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Corporate change: Contributing to open source

Dec 08, 2010, 20:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Daniel Doubrovkiney)

"About five years ago I was hired by a software company that specialized in database security. Some of our software was used to protect databases in military assets and major banks. But a lot of development was very remote from top-secret weapons or classified information. For example, we wrote a small command line utility for driving virtual machines for integration testing. It helped us eradicate failures during installs and upgrades. Was I going to have to write that again at my next job? How could I share it with my friends working at other organizations?

"Armed with a healthy dose of idealism, I went to executive management and proposed we open source the tool. I was hoping for a no-brainer and a quick decision at the division level. To my surprise, it took two years, a vast amount of bureaucracy, and far more effort than I ever anticipated. In this process I learned many valuable lessons that I wanted to share with engineers attempting to open source their first projects."

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