How do you prove the business value of open source to higher management? Many of us have enjoyed this dialogue with the boss (or even with the boss’s boss), right? That’s a hot topic that may result in overly heated discussions and frustration (or worse...). And the sharpest point is often the costs associated with pushing the company code up for everyone to view and possibly even contribute to.
We can probably split the costs into 3 big buckets:
- Legal costs
- Engineering costs
- Developer relations/community/marketing costs
At my previous workplace this dialogue, or rather the process, has lasted for well over 2 years and is still ongoing with a bonus, the 4th costs bucket called "the missed opportunity costs". I’ll reflect on it all once my NDA expires in March.
At this point in life, I have the luxury to contract for a company who has decided to embrace the open-source approach and has shared nearly all products built for internal purposes under popular and permissive licenses such as Apache2, GPL3 or MIT for the small things.
So the code just went up on the GitHub with the licenses slapped on accordingly. What happened next? You have guessed it. Nothing significant.
Once again. Production quality code designed and built by experienced engineers has been shipped to the GitHub under standard permissive licenses and the world didn’t notice.
I will spend 20-40% of my time to try to gift-wrap and polish the GitHub repos, make the readme/contributing/getting-started in a way the world can comprehend. I will reflect on what I/we did and the corresponding results here on dev.to along with calculating our costs vs the opportunities. So that you can make a case for your boss and your boss's boss out of our efforts.
The first internal project I have started to look into is Ptah, a vue.js based landing-pages builder -
Powerful, fast and Open source Web Builder Framework for modern cross browser landing pages for the games.
Ptah - Vue.js-based landing page builder
Ptah is a Vue.js-based open-source game-focused landing page builder framework that combines various ready-to-use templates It is can be used as a separate product or as an editor inside a CMS to empower less technical users to create modern and fast landing pages for games or e-commerce.
- Open source under Apache-2.0 license
- Built with Vue.js
- Produces ready to deploy PWA projects
- Can be used as a standalone tool or intergrated into your CMS
- Ships with a library of built-in templates that you can extend
- All our templates feature responsive design out of the box and are mobile-friendly
- Contains multiple ready to use building blocks
- Such as galleries, system requirements, supported gaming platforms, social links, lead forms, presale options and more
- Each building block (a 'section') can be additionally tweaked to your needs and taste
- Sections support drag-n-drop and live edits
We built our own…
It is a tool for non-techy people to easily build progressive web apps with MailChimp and Auth1 integration. You can use Ptah as a standalone app, extend it with additional templates and widgets or plug it into your CMS. We even have a demo.
I’ve put some makeup on the readme, added contribution rules and a docs stub. Also, I am a few hours off the call with the development lead and can now clarify the docs and start playing with the thing.
Indeed. What are my next steps to shape up this GitHub repo so the world, the vue.js community cares and benefits?
Or here's a different angle to the question. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that somebody tries to make a business case of open-sourcing the internal tech and documenting the corresponding process in a programmers' friendly way. I bet DEV community should care.
Guess this is somewhat ironic that you see this text before my boss does =]