Game developer, Band of Coders

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Sharing knowledge in technology industries

I'm a videogame developer, programmer to be more specific, I have often been faced with problems within a company, that someone, somewhere in that same company had sometime been faced with and solved it.
Sometimes this person had left the company, others he was busy, others he was just unwilling to share the knowledge.
A friend of mine once decided to make a presentation at a public conference about a particularly hard problem he had to solve, how he solved it and other alternatives. When his company found out about this presentation they forbid him to do it out of mere fear that their "secrets" would be revealed, secrets that when my friend resigned took with him since the company did not know anything.

I believe these secrecies and competitivity can't help anyone really, not the individual, not the companies and not the industry as a whole, and I would like to make a presentation on this matter on the next annual game dev conference (not the GDC, but our humble little version of it here in argentina :$ ).

What points should I focus on? how have others, even from different industries faced this issue? What are the legal implications and to which point should we let them limit our potential? Why aren't most companies schooling their employees to make them better? What arguments do they have against these practices if any?

I did not found TED talks on this matter, if anyone knows of any, as well as articles or books on the subject, the information is just as welcome as your personal opinions and experiences.

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    Aug 16 2011: Andres, what has the open source movement have shown you? I think there are many ways to present and develop a technology.
    • Aug 16 2011: Well the thing about open source is that most commercial companies will reject the idea of having anything in their projects be open source, I've been there. It also usually affects one project at a time and when you are working on something else entirely its hard to know which technologies and concepts are in a given OS project. In an open source project (I may be wrong I haven't participated in many of them) you mostly access other peoples solutions to a problem, not the knowledge behind that solution and the problem that spawned it.

      I also intend to transcend the limits of code, I want to speak of knowledge in general, the same philosophy should be applied in other areas, like how to create a specific sound effect? how to solve a specific game mechanic issue, this is a very interdisciplinary industry, and I want to come up with a presentation that can be applied to most of them (the disciplines) in general.

      However your point is taken, the open source community does have many ideologies and concepts that can provide a useful resource for the presentation.