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Upstream speaker spotlight: Nithya Ruff, head of the open source program office at Amazon

Amy Hays
by Amy Hays
on May 31, 2023

Don't miss the latest from Tidelift

Upstream is next week—June 7!—and wow, our schedule is shaping up brilliantly. Over the next few weeks we’ll share more details about the amazing speaker lineup. RSVP now!

We kicked off these speaker highlights with Julia Ferraioli of Open Source Stories, who closes the day with her talk, How we treat others is a supply chain issue.

Next up: Nithya Ruff! We are delighted to have Nithya Ruff, head of the open source program office at Amazon, as our opening external speaker at Upstream on June 7, 2023. Nithya will share her perspective on the accidental relationship between open source maintainers and consumers.

Most independent open source developers never intended to be a supplier to a Fortune 50 critical infrastructure project. Imagine a home cook suddenly having to serve their food intended for daily consumption, in a 2-star Michelin Restaurant. It was just not built or ready for that level of expectation and scrutiny. 

In reality, that is what is happening with the success of open source in the world. Small one or two person projects suddenly come into the spotlight and discover that the world is now depending on them. To be fair, the Michelin restaurant did not know that their component came from a small home cook or a small farmer. It was brought in accidentally by their chefs or purveyors. It was all an accidental relationship that they now need to live with. 

How do we live in this world of unintended relationships between supplier and consumer, and who is responsible for making it work for both?

RSVP now

More about Nithya: Prior to Amazon, she started and grew Comcast and Western Digital’s Open Source Program Offices. Nithya first glimpsed the power of open source while at SGI in the ‘90s and has been building bridges between companies and the open source community ever since. She’s also held leadership positions at Wind, Synopsys, Avaya, Tripwire and Eastman Kodak.

She is a passionate advocate and a speaker for opening doors to new and diverse people in technology and can often be seen speaking and writing on this topic. In fact, Nithya joined us for a panel discussion on best practices for inclusive development back in October 2022.

We can’t think of a better person to help us kick off the discussion on the accidental supply chain at Upstream on June 7, 2023. RSVP so you don’t miss it!

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