Permalink
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
56 lines (30 sloc) 4.64 KB

Title

InnerSource Portal

Patlet

Create an intranet website that indexes all available InnerSource project information. This will enable potential contributors to more easily learn about projects that might interest them and for InnerSource project owners to attract an outside audience.

Problem

InnerSource project teams are finding it difficult to attract outside contributions.

InnerSource projects at your company are increasing but potential contributors have no easy way of discovering them.

Story

You are attempting to establish an InnerSource practice within your organization. You are aware of some projects being run using an InnerSource model but their existence is only being communicated via word of mouth, email or sidebar conversations with other employees. As a result InnerSource project owners are finding it difficult to attract contributors. There is no single, shared resource for employees across the organization to access which will allow them to easily discover all ongoing InnerSource projects. This is severely limiting the growth potential of every InnerSource project. What can be done to help all InnerSource projects raise their visibility to as large an audience as possible and attract contributors organization-wide?

Forces

  • The full potential for separate engineering teams to partner on shared challenges is not being realized
  • It is difficult for individuals to discover what InnerSource projects exist
  • It is difficult for InnerSource project owners to attract an audience of external contributors

Context

Your organization is interested in adopting an InnerSource work style and InnerSource project owners are seeking a way to attract audiences to their projects. However, they are limited by the communication channels available to them through which they could advertise to potential contributors. Compounding this problem is the fact that the shared source control management application in use has such limited search capabilities that even developers in search of InnerSource projects find it frustrating to locate them.

Prerequisites

  • Managers have given tacit acceptance that their employees should take part in InnerSource projects
  • A shared source control management system is in use which provides programmatic access to the contents of the repositories it hosts
  • There is a department within your organization with the responsibility of promoting InnerSource collaboration

Solutions

Create an InnerSource Portal intranet website where InnerSource project owners can easily advertise the availability of their projects.

Visitors to the InnerSource portal should be able to see all available projects as well as search for specific projects based on various criteria such as project name, technologies in use, contributor names, sponsoring business unit etc. The information displayed via the InnerSource portal should be under the full control of the InnerSource project owners at all times. Preferably, by sourcing this information directly from a specific data file or meta-data stored in the project repository itself. Project owners should include all relevant information concerning their projects within those data files including the project name, trusted contributors names, a brief description and links to the code repository or any supporting documentation.

A communications campaign promoting the addition of InnerSource data files or meta-data to code repositories should also be considered in order to bolster the number of projects displayed within the portal.

Resulting Context

The InnerSource Portal has enabled InnerSource project owners to advertise their projects to an organization-wide audience. Due to this increased visibility they are attracting much larger communities of contributors than ever before. For those looking to get involved in InnerSource projects, the InnerSource portal has allowed them to discover exactly the kind of opportunities they are interested in by searching across all available InnerSource projects simultaneously based on their specific criteria. Satisfying the needs of both of these audiences has helped establish InnerSource as a viable and attractive option for all areas of the organization to leverage to accomplish things together they could not have separately.

Known instances

  • A large financial services organization has used the creation of an InnerSource Portal to provide a mechanism of advertising and discovering InnerSource projects in existence across different business units
  • The InnerSource Portal pattern has been proven to work extremely well with the associated InnerSource Gig Marketplace pattern in this context

Author(s)

  • Stephen McCall