The Coming Open Source Sustainability Crisis

Thursday May 18th, 2023 @ 5:30 PM
Aaron Stannard
SmartDraw Software


The .NET ecosystem has radically transformed over the past 10 years; in the distant past Microsoft actively discouraged and dismissed the possibility and viability of OSS categorically. Now, everything is open source and Microsoft is one of the single biggest contributors of open source globally. That same trend is strongly reflected in the .NET community - large companies include banks, insurers, airlines, manufacturers, and health care giants all feel increasingly comfortable using OSS products in the core of applications that generate billions of dollars a year in capital. OSS has helped companies achieve higher and higher levels of productivity by leveraging the collective experience and contributions of tens of thousands of other users, largely for zero cost.

And therein lies the problem - the OSS ecosystem has a crisis brewing behind the scenes: sustainability.

Despite OSS being “free” for its users, the producers of this software usually see little to none economic returns from their work and eventually they burn out, which leads to abandoned projects, increasing technical debt, and risk + uncertainty for its adopters. Even large organizations like Microsoft frequently abandon OSS projects and those users are left holding the bag. In this talk we’re going to cover the scope of the sustainability crisis, how it may affect you, and how to help prevent it both as an OSS user or as a contributor.

Food / Drinks

Food and drinks will be provided! Please contact us (on meetup) if you have any dietary restrictions/food allergies.

Directions and Parking Instructions

Meeting will be held in the offices of SmartDraw Software, 1780 Hughes Landing Blvd #1100 on the 11th floor.

Enter through the main doors of the building and take the elevator to the 11th floor; the door to SmartDraw’s suite is in the elevator lobby on the 11th floor.

If you arrive at 1780 Hughes Landing after 6pm a member of the SmartDraw team will help you enter the building then travel up to the 11th floor.


Park in the garage directly opposite. You’ll need to take a ticket to enter but there is no fee to leave - parking is free.

Aaron Stannard

Aaron Stannard is the CEO and founder of Petabridge, where he makes distributed programming for .NET developers easy by working on Akka.NET, NBench, and dozens of other OSS projects.

Aaron also just recently founded Sdkbin - think NuGet meets the App Store, to help OSS and .NET developers build sustainable businesses around their work.

Prior to Petabridge Aaron founded MarkedUp Analytics, a real-time in-app marketing and analytics service used by 1000+ developers to track real-time Windows Store app usage and send targeted push notifications to users based on in-app behavior. Prior to that Aaron worked at Microsoft as a Startup Developer Evangelist.

Last Updated: February 1st, 2023

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