Someone please configure my FOSS and data!

Why oh why oh why do we have to do things over and over and over and over… well, you know what I mean.

Could this be symptomatic of the fact that in Great Britain (I read today) we invest one of the lowest proportions of GDP on innovation.  I mean without innovation you can only do old stuff right?  And do it over and over and over again…

…And of course the consequence of the “why oh why” is that we all have to sign up to American sites with American accounts and cards to pay dollars because we’re too far behind the curve.  My latest experience was when trying to set up an Amazon Machine Image with their DevPay system… only accepts an American Card on an American account (that won’t do nicely Sir!)

So all this terrific innovation enabling amazing stuff at Amazon can only be leveraged with more time consuming work arounds.  Aghhh!

Why am I going through this pain?

I’m a project manager.  I’ve worked on loads of collaborative projects.  And I have loved them all.  But now that I work with developers inside and outside of the project space I can see we are all dealing with the same problems for which there is a glaring need for an innovative solution.  Which I hope to find an answer for at FOSS 4 G Barcelona.  Someone help us please!

To me there are 3 big trends that make our location sector so dynamic at the moment.

  • Developments in the cloud- ultimate flexibility, scalability and freedom from maintenance issues
  • Open Source Software – a chance to experiment and develop unhindered
  • And Free data

The combination is increadibly tempting and undeniably shapes the future industry (just watch the unit prices fall!).

But how many developers struggle with configuring the software and data and then providing a platform where this can all be shared amongst collaborators?  Just in European projects right now there must be at least 10 projects I know of that need this work done.  Add to that the European states setting up “INSPIRE services” and there’s another 27.  It’s a typical month of consultency fees, hard education and lost time on a project.

Why do it?  Surely it’s all been done before.

My dream is that someone will do it for us.

That project managers will sit in progress meetings and say “just use this stack of data that someone has already configured with the usual stack of Free Open Source Software and made it available in the cloud”.  That’s what I want…  That’s what we need as an industry….  Just someone to anticipate how to slice a week or four of consultency and development time off every mid sized project.  What a saving!

Yes, I’d buy that!  So who will sell it?


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