Failing to Succeed

Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz, Vice President, Chief Information Architect, and Head of Risk Management Technology, Asurion

Track: Business
Date: Thursday, July 27
Time: 2:35pm - 3:20pm
Location: D135

A fundamental difference in the open / proprietary model revolves around the reporting of problems. The proprietary world enables bug reporting: sometimes they get fixed. Sometimes they don't. When they do get fixed, I have no way of finding out -- other than run the old code (because the new code has a workaround) on every OS update until it suddenly starts working. The cultural problem here is "admitting you have a problem."

This notion extends to such things as companies not allowing (as part of their software license) competitive benchmarks to be published. This type of "bug denial" results -- on the vendor side -- with a deafness to customer problems — is bad for business.

On the customer side — this dearth of bug information increases (dramatically) the cost of making the purchase decision. The less one knows about a product and its quality upfront, the more time and resources must be poured into trying to fill the information gap.

This session will explore open source’s “bug” superiority – not in that it has fewer, but that it admits them more freely. Companies that want to succeed in open source need to effectively deal with bugs: their reporting, their resolution, and their evolution into product features.