Open Source community tools for Inner Source projects

In a recent post we’ve seen how to set up Inner Source in your company is a cultural change question. Companies need to increase inner transparency, confidence and collaboration for breaking the functional silos in order to create a proper environment to develop software between motivated peers and enable code/knowledge reuse.

Laptop on a work table with DIY and construction tools all around top view hobby and crafts concept

Open Source development communities use several tools for enabling collaboration and transparency. Companies can take advantage of them for their inner software development projects. Let’s see some examples from our experience tracking collaborative software development and helping companies in their Inner Source projects analysis:

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Meet us at FOSDEM!

We are so excited about starting the new year with our contribution and participation at FOSDEM 2017.

Fosdem 2017

FOSDEM is the strongest reference event for developers and geeks to meet and know the hottest incoming tech topics since 17 years ago.

In 2000, Raphael Bauduin, a Linux fan from Belgium, decided to organize a small event for Open Source developers. He named it ‘Open Source Developers European Meeting’ (OSDEM). From the second edition OSDEM became FOSDEM and every year host more than 5000 developers and Open Source geeks.

FOSDEM is our natural environment. We have joined it in a lots of editions and we are very proud to come again this year as speakers. We are also going to set up a stand for chatting with all our friends with special gifts for our community.

These will be our contributions to FOSDEM 2017:

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Inner Sourcing vs commoditification of software

“The idea is beginning to take root in even the most secretive corporate cultures… Its power lies in the inherent social nature of the creative process. When developers are able to access, use and build upon what their colleagues are creating, innovation can really take hold.”

Phil Granof in Wired

As we detailed in the previous post, adopting Inner Source practices creates great benefits for  companies such as saving cost, faster time to market and enabling innovation.
Commodification of Software
There’s no doubt that Inner source needs a different approach  to project management  but “hands on!” What’s the best project to start Inner Sourcing?

Software is becoming the core of most business, even the traditional ones. However it doesn’t mean that companies should build all the software they need, most of it can be easily bought or outsourced with low cost, in order to focus their efforts on their core business. Thus, Inner Source should help to add value to organizations running away from commodity.

This was the case for Philips Healthcare. Klaas-Jan Stol and Brian Fitzgerald in their article Inner Source—Adopting Open Source Development Practices in Organizations recommended to start with a seed project. That means, not starting from scratch but choosing an existing initial implementation of a software product or component.
Frank Van Der Linden, CTO at Phillips was responsible for and pioneered the setting up Inner Source within the company. He decided to start with a component suite of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) standard, used in many medical imaging tools such as x-ray and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners. Philips Healthcare has a product line for diagnostic techniques in Hospitals, so they chose a core business software product for Inner Sourcing.

Van Der Linden reports enormous business benefits using Inner Sourcing as a process for developing:

  • Three times more product groups served.
  • Substantially improved product quality (Improved feedback from product groups)
  • Product groups find defects earlier.
  • Significant time to market gains.
  • Growing an active Inner Source community – Over 60% of the PH software community involved.

Philips and other companies running Inner Sourcing learned from Open Source projects, they understood how to align and coordinate efforts. In the next post, we will talk about essential tools to enable Inner Sourcing.

Some metrics of Open Source development in “the Cloud”

Are you still waiting for “The Year of the Desktop”? Not sure when it will happen, but it is clear that the Open Source movement around “Cloud Computing” is growing and growing.

The number of companies releasing Open Source code, contributing to Open Source cloud projects increases each month. A good example to see it is the “under developmentCNCF Grimoire Dashboard:

Table and chart showing CNCF organizations diversity numbers and evolution

CNCF organizations diversity numbers and evolution

And during these days, in events like CloudNativeCon and KubeCon we’ll see more data and insights about how big the open cloud ecosystem is becoming. Do you want a preview?

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Dashboard celebrating 25 years of Linux development

To celebrate 25 years of Linux kernel development, we at Bitergia have produced the Linux development history dashboard. This dashboard visualizes the current Linux git repository from two points of view: the history of all commits (changes to the source code) up to now, and the history of all lines in the current version. The dashboard visualizes the main parameters about the development (the who, when and what) are visualized, and allows for drilling down in the data, for example finding the specific commits that lead to a specific part of the code.

linux-dashboard-blame

Do you want to learn about when the lines in the current kernel were authored? Who has participated in specific areas of the kernel? How many files have remain untouched for more than 10 years? Play with the dashboard and find your own interesting details!

The dashboard was produced using only free, open source software tools (among them, GrimoireLab, our tookit for software development analytics). If you want to learn more details, check the slides I intended to use for my presentation at LinuxCon, which unfortunately I couldn’t attend. Those provide some more insight about how it was produced, some examples about how it can be used, and some curiosities found by exploring it.

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5 reasons to have a Software Development Community Dashboard

Community managers spend their time in numerous community activities related with his/her main role: to get people to talk and contribute, react to the community managed, keep people engaged, etc. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be set for each community based on its goals. It’s part of the job to elaborate reports with multiple metrics on community health for example. But, measuring should be an effective task.

Keeping this in mind, I’d like to share with you 5 reasons about why community managers or any other professional related with software development should have a dashboard that provides all the data about the community or project that she/he manages:

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Dashboards for the Eclipse community

We’ve been maintaining a software development dashboard for the Eclipse community for a while. Now that EclipseCon is running, it is a good moment to visit it, to explain some of its peculiarities, and to comment on future directions.

Eclipse software development dashboard

Eclipse software development dashboard

The dashboard shows activity in the four main type of repositories with information about software development (git, Gerrit, Bugzilla and mailing lists) for all the projects in Eclipse. You can browse the specifics of all of them (click on the button right of “Eclipse Foundation” on the top bar), and select between a view of the whole history of the community, or restrict it to the last five years (unfold the option by clicking on “All history”, again in the top bar).

But before commenting some more details, let’s visit the future: a simple PoC of the upcoming GrimoireLab-based dashboards, showing Eclipse data as of two days ago for dashboard for git data and dashboard for Gerrit data.

GrimoireLab-based dashboard for Eclipse git data

GrimoireLab-based dashboard for Eclipse git data

The information in these new dashboards will be much more actionable, with the visitor being able of filtering by just clicking on charts and tables. These dashboards are still early demos, which although show real data, still need a lot of polishing of the user interface. For a more complete (but still proof-of-concept) demo, have a look at the one we presented during FOSDEM.

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