My 3 favourite OSS projects

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Theodore Roosevelt**

Having worked at almost every different aspect of OSS, there are three types of projects that I’ve enjoyed most, despite them tending to consume 80-100 hour weeks, sometimes for months at a time:

  1. Proofs of Concept (PoC) Demonstrations – These are the true embodiment of rapid prototyping in the world of OSS. This is just like a full implementation, but in condensed form. It has all the aspects of a complete implementation (ie customer requirement capture, network design/modelling, process mapping, data creation/migration, application configuration, etc) but the focus is on quick-fire delivery and feedback rather than voluminous documentation and bureaucracy. Being able to demonstrate the power of a particular OSS to positively impact the customer’s organisation brings an amazing sense of achievement
  2. Strategic Consultancies – This often involves using innovation to road-map an organisation’s OSS from being internally focussed (ie an operations-based cost-centre) to externally focussed (ie how the OSS can produce tangible business benefits)
  3. Vendor Selection Consultancies – Similar to the previous point, this involves helping an organisation to distil how an OSS can improve their business and then to select an OSS vendor/supplier that best fits those needs. Vendor selection is getting past the functionality arms race and getting to business benefits

All of my other OSS projects have been prized work worth doing too.

** Not sure I completely agree with Teddy’s quote above. There might be a few prizes in life that are more worthy than hard work worth doing.  😉


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