Key Factors for Adopting Inner Source

Inner Source is a term used to refer to adopting an Open Source Software development approach within a company. Which development practices exactly an organization would adopt can vary widely, but the idea is that developers are empowered by offering them the “tools” and freedom to contribute to other teams’ or departments’ code. This approach can bring all sorts of benefits to the software product (such as faster development, more reuse, better quality) and as a result to the company as a whole.

Numerous companies have adopted Inner Source – and numerous companies are interested in adopting Inner Source. However, a big challenge for these interested companies is: how does inner source work, and what are important aspects to start an inner source initiative?

One of the studies I conducted for my PhD thesis (2011) was exactly to answer that question. The initial study was reported in the PhD thesis, and significantly revised and extended, and has recently been published in the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (vol. 23(2), article 18). (Please go to the publications section for the PDF).

Many companies are interested in adopting Inner Source, and I’m very excited about the publication of this work, as it is published in one of the two flagship journals in the software engineering research community. I am looking forward to collaborate with other organizations interested in this topic.