April 20, 2015 - Gurj Bahia
Samsung Open Source Meets Europe
A warm welcome from Europe! As Guy mentioned in his post, the Samsung Open Source Group (OSG) started in early 2013. Since then, the group has grown significantly and now has teams spread out over the whole world. In this post, I’ll focus on the OSG European office and leave the others (USA, Korea and India) for another time.
Our European team has approximately 20 members with some of them located at the Samsung Research UK office in Staines-upon-Thames, within the M25 belt west of London. The rest of the team works either from their home offices or as part of an Samsung Open Source Group Lab at Szeged University in Hungary. The remote setup is a good example of how the OSG is changing Samsung’s internal culture, in addition to our external open source contributions.
The goals of the OSG teams are the same in all branches. We aim to promote open source and its value inside of the company as well as work hard to make Samsung a good citizen in various open source communities. We spend much of our time working directly on upstream projects that are important to Samsung. This process involves improving the upstream projects directly while simultaneously understanding the requirements of product teams to help them grow together. Proposing/implementing changes to upstream projects to fit specific needs, improving performance, ensuring better software quality, and teaching internal teams how to make the best use of the available software are all part of this process.
Open Source at the Individual Level
In our daily work life, the team has different areas of expertise which mostly focus around specific open source projects. Each individual has several areas of expertise, but to keep it short I will only highlight a few of the most significant.
- LLVM: Tilmann Scheller is working on various areas of LLVM with a primary focus on ARM/AArch64 performance tuning.
- Gstreamer: Luis De Bethencourt Guimera is involved in GStreamer pretty much all over the place, which includes general bug fixing, newer features such as an audiovisualizer base class and some release work.
- Webkit / Blink: Habib Virji and Ziran Sun have been contributing to both Webkit and Blink in various areas with some focus on autofill and RTL.
- Open Interconnect Consortium: Habib Virji is (besides his work on Webkit / Blink) also involved in creating specifications for the OIC to drive the IoT interests of Samsung forward.
- Enlightenment Foundation Libraries: With Tom Hacochen, Daniel Kolesa and Stefan Schmidt, a fairly large part of the team works on the EFL. Besides leading some of the upcoming core changes (such as the design of the new API of the EFL as well as the integration of Lua as a first class scripting language), the team also plays a major role in code quality and test coverage improvements.
Cultivating Open Source
While this is what individual team members do on a daily basis, from a global viewpoint the OSG helps guide Samsung in effective usage, collaboration and creation of open source. We have to do work on both sides of the fence: a role that is both challenging and interesting. Our developers have great influence in their respective communities, and subsequently, a lot of responsibility to both Samsung and the communities they work in. Over the coming months we will publish posts from the individual team members about the work they are doing within their respective open source project areas.
There is one final thing that must be mentioned before ending this post: we are looking to fill the leadership role within our European team. If you have a strong background in open source, are interested in working for a major electronics company, and want to invest your energy towards turning it into a better place for open source developers, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Along with the email, please share some background about yourself to help us start the conversation.
About Gurj Bahia
Gurj Bahia is no longer employed by Samsung. We thank him for all of his great work and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Gurj led the European office of the Open Source Group. He helped accelerate the use of and collaboration with open source software. With more the 20 years industry experience helping a number of companies to deliver mobile technology to market and working as a hands-on software architect and technical manager, Gurj is able to bridge the gap between traditionally closed downstream ways of working and the more modern open, collaborative methods.