Not all companies produce software and from those that do, not all make them available as opensource projects. Closed source and IP is still considered a form of innovation.
But not for Netflix – that company that killed blueray. On their recent blog post about the evolution of opensource at Netflix, they detail a few actions and plans for their public software. And oh boy, do they have a ‘few’:
When we look back into the reasons that turn Netflix to opensource most of their tools, I find one quite interesting:
Improved code and documentation quality – we’ve observed that the peer pressure from “Social Coding” has driven engineers to make sure code is clean and well structured, documentation is useful and up to date. What we’ve learned is that a component may be “Good enough for running in production, but not good enough for Github”.
Opening your own software keeps a good pressure – among other things – on your development team. They need to make software readable so that anyone can use it, which creates a pressure to explain it properly.
So when you’re doing advisory and digital strategies, think about the opensource strategy your customer should implement as well. It will help their internal knowledge and information sharing, as well product plans for each of those softwares.