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BC Open Source Development Employee Guide

In production, but maybe in Alpha or Beta. Intended to persist and be supported.

November, 2015

Who is this Guide For?

The information and direction provided in this Guide is for BC government employees and contractors who will be accessing GitHub as part of their work.

This document has been signed off by the GCIO and is a companion to the Open Source Development Standard. Feedback and suggestions for improvement are welcome using the GitHub issues functionality.

BC Guidelines for Employee Participation in GitHub


Why do we need this guide?

Github is an online community where there are numerous complexities around participation as a Public Servant including creation and use of intellectual property, licence agreements, copyright, privacy and security policies.

This Guide is designed to support you as an employee of the Province or as a contractor working for the Province as you use GitHub to contribute and consume code and other content on behalf of the Province. Whether you are brand new to GitHub or are a seasoned user, the processes to access and use GitHub in a government capacity are being closely managed to ensure we understand the steps and factors necessary for success.

While this document has been constructed as a guideline, it does refer to several legal requirements and applicable BC Government policies that must be complied with when participating in Github as a government employee or contractor. Where the guideline refers to a requirement or states that the user “must” do something or “ensure” something, users are expected to comply with that requirement. To clarify, this guideline supplements and provides helpful references to existing legal and policy requirements; it does not replace or limit them. Nothing in this document should be read as limiting the responsibility of government employees and contractors to comply with applicable legislation and policy.

This Guide will evolve as we learn and gain experience; your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome to help it along the way. For further assistance in understanding and managing your participation in GitHub, contact . You can also check the section of this guide that is most closely related to your question for more specific help and contacts. Any ideas or feedback on the Guide itself can be provided by using the GitHub issues in this repository.

What is GitHub and Why are We Using It?

GitHub is an online platform for developers to exchange and collaborate on code. It is the largest public code-sharing site with over 19 million code repositories and over 8 million people collaborating, sharing code and building amazing things.

There is increasing interest across the public sector in developing or deploying open source software as well as making code that was developed “in-house” available to developers. The Province is using GitHub to harness this collaboration to build software, support innovation, and to save time and money. These guidelines aim to encourage employees to use GitHub to contribute their skills, to collaborate and to help identify important requirements and manage risks associated with participating in these activities.

Portions of this and following sections rely significantly on Code for America: Civic Commons - Releasing Open Source

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