This week sees the start of two new members of OSS Watch; Scott Wilson has joined us as our new Service Manager, and Mark Johnson joins us as Development Manager.
Scott Wilson joins OSS Watch from JISC CETIS, where he’s been involved in areas such as developing standards for Web Applications (aka Widgets) at W3C, working on the XCRI course data specification for advertising courses, and many more. Scott is a committer at the Apache Software Foundation and is a regular contributor to several open source software projects.
Scott should also be familiar to anyone who has attended our Open Source Junction events and TransferSummit, where he’s been a regular presenter.
OSS Watch provides a great service for UK Higher and Further Education and I want that to continue. Having a pragmatic, non-advocacy advisory service is very important for the sectors, and I’d like to thank Sander, and Ross before him, for setting a clear direction for the service.
I think there are some new challenges and opportunities for us ahead. We’ve made great progress in the past few years in supporting innovation projects wanting to adopt open development approaches but there is still much more we can do in that area, particularly as funding agencies place a greater emphasis on sustainability and community engagement.
I’ve had a lot of experience with open development in the past few years, becoming a committer on ASF projects, and working on projects both large and small taking an open development approach, and I think there are many practical ways we can help projects become more sustainable.
There is also strong interest in open source in the further education sector and we need to ensure we’re serving colleges effectively.
Mark Johnson joins OSS Watch from the Moodle community, having spent the past 3 years as the Moodle Developer at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton. His name will also be familiar to listeners of the Ubuntu UK Podcast which he co-presents and attendees of OggCamp, the Free Culture Unconference which he has helped organise for the past 2 years.
I see my appointment at OSS Watch as a fantastic opportunity to take the experience I’ve gained from working in the Open Source community and use it to advise others who are looking to work in the field.
My involvement in the Moodle community has given me experience of both contributing to a large open source project as a committer to the core Moodle code, and of releasing a project under an open source license with third party plug-ins I’ve written.
I hope that my further education background can help direct OSS Watch’s activities in this area to best serve the sector, and look forward to the opportunity to deepen my understanding of development in the higher education sector.