Is Your Company New to Open Source? Here's Where to Start
Over the past year, we've been working on a number of projects to help those who want to more closely participate in the Linux community, but don't know where to start.
First, there's the Linux Foundation Training program. We've continued to add courses as new needs arise, and have had the opportunity to give on-site training to many companies over the past year. While much of our content is on improving technical skills (e.g. "Developing Linux Device Drivers," "Embedded Linux Development," "Advanced Linux Performance Tuning"), we have also added courses on being more effective when working with open communities. "How to Participate with the Linux Community" is a roadmap of sorts for developers and managers who are comfortable with the technology, but need some guidance in understanding the Linux kernel community processes. (A related guide on participating with the Linux community is also available.)
In addition, our newest course is "A Practical Guide to Open Source Development," which is intended for traditional development organizations that are preparing to consume or contribute to open source. This course goes beyond Linux kernel development, and addresses the ways in which organizations can get greater value from the open source process. In addition to best practices, it also discusses the process of launching new open source projects, how to open source proprietary code, and how to adopt principles of open source to speed up any sort of software development, open or closed. For more information, see the outline of the course.
We've also been working on a series of papers along the same lines. "Understanding the Open Source Development Model" is an introduction to the process of open source development. While it applies to Linux development, it's also useful for understanding how other communities function, as well. This paper is a good place to start for any company that is planning to get involved as a consumer or contributor to an open source project.
The second paper in the series, "Establishing an Open Source Software Strategy: Key Considerations and Tactical Recommendations," focuses on the different ways companies participate in open source development, and can be used as a guide when creating or updating a corporate development strategy. It discusses three ways in which companies participate in open development - consumers, contributors, and leaders - and provides guidance on actions that can help maximize your own effectiveness.
A third paper in the series, to be published early next year, focuses on the process of upstreaming.
As with all of our training and papers, we are happy to talk to your company in more detail or customize offerings. Becoming a member of the Linux Foundation connects you even more closely with these resources and their authors, and also helps supports these free resources for all.
Also, keep an eye out for these courses to be offered around major Linux Foundation events in 2012. We will have a schedule announced soon.