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The power of Inner Source: Why build a cross- organization developers’ community?

The power of Inner Source: Why build a cross- organization developers’ community?

Discover how Inner Source enables new features, enhancements and defect-fixes to be developed by every developer at the company, from all divisions, and merged into the product. A closer look at the key challenges – and benefits – of an open approach to your product.

Eyal Zoref

R&D Manager, Amdocs Technology

19 Oct 2021

The power of Inner Source: Why build a cross- organization developers’ community?

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Inner Source enables new features, enhancements, and defect-fixes to be made by developers across your organization (from any division), and merged into the product.

As the development of Microservices Foundation (formerly known as Microservices360) evolved, the amount of feature requests increased overtime. More and more adopters from various of divisions wanted to reach the cloud with their products, and fast. Our resources are limited and there are good ideas waiting in the backlog.

With Microservices Foundation as the enabling platform for transition to the Cloud, we aim for our customers to be engaged and satisfied with their infrastructure (our product). 

In order to expedite the enhancements’ time-to-market, we decided to open Microservices Foundation codes and tools to all developers in the company, allow them to suggest new enhancements in a simple and quick process, and enable to incorporate their enhancements into the nearest possible product release or hot-fix, averaging between 1 day to 1 month. We call it Inner Source.

This is the power of Inner Source, a simple process that empowers developers to learn, evolve, take ownership, and develop expertise, while operating outside their comfort zone.

We managed to create a cross organizational partnerships that removed the borders and enabled new ideas to “jump-in” into our roadmap. The synergy between people in different locations around the world, different divisions, and daily missions, has allowed us to see the process from the perspectives of our customers and adopters.

Benefits

Inner Source delivers benefits to the product and developers across different divisions. Benefits to your product include:

  • Increase customer engagement your product
  • Speed Up product development
  • Improve cross-organizational synergy and partnership

Your developers will also enjoy:

  • More engagement in the working process
  • Increased collaboration across divisions
  • Increased versatility and use of skills
  • Innovation through varied points of views and collaboration

How to promote Inner Source in your organization?

Start by creating a Developers Community! (See insights below)

  1. Plan a campaign
  2. Prepare the inner source program
  3. Collect suitable volunteers
  4. Execute: merge features into the product
  5. Recognition
  6. Share insights
  7. Go to #1 (repeat)

How to build a Developer Community

  • Create a periodical campaign to engage developers that are willing to contribute with “orphan” features. Consider features that are urgent, as they require commitment, and the execution time is harder to predict.
  • Ensure Commitment, by asking for the developer’s manager’s approval before including them in the program.
  • Execution requires a connection between the relevant subject matter experts, and the contributing developer who will require assistance in on-borading, permissions, and feature implementation, up until the point where code is reviewed and merged into the product.
  • Recognize the efforts far and wide (social media, cross company emails, company portal)

Gamification

In order to increase motivation, introduce new challenges, and make the process more fun for all, Gamification is highly recommended. For instance, a Monthly MVP Contest: a monthly announcement of a successful Inner Source feature contributor as the MVP (Most Valuable Player).

Use social media as well to promote the winners with digital badges, and consider giveaways for contributors.

Share the impact

A crucial step in the process is sharing the success and the impact that the program made across the company, to promote motivation among managers and developers alike, to be part of this elite developer community.

Learn more

Amdocs Microservices360 solution profile
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