On Open and Collaborative Software Development in the DoD

TitleOn Open and Collaborative Software Development in the DoD
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHissam, SA, Weinstock, C, Bass, L
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleSeventh Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, {NPS} Proceedings -
Date Published04/2010
PublisherNaval Postgraduate School
Place PublishedMonterey, California
Other NumbersNPS-AM-10-037
Keywordscollaborative development, open source software, reuse, software engineering

The US Department of Defense (specifically, but not limited to, the DoD CIO's Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software, DISA's launch of Forge.mil and OSD's Open Technology Development Roadmap Plan) has called for increased use of open source software and the adoption of best practices from the free/open source software (F/OSS) community to foster greater reuse and innovation between programs in the DoD. In our paper, we examine some key aspects of open and collaborative software development inspired by the success of the F/OSS movement as it might manifest itself within the US DoD. This examination is made from two perspectives: the reuse potential among DoD programs sharing software and the incentives, strategies and policies that will be required to foster a culture of collaboration needed to achieve the benefits indicative of F/OSS. Our conclusion is that to achieve predictable and expected reuse, not only are technical infrastructures needed, but also a shift to the business practices in the software development and delivery pattern seen in the traditional acquisition lifecycle is needed. Thus, there is potential to overcome the challenges discussed within this paper to engender a culture of openness and community collaboration to support the DoD mission.

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