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FIWARE Bounty Program – an Interview with José Manuel Cantera from Telefonica

The FIWARE platform provides a simple yet powerful set of APIs that ease the development of Smart Applications across multiple sectors. FIWARE also powered the EuropeanPioneers accelerator, managed by European Innovation Hub.

In this context, the FIWARE Bounty Program is keen on engaging and rewarding the developer community for continuous improvement of FIWARE technologies. To gain more perspective on this initiative, we sat down with Mr. José Manuel Cantera, Technological Expert with Telefónica and responsible for the FIWARE Bounty Programme, who shared some of his valuable insights into the scope and reach of this program.

There are still many people making the same question and since you are here today with us, José Manuel, could you explain what FIWARE is in general?

FIWARE is an independent, open community aimed at creating open source technologies and an accompanying ecosystem. This is mainly to foster the development and go to market of smart applications in multiple vertical sectors namely: Smart City, Smart Agrifood and Industry 4.0. After a long journey as an EU project, FIWARE is now turning into a Foundation which will ensure its sustainability and evolution.

Why launch a FIWARE Bounty programme this year?

Now that FIWARE is becoming a Foundation (similar to Apache or Mozilla), we need to incorporate new talent and contributions to the FIWARE community. The final aim is to augment the number of active contributors to FIWARE and hear the voice of independent developers or pioneers in the usage of the technology. As a result, FIWARE will get much more traction and the project development and maturity will accelerate. Last but not least, we want to demonstrate FIWARE openness and the fact that anyone can contribute to this endeavour, as it happens everyday in seasoned open communities like those mentioned earlier.

What are your needs and expectations with this programme?

This is the first edition of the bounty programme and our aspiration is to keep it permanently open. The Bounty Programme needs the cooperation of FIWARE projects so that they are prepared to accept contributions coming from developers which are not in the core team. Furthermore, they should increase the level of transparency and openness, providing information about what tasks are suitable for being developed by an external contributor (welcome contributions). And finally, core team members should be willing to help non experienced contributors. That way a greater community will gradually be created.   

Last but not least, I would like to remark that, the Bounty Program is an instrument which demonstrates that FIWARE is accelerating to be a true open source community of developers distributed throughout the world.  

Knowing that some bounties have already been awarded, could you please elaborate about what has been achieved and what surprised you?

We have awarded bounties that fix security issues on the FIWARE infrastructure itself. It really amazed me that some developers tried to find vulnerabilities in FIWARE’s web sites and finally detected them and figured out how to fix. On the other hand, we have awarded developers who have created libraries or SDKs that make the usage of FIWARE Generic Enablers more convenient while hiding the complexities of APIs. I think that is a good approach as it leverages the potential of FIWARE to be used across multiple programming languages and development tools.

One area on which I would like to see improvement is on code contributions to FIWARE Projects (Generic Enablers). To this aim we have created (already in draft state) this guide for contributorsAnother area with great potential for external contributions are tutorials, blog posts and presentations. FIWARE technologies need more dissemination work and I think the community has to play an important role in this regard.

What would you say to convince open developers community to be more enthusiastic about FIWARE tech and bounty programme?

First of all, I would say the market FIWARE is targeting is huge and has an extremely high potential. In fact, IoT and Big Data Ecosystems are expected to grow exponentially during the following years. Smart Cities, Smart Agrifood or Industry 4.0 are still in their infancy. FIIWARE momentum is perfect. Think of, for instance, the OASC alliance of cities. More than 90 cities intend to use FIWARE as their smart city brain. On the other hand, being part of the FIWARE Community, and driving its evolution, is all about inventing the future of IoT, Big Data and Smart Applications. Furthermore, getting involved with FIWARE means not only being a member of an open source community, but of a community of entrepreneurs which is building innovative applications and creating new businesses.

Guest post by Tushar Raju