I just attended FSE 2016, a leading academic conference on software engineering research. As is en vogue, it had a session on why so much software engineering research seems so removed from reality. One observation was that academics toil in areas of little interest to practice, publishing one incremental paper of little relevance after another. Another observation was that as empirical methods have taken hold, much research has become as rigorous as it has become irrelevant.
My answer to why so much software engineering research is irrelevant to practice is as straightforward as it is hard to change. The problem rests in the interlocking of three main forces that conspire to keep academics away from doing interesting and ultimately impactful research. These forces are:
Abstract: Inner source software development is firm-internal software development that uses the principles of open source software development to collaborate across intra-organizational boundaries that would otherwise hinder any such collaboration. Inner source breaks down the barriers to collaboration across development silos by setting up an internal ecosystem of readily available software components. To get started with inner source, companies need to define their goals and then set up a governance structure for an inner source program and the projects within to reach those goals. This governance structure is often codified in the form of a charter document. This technical report presents an example charter for an inner source program. The goal is for companies to be able to copy and adjust this charter for their own needs. Towards this purpose, the charter leaves open the many decisions to be made, but outlines the options that any company needs to decide upon when establishing an inner source program.
Keywords: Inner source, inner source charter
Reference: Riehle, D. (2016). An Example Charter for Inner Source Programs. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Dept. of Computer Science, Technical Reports, CS-2016-05, August 2016.
Abstract: Inner source is an approach to collaboration across intra-organizational boundaries for the creation of shared reusable assets. Prior project reports on inner source suggest improved code reuse and better knowledge sharing. Using a multiple-case case study research approach, we analyze the problems that three major software development organizations were facing in their product line engineering efforts. We find that a root cause, the separation of product units as profit centers from a platform organization as a cost center, leads to delayed deliveries, increased defect rates, and redundant software components. All three organizations assume that inner source can help solve these problems. The article analyzes the expectations that these companies were having towards inner source and the problems they were experiencing in its adoption. Finally, the article presents our conclusions on how these organizations should adapt their existing engineering efforts.
Reference: Riehle, D., Capraro, M., Kips, D., & Horn, L. (2016). Inner Source in Platform-Based Product Engineering. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering vol. 42, no. 12 (December 2016), 1162-1177.
Abstract: Dieses Projektkonzept schildert, wie Hochschulen mit Unternehmen Projekte mit Studierenden zu beidseitigem Gewinn durchführen können. Unternehmen profitieren durch Recruiting, Outsourcing und Innovation („ROI“), welche sich durch die Projekte ergeben. Hochschulen gewinnen neue Partner, verdienen an den Projekten und bieten attraktivere Lehre.
Abstract: Open source is changing the game of how software is built and how money is made. This talk analyzes the economics of open source software from three main perspectives: The system integrator perspective, the start-up firm perspective, and the individual software developer perspective. A focus is on the distinction between community open source and commercial open source, and how the different stakeholders use different approaches to win in the market, e.g. to gain market share or to keep a job. The dual-license strategy is explained as well as why committers to important open source software projects can expect a higher salary. The talk shows how every stakeholder can benefit and thereby explains why open source is here to stay.