Leveraging Collaboration and Co-Sourcing


Michael Kochanick, from CollabNet is speaking on leveraging collaboration. Some points:

  • About 75% of software is written for a specific purpose and never see the light of day.
  • IT flexibility and agility is the main driver for business agility in information driven businesses.
  • Component-based software development hasn't worked well.
  • Component-based software development is analog to supply chain integration initiatives.
  • Open source is the biggest library of reusable software in the world.
  • FOSS shifts flexibility and power towards the end user/developer.
  • FOSS is a "rising tide" of commoditized infrastructure.
  • Collaboration makes sense for non-differentiating modules. This is called "co-sourcing."
  • An ability to view the source and modify it is much more important to the collaboration process that having a zero cost.
  • One of the great features of FOSS development is that its based on a meritocracy where developers gain increasing prestige and hence impact on the product as they produce useful enhancements and bug fixes.

CollabNet provides software development shops with tools and techniques that increase their collaborative capabilities. Mostly they sell FOSS development ideas and techniques to commercial software shops. Michael calls it the "secret sauce." One of the case studies that Michael gave is about HP. By integrating external partners and customers into the development process they cut the number of steps for a bug fix for the printer code from five to two.

I'm not very familiar with GUMP but it seems to have similar objectives as an organization to CollabNet.

Update - I talk to Micahel after his talk and learned a little mor about CollabNet. They are a service provider that supports muti-developer, geographically dispersed projects like the ones open source is likely to engender. CollabNet, for example, provides the infrastructure for the Apache project, including the bug tracking, versioning, etc. Given that, I don't think they're like GUMP.