Open Door Policy: MS Open Tech’s Gianugo Rabellino On Managing Open Source Projects At Microsoft

Tara Grumm | [email protected] | January 13, 2014

Gianugo Rabellino is the Senior Director of Open Source Communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation that is focused on advancing Microsoft’s commitment to openness across the company and throughout the industry. With more than 20 years experience in the open source community, including co-founding the first official Linux association in Italy, elevating Linux and open source to the mainstream in that region, and currently holding the vice president position at the Apache Attic Project Management Committee, Gianugo chatted with us about his perspective on openness at Microsoft, and what it’s like being an integral part of MS Open Tech.

Have any life experiences affected the way you work?

Growing up and working across Europe, I spent 20 years as an entrepreneur, a small business executive and a global industry association leader – and I spent those 20 years paying my bills with open source software.

From my experiences as an entrepreneur, what matters most the ability to execute and iterate rapidly on ideas and projects using technologies that help supporting ever-changing business goals. IT has gone way beyond the old debate of black or white. In a cloud where customers don’t have to worry about managing their hardware, operating system or database, and in a world of devices where hardware is tightly coupled with software and monetization happens at the app level, talking about open source or proprietary software as alternatives rather than complements in a complex system is simply no longer relevant. Openness has done wonders in the past few decades, and the least we can do in return is try to understand what openness and open source mean today in the new world of devices and services.