STEW keynote: Nithya A. Ruff, Head, Comcast’s Open Source Practice

Today we are proud to announce Nithya A. Ruff as keynote speaker for the open source day at this year's Software Technology Exchange Workshop, STEW. She will do a presentation with the title "The art and science of open source in the enterprise".

Nithya A. Ruff is the Head of Comcast’s Open Source Practice. Comcast is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the US’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.

At Comcast Nithya is responsible for growing Open Source culture and engagement with external communities. Prior to this, she started and grew the Western Digital’s Open Source Strategy Office. Nithya first glimpsed the power of open source while at SGI in the 90s and has been building bridges between companies and the open source community ever since. She’s also held leadership positions at Wind River (an Intel Company), Synopsys, Avaya, Tripwire and Eastman Kodak. At Wind River, Nithya led a team of product managers in managing a world class embedded Linux distribution and was a key member of the Yocto Project advocacy team on the board. Nithya is a Director at Large on the Linux Foundation Board and represents community interests on the board.

Her presentation has as its starting point when Open Source was called Free Software and had its roots in ideology and far from corporate structures. Over the last 20 years, the term open source was created and open source software (OSS) has become a platform for innovation for companies. Almost all proprietary products today have some amount of OSS and increasingly companies are collaborating with each other on non-differentiating software. The use of OSS also introduces a very different way of development and a culture change inside companies who now need to balance open source collaboration with corporate value creation and structures.

“I am looking forward to coming to Sweden to give a keynote speech at Swedsoft’s conference. It is a subject I am deeply involved in and in my presentation, I will explore some of these changes that companies have to embrace and how they balance value creation with collaboration and community engagement” says Nithya A. Ruff.

Nithya has been a passionate advocate and a speaker for opening doors to new people in Open Source for many years. She has also been a promoter of valuing diverse ways of contributing to open source such as in marketing, legal and community. You can often find her on social media (e.g. @nithyaruff) promoting dialogue on diversity and open source. Nithya has spoken at multiple large conferences on the business and community of open source. In recognition of her work in open source both on the business and community side, Nithya was named to CIO magazine’s most influential women in open source list. Nithya was recently one of 4 people to win the 2017 O’Reilly Open Source Award for exceptional contribution to open source.

“We are very grateful Nithya said yes to coming to Sweden to give this presentation at STEW. I look forward to hear her share her own experience about how companies better can work with the OSS community” says Gabriel Modéus, secretary general, Swedsoft.

About Software Technology Exchange Workshop, STEW

STEW is a two-day conference arranged this year Oct 17-18th 2018 at Malmö University. The purpose of STEW is to encourage and promote cooperation between different industry sectors, between academia/institutes and companies, and with the public sector. At STEW we want to make research and project results visible and stimulate new cooperation in the area of software technology. Read more and register while early bird is still available at Swedsoft.se/event/stew-2018.


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