Collaboration; the most valuable lesson companies should learn from open source

Replying to Ari Jaaksi’s post.

I believe that what open source has done for software development, agile methonds can do for commercial system and product development. Add visibility, access, and intellectual honesty. Transparency. You cannot hide shit no more.

Indeed, Scrum brings more transparency to the software development in corporate environments, compared to the waterfall process. And yes, open source development is also more transparent than traditional corporate processes. But transparency is only one of the features of OS development, even more important is collaboration.

Collaboration is not confined to OS software, Google knows this very well. In Google, development is not only agile, but all the source code is shared through all the company. In that sense everyone is part of a humongous team.

Take Google Android for example. It was developed internally, collaboratively, and when the time was right the gates to the public were opened, and the same collaboration happened with the OS community. They didn’t have to change their process, because collaborative processes scale well, the only change was that their team became bigger, and virtual.

Many other companies struggle with the OS community because internally their process is not collaborative, so it’s not an easy task to play nicely outside.

An example of collaborative development would be to use open hardware, like the beagleboard, as the initial scaffold for base software development, in that way the software development can continue on a different hardware platform which is used by many people if there are integration issues with the real hardware, or even before the real hardware is available.

The community could even help stabilize the software even before the real hardware is available! That is agile.

These are just some ideas, when doing real collaboration many more become evident…


2 thoughts on “Collaboration; the most valuable lesson companies should learn from open source

  1. Nokia is “collaborative”. While we’re asking to include OGG support into their devices they prefer to collaboratively IGNORE these requests. Collaboration? Nice joke. And what about hiding shit after this simple fact?

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