Category: Business

  • If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably among the growing number of software professionals who understand how valuable open source development is to the production of modern technology. Many of us have seen how open source can reduce costs, increase development speed, increase overall product quality and more, but it can often be challenging to quantify the value of this using understandable metrics. Fortunately for us, open source development happens in public so a lot of information can be extracted from public resources such as git repository logs, email mailing lists, code review and bug tracking platforms, and more. One relatively new and useful tool to aide in this is GrimoireLab from Bitergia. We’ve spent the last few months exploring the capabilities of this tool to find out what kind of metrics we can use to track the success of the efforts of the Samsung Open Source Group. Doing so […]

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  • November 22, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    Check Out the Free Open Source Compliance Handbook

    Open source compliance is often overlooked, but is a critical component of a successful open source software strategy. If your company is going to use or contribute to open source software, failure to comply with the software licenses can lead to costly cleanup efforts, or even lawsuits if license violations are found. To mitigate these risks, it’s important to establish an internal organizational program that manages compliance with open source licenses. For many companies, open source compliance is often the first major step into open source engineering, so it’s vital to establish proper organizations and procedures that build a foundation for continual success. That’s why Ibrahim Haddad joined forces with the Linux Foundation to create Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, and released it as a free handbook to download. This book covers the essentials of establishing a successful open source compliance strategy in an enterprise setting, including the structure […]

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  • After finishing high school, I was destined to continue my academic life studying one of the fine arts I always loved: Architecture. I took special art classes to get prepared to study it, and so I did; I entered the architectural school at my hometown in the Canary Islands. In their first year, all students learn about the Bauhaus school and their impact. I knew about them, but in that year I learned about their philosophy in detail and I became sanely obsessed with their work. During their difficult social/political time, Bauhaus revolutionized the world of architecture, design, and art. Their modernist designs were centered in functionality, simplicity, rationality, and taking art to everybody through mass production. In summary, making our day to day habitats and tools better, cheaper, simpler, and available to all. So through most of my first year I asked myself “Where is the present-day Bauhaus?” I […]

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  • Consistency is everything. If launching open source projects is part of your job, it is incredibly helpful to have a clear, consistent, and repeatable process for open sourcing code and building a project. Why? There are a few reasons. For one, it increases your odds of success if you can identify the parts of the process that worked well before, and repeat them. Project launches are about people as much as technology. There are actions that attract others, and actions that drive others away; it’s beneficial to remember which is which. If you can’t convince others to join and use your project, you may as well just post the code and be done with it. Another major reason is time. I seriously doubt I’m alone in observing that the typical “We’re launching an OSS project next month! Um, where do we start?” emails usually come with little warning. Most of the time […]

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  • Open source communities can be vast, have an extremely fast rate of development, and have numerous companies and individuals who influence the project’s direction. Because of this diversity and speed it can be very easy for a company’s contributions to be lost in the shuffle, and it’s vital for any company that wants to contribute significant code upstream to establish themselves within the community. We’ve worked hard to establish a strong open source engineering team here at Samsung, and we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be successful at this along the way. Without further ado, here are 10 tips to help you improve your company’s success at contributing code to the an open source community. Hire key developers and maintainers from the community. This is a critical step that allows you to gain skills and expertise. Two or three people from any given project are enough to […]

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  • May 13, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    10 Steps to Being Successful in Open Source

    No blog is complete without a simplistic numbered list of images, and we’re no exception! Open source methodology can be a complicated subject, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to boil it down to some easily-digestible snippets. We’re proud to present the 10 simple steps it takes to be successful in open source. All of the images in this article were created by Ibrahim Haddad and are shared under CC-BY-SA-4.0, so feel free to use them in your own work. 1. Setup business infrastructure to support open source It is extremely challenging for a company to be successful in open source if they haven’t setup the proper infrastructure to allow their employees to interact with an open source community; this includes the establishment of both technical infrastructure as well as organizational infrastructure. You need to make sure your developers have the policies, processes, and tools that are required to […]

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  • April 8, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    Common Tools Used in Open Source Development

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. Up to this point, this guide has focused on the fundamental characteristics of open source communities and how these communities are organized. One of the major reasons these communities have organized around a relatively standard set of practices is because of the tools that are available to get work done in a distributed community. These tools must support individuals from diverse backgrounds who each have their own unique needs. This article will describe the tools that are commonly used in an open source community and will explain the roles they play in an open source community. Additionally, it will provide some insight into how to get the most out of them. Communication and Problem Solving Development in an open source community includes people from numerous timezones and cultures around the world. The tools used for communication in […]

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  • March 18, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    An Introduction to the Open Source Development Model

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. If you are someone who is accustomed to working in a traditional, proprietary software development, the open source development model might challenge many of your perceptions about how code is produced in large scale software development projects. This is a result of a fundamental requirement of transparency and communication which results in a development process that is distributed, extremely fast, and modular. This article will explore how development occurs in an open source community. It will also explain how a typical open source community operates in order to provide context for how the actual development of code is carried out. General Community Practices Open source development is a highly collaborative process, and the only way for this to be successful is for all participants to make their technical motivations, intentions, and plans related to their participation visible […]

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  • February 17, 2016 - Brian Warner

    Contribute Upstream to Manage Technical Debt

    One of the things that you’ll find in the world of corporate open source is that we tend to talk a lot about money. This makes sense of course, since open source has had a significant and lasting financial impact on the economics of software development. At the same time it also provides a useful metaphor for why we do what we do. These days, the Leveraged Development Model is pretty well understood: We all put a bit of development into a project, and in return we get to reap benefits far greater than the value of our own contribution. This dynamic is the main driver behind the saying, “Software is eating the world, and open source is eating software.” At this point, it’s virtually impossible to deliver a software product on time and within budget without open source; this is all the more true when your competitors are actively […]

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  • January 15, 2016 - Ben Lloyd Pearson

    Common Characteristics of an Open Source Community

    This article is part of The Comprehensive Guide to Open Source for Business. Open source communities are as complex as the diverse individuals that contribute to them, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition of how they operate. With that said, there are a lot of common fundamental practices and organizational strategies that many communities migrate towards. This article will provide a general definition of how open source communities are organized and operate in order to provide greater context for the rest of the guide. New definitions Open Source – Denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be modified and redistributed. Upstream (noun) – The originating open source software project upon which a derivative is built. Maintainer (Committer) – An individual who is responsible for organizing code into source repositories, committing patches, and building the source code into binary packages for distribution. Community Organization […]

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