(Culture Goal) Contributing to OSS projects
Please provide a description of the activity.
One of the best way to participate to open-source communities and ecosystem is to contribute back to projects. When people add a feature or fix a bug for their own purpose, they should make it generic enough to contribute it back. Time must be allowed to people for contributions. Remember that the contributions from the company/entity will reflect its code quality and involvement, so make sure they are good enough.
This activity covers the following scope:
- Work with upstream open source projects
- Reporting bugs and feature requests
- Contributing code
- Leveraging community mailing lists
- Sharing experience
- OSS projects etiquette
The main benefits of this activity are:
- It increases the general knowledge and commitment to open-source within the company, as people start contributing and get involved in open-source projects. They get a feeling of public utility and gain personal reputation.
- The company increases its visibility and reputation as contributions make their way through the contributed project. This shows that the company is actually involved in open-source and contributes back, and promotes fairness and transparency.
Questions and Key Process Indicators that can be used to assess progress on this activity are:
- Question: Is there a clear and official path for people willing to contribute?
- Question: Are people encouraged to contribute back to the open-source projects they use?
- KPI: Volume of external contributions (code, mailing lists, issues..) by individual, team, or entity.
It may be useful to follow contributions, both to keep track of what is contributed and to be able to communicate on the company's effort. Dashboards and activity tracking software can be used for this purpose. Check:
Encourage people within the entity to contribute to external projects, by:
- Allowing them time to write generic, well-tested bug fixes and features, and to contribute them back to the community.
- Providing training to people about contributing back to open-source communities. This is both about technical skills (improve your team's knowledge) and community (belonging to the open-source communities, code of conduct, etc.).
- Provide training on legal, IP, technical issues, and set up a contact within the company to help with these topics if people have doubts.
- Provide incentives for published work.
- The CHAOSS initiative from the Linux Foundation has some tools and pointers about how to track contributions in development.