28 Oct 2014

FSOSS 2014 Report - Project Management for Open Source Development

I had the pleasure of being able to attend a couple sessions from this year's FSOSS 2014 Symposium. One such session was a presentation by David Zinman titled: Project Management for Open Source Development.

It may seem strange, for some, to put "project management" and "open source development" together in the same sentence. But as more and more companies adopt open source, there will be more interest in adopting traditional management techniques with respect to open source work (maybe not for the open source projects themselves, but certainly for a company's involvement with such projects). In other words: where there are schedules, so shall there be management :-)

David has been working for many years as a project manager at Linaro. Linaro is a company which employes engineers (who develop software in the open) and has adopted an agile project management model with which to manage said engineers. As a consequence, David has much personal experience on which to draw for a presentation such as this.

It seemed to me as though the main point of David's talk is that the success of any project is going to hinge on communication and collaboration; regardless of whether a project is closed or worked on in the open. In addition to presenting his slides, David shared his knowledge with the audience by way of anecdotes and even an exercise to emphasize the points he was making in his talk.

Overall David's talk went very well and there ended up being more questions from the inquisitive audience than could be answered during the session.

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