The greatest currency is success

Whether it’s at an individual, business unit or organisational level, demonstrated achievement on OSS projects tends to lead to greater opportunities and rewards. There are so many OSS projects underway globally and so much expertise required, but there are a high proportion of projects that don’t deliver or are currently stagnating. This means opportunity.

However, we generally don’t tend to use testimonials as much as we could. In my experience, vendors presenting to potential customers don’t tend to use testimonials. They mention current / past customers (often in a first-date principle kind of way), but don’t tend to use testimonials from those customers. They don’t tend to proactively* provide references to customers where success has been proven (* ie not only providing references upon request).

At an individual level, word-of-mouth can be a powerful influence on winning new roles, but we also don’t tend to proactively utilise testimonials if the hirer doesn’t have mutual connections with us. How many CVs do you see with “references available upon request” rather than saying, “please speak with person X, Y, Z to understand how I’ve contributed to success on their projects, here are their contact details,” during an interview?

Have you found that a history of achievement will tend to speak for itself? I feel that you don’t need to make claims about how good you are, others will be happy to make those claims on your behalf. And there are plenty of opportunities to passively demonstrate how good you are in OSS.

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