Collabora: consulting and sponsoring FOSS

Collabora, according to their website, is a real-world open source consulting firm. They have sponsored the following projects and have also made significant code contributions to them:

  • GStreamer, the free/open source multimedia kit
  • PiTiVi, a video editor for GNU/Linux
  • WebKit, the web browser engine used by Google Chrome and Apple Safari

You can see the full list here.

They hire employees who are dedicated to working on free/open source software that they use and consult on.

Collabora is very involved in the free/open source software community and their developers regularly make appearances at conferences of interest to the community. Their blog is full of posts mentioning these events and their work on the above mentioned projects.

They know full well that their reputation as a software engineering consultancy is dependent on how confident clients that their work is high quality, that their work is reliable and that they can be counted on to deliver to deadlines. Collabora can point to a long list of contributions, actual code contributions to say, “yes we can deliver”.

Ways Your Company can Emulate Collabora

Other companies can emulate Collabora’s great example by doing the following:

  • Encouraging developers to blog about their experiences
  • Outlining a lightweight process for releasing code under a free/open source
  • Dedicating time to allow developers to learn the process for submitting improvements to a project that the company relies on

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