By Liz Barnett – May 20, 2004
Open source projects have resulted in many of today’s most innovative new products: operating systems, application servers, Web servers, and databases. What is it about the open source development model that works so well? Why don’t corporate IT shops have the same types of successes? Many of the practices and staffing models used by open source projects are relevant to corporate IT; managers and developers should study and adopt these. Other open source strategies are not unique — in fact, many are also principles of Agile development and have been proven to scale on large distributed open source projects. These, too, are largely applicable to a corporate development team and should be incorporated into development processes. However, there are a few open source techniques that would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement in a corporate environment; rather than consider these, managers should work to improve their existing techniques and accept the constraints that corporate culture can impose.