Rethinking Open Source Collaboration

Jono Bacon | Open Source Delivers | May 14, 2014

The open source world has been through a significant period of change in the last fifteen years. What started out as volunteers getting together to work on projects for fun has now turned into a billion-dollar industry. Although the spotlight is shone on open source more than ever before and the technology and tools have evolved, the core fundamentals of how we build open source software are still the same at their core – yet the rigor and quality expectations have changed. I think this is a great opportunity for our wider community as well as an organization.

When I think of open source projects, I mentally categorize them into two areas:

  1. Hobbyist – Hobbyist projects are software that was invariably conceived by a small number of people and are primarily maintained by volunteers. These projects are typically fairly loose in terms of project management, formalized QA/CI, and release planning and management.
  2. Mission Critical – Mission critical projects are usually power fundamental pieces of infrastructure and/or other products. In these cases the software has many different stakeholders and contributors, and they typically require rigorous planning, testing infrastructure, and release management. In other words, there is a much lower buffer for error and problems due to the importance of these projects...