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Deb Nicholson, Open Invention Network and Richard Fontana, Red Hat
Your workplace can exert a lot of control over how much free software you use, what you're allowed to work on in your own time and what kinds of tools you become an expert in. New employees don't always negotiate their contracts to make sure they can continue contributing to free software and current employees aren't always successful at advocating for using free software tools, choosing free software technologies or contributing changes back upstream when they do rely on free software. This talk addresses what's possible, what your legal department is likely to be concerned about and how to be a smooth negotiator at work. Many companies could benefit tremendously from using FLOSS, but free software enthusiasts and institutional gatekeepers are coming from very different perspectives. Free software developers and users tend to be most familiar with free software's benefits when compared to proprietary solutions; user freedom, reusing code, public code review for bugs, increased project capacity and cost. The uninitiated may -- unfortunately -- be most familiar with the risks, some real and some perceived. Employers also benefit from having workers who are passionate about their work, are well-connected to the free software community and are constantly learning about new technologies from their peers outside the company, but new employee contracts rarely recognize this unless you ask. Conversations about contracts, choosing new technologies and sharing an employee's work with another entity are high stakes negotiations. With a solid understanding of what worries and motivates the other parties, you can become a savvy advocate for free software at work. This talk will help you gather information, frame the conversation and make the best possible case for using and contributing to free software at work.