Sitting in my favorite coffee shop this morning (BeanTraders), while working on the edit for one of my other podcasts (GamesAtWork.Biz) I got to thinking about Open Source vs. Open Development (btw, open development doesn’t have a dedicated wikipedia page, so I guess it means too many different things to too many different people). A quick definition that I would like to put forward is “doing your development in the open so others can understand your process and progress.”
I’ve been a supporter of each of these within the appropriate context. Open source is the easy one to think of. There are multiple great examples of open source projects that have taken the world by storm, Linux and Android are in my mind poster children. When it comes to open development, there are a few great examples too – IBM has Jazz.Net, Linux has the Open Source Development Labs, and Nokia has Maemo. (Full disclosure in my day job I work for IBM).
I find that Open Development is a great way to build interest and engagement with your work, while still allowing for innovation that drives revenue and other monetary rewards for the work that you do. Open Source, on the other hand is also great, but for different reasons. Open source allows you to take a fairly commodity technology and make it even more accessible. It allows developers to show case their skills in a very public way, with direct feedback and support from developers in similar areas.
Open Source becomes the most public way of doing Open Development… So it’s not a verses in my mind, but a complementary project. What do you think?