The Open Source Way

The OpenClinica LLC team subscribes to a core set of values we do our best to live and work by in everything we do. They are primarily based around what it means to us to be open source. In the spirit of living by the first one (be radically open), here they are!

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At OpenClinica, we believe that a successful business depends on a successful and growing open source community. We aspire to be part of a community that is as accomplished as Linux, Drupal, and Apache. We want to achieve a similar level of innovation, quality, collaboration, and transparency. To travel this journey (and build a great product along the way!) we constantly strive to put in practice the following values:

  • Be radically open.
  • Release early and often. Not always production releases, but find ways to get code in the hands of users and testers.
  • With enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. Follows from release early and often.
  • Keep barriers low!! For distribution, evaluation, adoption, contribution. Question complexity. Some is necessary but favor simplicity where at all possible.
  • If you need it, then build it. Or find it (see next one).
  • Share and re-use other’s work. Avoid not-invented-here (NIH) syndrome. Somebody has done it before. Or, someone has done something similar but not thought of using it for what you need. Here’s where radical innovation and gigantic leaps forward happen.
  • Keep at it. There are no substitutes for persistence and perspiration.
  • Reward good ideas and good contributions. Let leadership and accountability thrive.
  • Maximize participants’ strengths.
  • Avoid community anti-patterns.
  • Make it yours. You are your personality.
  • Most of all, find your passion and let your love for what you do shine through!

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles, presentations, and academic papers on what makes open source communities work. Here are a few that best articulate the values described above:

Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar. It all started here. Read the summary or the full paper.
Matthew Mascord, How to Build an Open Source Community
Joel Dietz, How to build a vibrant open source community
David Neary, Open Source community building: a guide to getting it right
Jonathan Corbet, How to destroy your community
David Nalley, Leadership in open source communities
Stephen Walli, Open Source: No one is working for free
Ben Baumann, OpenClinica Community Surpasses 10,000 Members …and oh yeah, what is this open source thing?

 

 

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