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Making an Impact Through Developer Communities: Why I’m Joining the OpenJS Foundation

By Blog

Mom: You’re leaving Microsoft for a nonprofit?! 

Me: Yes! It’s an amazing privilege and opportunity.  

I’ve always taken great pride in working for Microsoft, and my family felt the same way. It’s pretty easy to describe the positive impact the company makes around the world. So I explained why I was proudly joining The Linux Foundation to be the Executive Director of the OpenJS Foundation, a new organization formed by the recent merger of the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation.  

Together with the industry and developer communities, I will be helping steward one of the largest developer ecosystems. The OpenJS Foundation is the neutral home for more than 30 JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack. 

We’re talking millions of downloads of these technologies, Mom. 

What convinced me to make the move?

  1. Developers, and the communities that support open source projects, have long been my heroes. Through my roles in technical marketing, I’ve given a voice to the people behind our customers’ open source projects – and the stories they tell inspire. The best stories arise when the industry is working together through open source collaboration. I saw this most recently in my time working with healthcare developers, from solving frustrating interop problems with electronic health records, to improving the lives of those with chronic disease. The OpenJS Foundation is a platform to support JavaScript developers and to communicate how these technologies are contributing to fundamental changes in the world around us. 

  2. JavaScript, with its vast developer base and engaged community, has all the right ingredients to grow and flourish. There’s a lot at stake when a developer takes a bet on a technology. The OpenJS Foundation is entrusted to grow and sustain the projects that many companies depend on. That’s an immense responsibility that is taken seriously and I’m humbled to support. I’ve seen these communities in action over the years. Members here are collaborating in powerful ways through the Foundation. Examples include organizing community events like Node+JS Interactive (see you on Dec 11 in Montreal!), community management support, and technical and governance guidance with experienced mentors. 

  3. It’s always the people. Long before Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation, the Linux Foundation team and its members supported Microsoft, and Microsoft supported Linux Foundation projects. I’ve worked with a lot of awesome people at the LF along the way. When we created the .NET Foundation, the leadership team at the LF helped guide us. When the Node.js Advisory Committee became an LF project, the LF program team pros worked wonders with the founding organizations to grow the Node.js Foundation. The LF and its member project participants not only share code, they share best practices across the industry. 
People gather at last year’s Node+JS Interactive

I may need to tighten up my “why OpenJS Foundation” elevator pitch for family functions, but my pride is hard to miss. I’m excited to jump in and start working to support the future of this valued and necessary ecosystem. I’m ready to listen, learn, and be a champion for transparency and inclusion. I’m looking forward to working with each of you!

This blog also appears on Robin’s LinkedIn. Check it out here.

Press Release: OpenJS Foundation Names Robin Ginn as Executive Director

By Blog

Former Microsoft executive to take the helm of recently merged foundation to accelerate the next phase of JavaScript ecosystem growth

SAN FRANCISCO–September 25, 2019 — The OpenJS Foundation, providing vendor-neutral support for sustained growth within the open source JavaScript community, today announced Robin Ginn, a longtime executive at Microsoft, is joining as its Executive Director. The OpenJS Foundation, formed in March of 2019 by the merger of the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation, is the neutral home for more than 30 open source projects and aims to drive broad adoption and ongoing development of key JavaScript solutions and related technologies. 

Robin Ginn, OpenJS Foundation Executive Director

“I’m honored to represent the OpenJS Foundation because developers and the communities that support open source projects have long been my heroes,” said Robin Ginn, OpenJS Foundation Executive Director. “JavaScript, with its vast developer base and engaged community, has all the right ingredients to grow and flourish. I’m excited to jump in and start working to support the future of this valued and necessary ecosystem.”

Ginn joins The Linux Foundation and the OpenJS Foundation from Microsoft, where she led many key open source initiatives. While there, she co-founded @OpenAtMicrosoft and was instrumental in Microsoft’s contribution and involvement in the Node.js project. 

As early as 2012 at Microsoft, Robin was a technical evangelist engaging with the Node.js community about new opportunities with Microsoft Azure through blogs, hackathons, and more. She helped shape Microsoft’s position for co-founding the Node.js Advisory Board in 2014 – the entity that preceded the formation of the Node.js Foundation with the Linux Foundation in 2015. She served on the marketing committee for the Node.js Foundation from its start, including hosting Node.js on the Road in China.

Most recently, Ginn led marketing and communications at Healthcare NExT, an AI-focused healthcare incubator in Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence & Research division. Ginn was a driving force behind go-to-market strategies that introduced commercial AI and machine learning projects, and she worked across the industry to advance health data standards through open source projects.

During her tenure at Microsoft, Ginn led strategic business and marketing initiatives for Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft’s Developer Division.

“After a thorough search process, the OpenJS Foundation board is pleased to welcome Robin to lead the next phase of the Foundation and support the ever-growing JavaScript community,” said Todd Moore, OpenJS Foundation Board Chairperson. “Robin is no stranger to the community and helped us launch the original foundation. Her stellar track record, diverse mix of skills and second-to-none leadership will serve the Foundation, its members and the entire community well. This, combined with her deep industry knowledge and business acumen, makes Robin uniquely qualified to lead the Foundation successfully into the future.”

“As chairperson of the Cross Project Council (CPC), I look forward to partnering with Robin to drive progress for the CPC, the community, the ecosystem, and the Foundation,” said Joe Sepi, the community-elected OpenJS Foundation CPC Chair. “Ultimately, we are aiming to grow a healthy environment for our more than 30 projects, and as our momentum builds, I’m excited to work with Robin on valuable programs and processes for the benefit of our hosted projects.”

About OpenJS Foundation 

The OpenJS Foundation is committed to supporting the healthy growth of the JavaScript ecosystem and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities for the benefit of the community at large. The OpenJS Foundation is made up of 32 open source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack and is supported by 30 corporate and end-user members, including GoDaddy, Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent, and Microsoft. These members recognize the interconnected nature of the JavaScript ecosystem and the importance of providing a central home for projects which represent significant shared value.