Inner Source Development for Your Business

There are a variety of ways to leverage open source in your business. For example, many organizations use libraries to enable developers to contribute fixes to the existing code base. They can also create a shared library that is publicly available and useful to multiple teams. This approach reduces redundancy and improves the overall quality of your code. However, to really reap the benefits of this type of technology, you need to develop an inner source strategy.

When you’re developing a project, it’s important to determine whether or not it makes sense to use a closed-source library or share the work with the world. The best option may be to simply use an open source library, such as those provided by GitHub, to provide a reusable framework for your own projects.

However, this approach is not for everyone. Some people may be hesitant to participate in an open source project in a traditionally closed organization. In addition, other developers might be reluctant to share their work for fear of retribution. On the other hand, exposing your code to the outside world can be a safe way to gain valuable exposure, without risking damage to your reputation.

To be successful, a company needs to develop an organizational culture and political context that support collaboration. Using the inner source approach can help break down longstanding silos and allow developers to work more efficiently. While some developers might be a little wary, others might be pleasantly surprised at how much more they can get done when they’re free to collaborate.

If your team is using a hosted platform, such as GitHub, you’ll need to ensure that your code is accessible to everyone. Having everyone in the loop will not only make for a more collaborative environment, but it will also minimize the likelihood of misunderstandings. Similarly, it’s important to document any changes made to your source code, such as when a developer reverts a change. Also, keep in mind that the documentation should be available in the same repository as the source code itself.

Another factor that helps facilitate collaboration is the ability to share and discuss code amongst your team. InnerSource allows you to easily push your changes to your coworkers or contributors, and track issues. These benefits are particularly important in a large organization, where development teams can often be spread across different departments. Achieving these benefits can be difficult.

Despite its potential for boosting collaboration, the actual implementation of the inner source solution is not always perfect. It can be a challenge to get the documentation and other technical details right, and there are pitfalls to avoid. But if you’re willing to do the hard work, you’ll see the full benefits of the inner source model.

In addition, it’s worth noting that there are a number of open source tools and libraries available that can help your team achieve the best of both worlds. For instance, you can create a wiki, or even a Git repository, to house your content.