Analysis of the retention rate of the Outreachy program in OpenStack

Mentoring is one of those activities key in any open source communities as well as in any other environment such as internally at companies. The new edition of the OpenStack gender report [to be published], produced by Intel and Bitergia, has focused specifically on those programs that help newcomers and filling the existing knowledge gap.

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Improving customer care with a community perspective

Bitergia is providing services to many open source related companies and organizations, but one of the core aims has been always to provide something useful for the communities of those companies and organizations. So, how could we involve these communities in our customer care services?

First of all, let’s check what we are giving to our customers:

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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.

Is your company ready for Inner Source?

In past posts, we talked about Inner Source and the benefits for your organization. Some large organizations, such Paypal or Zalando started their own process to approach Inner Source; we can say without a doubt that each of them has taken their own path, because Inner Source is more related to a philosophy or enterprise culture than to a process or static methodology defining it.

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Getting your project backlog with GrimoireLab. CoreOS use case

One of the first tasks done by a developer during the day is to choose where to go and what to fix. Backlogs are quite useful for this purpose, either using Kanban and directly having a look at the open issues waiting lists project by project as in the case of GitHub, or using any other manual or automated method.

For this engineering focus we have started to produce some panels whose main purpose is to help developers to make decisions. As this is still in its first stages there is room for improvement, but this hopefully shows how powerful this could be. The displayed panel is part of the open analytics panel produced for the CoreOS community.

backlog_panel_coreos
CoreOS Pull Requests / Issues Backlog panel

This panel aims at providing information at three main levels:

Continue reading “Getting your project backlog with GrimoireLab. CoreOS use case”

The Mitaka OpenStack mid-cycle quarterly report

[This post is based on the executive summary of the 2015-Q5 OpenStack Community Activity Report, sponsored by the OpenStack Foundation]

The October-Devember 2015 penStack Community Activity Report shows a stable growth of the OpenStack Community. As new repositories and teams keep being added, the number of projects keeps growing. On the other hand it is worth mentioning the decrease in activity during the latest quarters in project teams such as Nova, or stabilization of some others, such as Horizon or Cinder. This is a clear signal of the maturity reached by the some of the project teams in the OpenStack Foundation.

Active Core Reviewers reach a new peak

Although Git activity (changesets merged in the code base) does not show a large increase of activity, if compared to Gerrit, the development effort in the project keeps increasing. This last quarter of 2015 the number of Active Core Reviewers reached a new record of 449 different developers.

Time to merge keeps decreasing

During the third quarter of 2015, a small increase in time to merge seemed to signal a change in trend. However, this last quarter of 2015 keeps the previous decreasing trend. During this period the median time to merge a changeset into master decreased from 2.91 days down to 2.38 days.

Efficiency closing tickets decreases

It is noticeable the decrease of the relative number of tickets closed in OpenStack projects (also known as the efficiency of the ticket closing process). Previous quarters topped at about 60% of closed tickets (with respect to tickets opened during the same period), while this quarter shows a much lower 44%. This could be seen as a poor performance indicator of the project teams.

However, the efficiency closing changesets in the review system (number of changesets merged or abandoned with respect to number of new changesets being proposed for review) remains stable at around 80%.

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