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In my career as a professional geek I've always worked with Free and Open Source computer Software (OSS). This is in part of necessity - much of the really good software that one comes across in the usual course of working with Unix, Linux and BSD computer systems is open source, in many cases there isn't a commercial/closed source tool to do a particular job, and because much of the Internet runs on OSS anyway - and in part because I like the open and communal nature of OSS and the people who work with it.

The first academic work that I did involving OSS was in the field of innovation. A chance meeting with Prof. Eric von Hippel and a subsequent opportunity to hear him speak about his work on the concept of 'lead users' led me to see immediate parallels between the lead users that von Hippel identified as being the most innovative participants in their fields and the people that lead OSS projects. I wrote my Masters research project on the presence of lead users in OSS and wrote a simple analysis based on code authored by Paul Mutton's PieSpy and demonstrated that the people who individuals in OSS related IRC channels highlighted as the 'most knowledgeable' were also the people that appeared at the centres of the communications graphs generated by the PieSpy derived code that I wrote. It was a pretty simple piece of work, but it did demonstrate that in certain contexts, von Hippel's time-consuming process of identifying lead users could be automated. I presented the coursework paper that I wrote on this work at the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management conference in Sydney in 2008.

At about the same time I took a course on managing volunteer workers in not-for-profit organizations. I came to the course with a very different view of 'volunteering' to that which my classmates were familiar with. They spoke about people working in kitchens, doing paperwork and painting walls in not-for-profit organizations, and I spoke about skilled computer programmers working at their own computers in their own homes. I wrote a paper that extended Marc Levy's procedure for defining volunteers into the field of OSS. My paper on this work was published in the International Employment Relations Review in 2008.

Under the tutelage of Prof. Ray Gordon and Prof. Stewart Clegg I developed an interest in power relations in organizations and the ever-present resistance to power.

My current work considers OSS and the people who work in it from an organizational perspective. I'm interested in how OSS workers organize themselves and each other, what their OSS work means to them and hos OSS compares to more 'conventional' means of organization.