A page has been turned in the history of OSS Watch. After four years of strong guidance and excellent leadership, Ross Gardler has left OSS Watch to create a spin-out named OpenDirective with another great OSS Watch alumnus, Steve Lee. Ross has handed an OSS Watch over to me that is in very good health. With clear vision Ross has transformed OSS Watch into a service that is well-equipped to serve the current UK academic sector. I look forward to working with our excellent team to continue our services following on from the successful direction Ross has taken us.
In October 2009 I joined OSS Watch as a Development Officer. My background consisted mainly of an MSc in Computer Science and 5+ years of experience as a software developer in the commercial sector in the Netherlands. That turned out to be quite different from working in the academic sector in the UK, but the Oxford University Computing Services proved to be a valuable employer and provided a stimulating work environment. The OSS Watch team was very welcoming and I learned very much from working with them. Looking back at what we have been able to achieve makes me positive about OSS Watch’s future and enables me to take on the role of manager with confidence. I would like to thank Ross for his hard work and vision, for all the effort he has put into OSS Watch and the leadership he has shown.
OSS Watch has provided advisory services to the UK Higher and Further Education Sector for 8 years now and we will continue to do so. Our services will remain free at the point of use for the sector and we will remain unbiased and non-advocacy. In the coming year, we will continue the project support work that we have been doing increasingly over the last few years. We will be there for projects that need advice on open source software development and work more actively with projects that strive to achieve sustainability through open development. We will continue to work on our content to help provide guidance that is suited to the sector’s needs. Furthermore, we will continue with assisting institutions and knowledge transfer offices to help them leverage open source as a tool for exploiting IPR. And last but not least, we will help institutions with policy and guidance on using, procuring and engaging with open source software.
These are exciting times for OSS Watch. While continuing our services to the sector, working together with OpenDirective provides new opportunities for the projects we work with and for the sector at large. I look forward to working with you all!