Stormy about a speaking opportunity, please email stormyscorner at gmail dot com.

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