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What Outsourcers Can Learn from Open-Source Communities


Out-sourcing development and open-source development may at first appear to be about as far apart as baseball and football. Both use a ball in a game, but that’s about it. Yet a closer look from open-source software developers and industry analysts reveals that enterprises using outsourcing for their programming needs could stand to learn some management and process techniques from the open-source community.

For example, one important lesson that outsourcers can pick up from open-source development communities is “the open-source community’s emphasis on asynchronous methods of communication—e-mail, bug tracker, forum, VCS (version control systems) update—over synchronous ones—phone, chat, meeting,” points out John Berkus, a PostgreSQL core team member and part of Sun’s open-source database team. According to Berkus, the advantages of asynchronous development include:

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