Welcome!

Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

Related Topics: Symbian, Mobile IoT

Symbian: Article

Symbian's Lars Kurth Seeks Open-Source Rock Stars

Contributing Community Manager Tackles Multiple Roles at New Symbian

Lars Kurth is Contributing Community Manager at the Symbian Foundation, based in London. A recent interview with him at OSCON in San Jose revealed a witty, experienced architect who is serious about community development.

Lars has somehow retained very youthful looks during his years in the industry; but don't be fooled, he has a solid 15 years' experience in this business and is very serious about his role at the "New Symbian." (The Symbian Foundation was created by Nokia's recent buyout of Symbian Ltd.)

NOW Magazine met with him at the recent OSCON in San Jose. We got to know him a bit. A follow-up interview with him elicited the following thoughts:

NOW Magazine: You are a self-described "tools guy." So what sort of conversations do you have with developers on a day-to-day basis?

Lars Kurth: I am looking more for developers that are leading “packages,” the Symbian equivalent of open source project leaders--we call them package owners. So, in many ways the conversations I have been leading are more political and also people-centric than technical.

NOW: How so?

Lars: Much goes into convincing package owners and committers to spend more effort to evangelize their technologies, to go to developer events, write blogs, to organize small events, etc.

In a nutshell, I need to first convince them of a number of things. First, that individuals and companies don't give away time and IP without a motive.

Another key is to lead them to the realization that you need to put effort in getting to know customers, connecting before you see a return in terms of open source contributions. And often we talk about how to go about this: my role there is really about helping them, not about being getting the glory myself!

NOW: How open are you to criticism from developers? What are their major concerns, by the way?

Lars: As a former tools guy, I had to learn to get a thick skin. Every single time a tool is upgraded, a large number of developers are impacted and not all of them can be pleased.

So I’ve had to learn to listen during my career, and work with the engineering team to address issues. That is the only way how one can be successful.

This is even more important for me now, because with the Symbian Foundation we are trying to do something new, building on top of the existing heritage. We can only be successful if we listen and learn.

NOW: How do you balance the one-on-one meetings you have at events such as OSCON with the need to reach developers more broadly? I mean, how do you reach 14 million people all at once?!!

Lars: This is a really hard one. Essentially this can only be done through networks of people, who build their own networks of people, etc.  (Symbian) is creating a volunteer program for application developers which uses this priniciple. So are my other peers who look after other communities, such as members and consumers.

So it's all about seeding the community and enabling a process that allows to building momentum. We need to seed this until we have enough momentum to build a self-sustainable community.

This goes hand-in-hand with building alliances and relationships with the membership all over the globe. Witness the recent news on the partnership with China Mobile and Symbian as an example.

I have also seen more activity at a much smaller level: for example we are organizing two workshops in Bangalore--one for members, one for our open source leaders. We asked for member companies who could volunteer hosting and paying for such an event and within a day 15% of the membership came back, willing to host the event. Very encouraging.

NOW: Everyone wants to be a "rock star," right? How do you help key developers achieve this, or at least achieve a higher level of recognition within the community?

Lars: In my view becoming a "rock star" in our community is about what individuals do for the community and whether they build their own communities around them. So we’ve started to reward companies and individuals by giving them visibility and talking slots at our conference, the Symbian Exchange and Exposition (www.see2009.org/), by using them as role models when talking to others, etc.

I also focus mentoring activities on those people who are most active, with the aim for them to mentor others later on. That means that they will start by being the rock stars of the communities they build around themselves.

When there is enough momentum, the game may change and the question becomes who will be the superstars amongst the rock stars, right? But I am pretty much focused on learning to walk before learning to run!

Follow Lars Kurth at www.twitter.com/lars_kurth
Follow Roger Strukhoff at www.twitter.com/strukhoff

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...