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Zend Developer Zone:
What is your project's Bus Factor?
January 05, 2011 @ 12:47:29

In this new post to the Zend Developer Zone Cal Evans asks open source projects and companies alike - "what's your bus factor?"

In a previous job I had it was the "Beer Truck" factor (you can see where our heads were) but the common term these days is Bus Factor. Put simply, it's your projects exposure to the risk of key members disappearing tomorrow. To be crude if your project can't survive a key member of your project being hit by a bus tomorrow then you have a very high "Bus Factor".

He points out that it's not just an open source problem, but something that companies should take into consideration as well. Technology groups are especially bad about having single developers consistently working on certain parts of a system. If the time comes that that developer can't do the work (bus, leaves company, etc), how much of an impact will that have? Cal suggests a few ways that it can be avoided including spreading the work around a bit more, moving developers to places in the codebase they don't know and avoiding the "black boxes" created by certain developers.

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busfactor opinion risk developer survival


FlashFlex.com:
A survival guide to building a successful open source project.
October 08, 2010 @ 11:04:43

On the FlashFlex.com site today there's a new post with recommendations for those wanting to start up an open source project (PHP-based or not) and to help it thrive.

In these modern times for the web, the appearance and use of open source software is becoming more and more commonplace. [...] To guide any would-be seekers of open coding success, Rob Bateman from Away3D takes you through some of the troubles to avoid, and offers advice on how to retain your sanity and enthusiasm over the first few months (and years).

He has a list of ten suggestions for things you can do for the project (and for yourself) to help get the ball rolling and keep it that way. The points include:

  • Decide how much time you are willing to spend on the library before you start writing.
  • Set up a website to increase user awareness
  • Do everything you can to assist newcomers to your library
  • Maintain neutrality in your community
  • Keep at it!

Take a look at the rest of the post for more suggestions and descriptions of each.

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survival guide opensource project build opinion recommendation



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