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Open Source Development Using Agile Methodologies

BoF
Location: D138

Many of the principles of Agile development align well with the principles of open source:

  • Open source and Agile are based on a similar set of principles (early and often, transparency, openness)
  • Agile maps closely to commonly-used practices in open source like the creation of milestone versions.
  • Agile teams are typically small. The core-developer teams of open source projects are typically small.
  • Agile teams are self-managing and self-led. Core-developer teams in open source projects are self-managing and self-led.
  • Agile does not need large up-front efforts before development starts.

The usage of Agile for open source projects introduces consistency, terminology, and a well-defined but light-weight structure.

However, from an open source perspective, the Agile methodologies present some problems. These problems stem from assumptions that Agile makes about the nature of the team and the nature of the stake-holders. These problems include rigid iteration lengths, co-location of team members, commitment levels and scheduling of team members, no notion of community involvement, and the lack of acceptance or hardening phases.

Open Scrum has been developed to provide an Agile methodology that is designed for open source projects. Open Scrum will be presented during this BoF.

Participants are welcome to share their experiences and impressions of development methodologies (Agile or not) used for open source development.

OSCON 2008