Hi Open Source Initiative Individual Members,

I’m Travin Keith and I’m running for the OSI Board of Directors. 

My Experience in Open Source

I first got into the Open Source space in 2005 when I was introduced to Ubuntu as part of one of my IT classes. I remember being blown away by how amazing it looked and felt all while being free to use, but was even more impressed that such a space existed in the first place. Though I was not a developer, (and still not for the most part, though I can build some things in BASIC if desired) I enjoyed learning more about it and playing around with various software that were released as well as learning my way around the Terminal. The fact that Canonical sent me a CD for free as well cemented my appreciation of the culture around Open Source as download speeds in the Philippines were very slow back then. I continued experimenting over the next few years as I moved around the world, though occasionally to certain levels of frustration due to mistakes I made while attempting to install multiple operating systems on a single device, such as messing up GRUB and not being able to fix it easily enough that it made more sense to start over again.

In 2011, I applied to work as a Tech Support staff member at the University of Washington College of Education, and I mentioned that I would be comfortable providing support for Windows and Ubuntu, as well as perhaps some other Linux distros. I was told that they've never had a support issue around the latter, but I still made the team. I quickly gained an association within the team for Open Source software since most others were either more on Mac or Windows. I'll never forget the day or the look on my boss's face when someone walked in a few months after I was hired and asked for help with connecting their Ubuntu laptop with the SmartBoard. We didn't succeed as well as I'd like unfortunately, but we got it to work for the most part. 

In late 2013, I started getting much more involved around the space mostly thanks to Bitcoin. Though I'll admit the price at the time was what caught my eye as one of my colleagues mentioned it to me back in 2011 when it was significantly lower, the technology and aspects of peer-to-peer digital cash made me stay on. I was happy to find out that it was Open Source as well, which was also the case for other projects such as Nxt at the time. I started getting more involved around the community and both asked and answered questions in order to learn more about it. 

I went on hiatus in 2014 due to unrelated personal reasons, but I came back to it in mid 2016. Though disappointed with the prices, I was happy to see things thriving, especially when I found out about Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation project. So, I decided to dive in again, starting with Nxt where I was still connected to and branched out from there. Despite Hyperledger being launched already, it still didn't have a white paper, which I ended up being a co-author whilst regularly joining the Marketing Committee calls as well as taking part in various working groups around messaging, events, PR, trademark, and of course the white paper itself. In late 2017, I started speaking at events and meetups around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and of course, Open Source, including the Open Source Leadership Summit and Open Source Summit:Europe, both in 2018. After leaving the Nxt Foundation in January 2018, I started working on some of my own projects, mostly on top of open source software, such as STOKR, which utilizes Ethereum, (though will utilize others as well soon) as well as started to provide consulting services and have been doing generally all of that that to this day. However, I'm looking to expand more time to general Open Source things outside of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and I think the Open Source Initiative is a great place for me to spend my time and energy. 

If you wish to view my full professional history, please refer to my LinkedIn profile.

What I Can Contribute

Though my academic background is around international business with an emphasis on marketing, I've expanded my knowledge to cover some technical knowledge as well, usually through either self-study or through tutorials and short classes as well as of course from the knowledge shared to me directly from others. Because of this, and combined with my experience, I'm able to provide a wide range of contributions such as:

  • Brand Development
  • SEO
  • Relationships and Partnership Management
  • Fundraising
  • Mentorship (to projects)
  • Writing and Editing (technical and non-technical)
  • Communications Strategy and Execution
  • Speaking and Representation (at events or meetings)
  • Teaching (online or in person)
  • Website Design and Development
  • Content Strategy Development and Execution

Also, having lived in 8 countries with a wide range of traits, I can provide a unique perspective to various issues the Board will face. Additionally, I am happy to leverage the professional relationships that I have developed in those countries and more from the extensive travels that I have done, for the benefit of the Open Source Initiative.

Questions?

If you have any questions about me, please feel free to comment below, or reach out to me using the following:

If you would like me to prove my identity on another platform by signing a message, please request me to sign a message of your choosing, or the entire reply, using either of the following:

OpenPGP Fingerprint - BFF0 260A 4639 8B1C B62C E6EA CB83 B04E 40B8 B839

Bitcoin (BTC) - bc1qt4u5975zqnefgaj7jgwgpa58kxpkvd4dzpegj5

If neither of these are to your liking, please let me know any alternatives and I would be happy to consider them. 

Thank you for your time taken to read through my application.

Tags:
Created by Travin Keith on 2020.03.01 at 21:20:08 PST
    

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