The Buzz around InnerSource

Developer Support

App Dev Manager Katie Konow introduces the concept of InnerSource, explaining how it can benefit your organization.

Perhaps this is the first time you have heard the term, but if not, there is a buzz around the developer community: InnerSource. As defined by InnerSource commons:

InnerSource takes the lessons learned from developing open source software and applies them to the way companies develop software internally.

Think of the way an open source project works; anyone in the public can contribute to the project in a meaningful way. You get a diversity of experience, creativity and ideas. This enriches the project and community.

For a business or development shop, cross-team and cross-project collaboration is often not possible internally. Teams and code can often be siloed by project, by work stream, by value stream or by company structure. As your development organization grows, there will be situations where siloed teams could (and should) reuse code from other teams but don’t have the ability to see or discover that code. Why not have a subject matter expert from another team collaborate on your code and thereby improve your project? Your code will be stronger in the end. Duplication of code in many organizations is prolific. If you introduce the ability to discover existing code and services, this means time savings for your developers and organization – and less code (and technical debt) to manage!

Where do you start with InnerSource? Within large organizations, this collaboration can be incredibly complex from a security standpoint – who can and should have access to the code? It also can be hard to maintain clarity – how are people communicating about sharing code? How are they discovering code that could be used in their project? Enter GitHub. GitHub shines in a collaboration scenario; after all, the platform evolved in the open source community. Out of the box, a GitHub repository includes permissions and tools that foster collaboration. For a deeper dive into InnerSource and GitHub, take a look at this fantastic whitepaper: An Introduction to InnerSource.

To help your team succeed with InnerSource, Microsoft Services: Developer Support has partnered with GitHub to offer an InnerSource Workshop. The workshop starts by helping organization leaders understand InnerSource and create an implementation plan. After this discovery, the team trains organization developers to understand InnerSource and effectively utilize the concept in  every day development. To learn more about this workshop, check out the blog article: GitHub and Microsoft Services: Developer Support – Elevate and Accelerate, or contact your Microsoft Application Development Manager.

For general information about InnerSource, visit InnerSource Commons



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