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From Fun to Business - How Open Source can Change Your Life



coala is an Open Source project with well over 400 contributors and more than 50 Google Summer of Code applications this year. What’s behind it? How did it all start? What is the secret sauce to its growth and how do we make a living of it? This talk tells our story with the key takeaways and provides a top level story driven insight on those and more topics. This talk is perfect for people who want to live and work for their own ideas rather than being a gear in a machine.


coala began as a fun project. We never believed there would be anything useful growing out of it - and yet it did. Contributors all over the world came to us and helped creating the community as it is. Eventually I became a freelancer and got funding for working on a startup based on coala.

How did all of this happen? What does this mean for the main contributors? How can we make a living of an open source project?

This talk tells our story. What we did - good and bad things - so we all can learn from it. From my personal open source contributions over founding an open source project to building a freelance agency and founding a startup.

Participants will learn how they can grow an open project, automate newcomer processes and gain insights into how they can start making a living of it, possibly founding a company eventually. There is no single recipe for this but we can - and should - exchange the tips and tricks we’ve gained with our ventures. This talk is for entrepreneurs, wanna-be-freelancers and future or open source project founders and contributors.


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