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Building Networks of Software Communities in a Large Corporation

Melian, Catharina; Ammirati, Cathy Burles; Garg, Pankaj; Sevon, Guje


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Abstract: In this paper we report on an ongoing research to understand and foster networks of communities around the development of software systems in a large corporation. Software systems are integral to the functions of any modern large, corporation. Such systems minimally include word processors, email, group communication systems, and often include complex systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Portals, and so forth. Hence, most modern corporations of today heavily utilize and often develop software systems or their customizations. The success of several Open Source software systems, e.g., Linux, Apache, and so forth, leads us to believe that certain collaboration practices of Open Source development methods, like open discussions for features and requirements, the ability of the user community to participate in such discussions with the developer community, will benefit large corporate software development and customizations. In particular, we aim to document the ongoing efforts within Hewlett-Packard, to replicate the collaboration styles of Open Source development methods within a corporate setting. We report on the development of "Progressive Open Source," as defined at Hewlett- Packard, and the nature of network communities developed to support it. We formulate and describe a study aimed at describing the fostering of such networked communities within Hewlett-Packard. While the study is in progress, early results indicate the positive influence of Progressive Open Source in creating diverse networking groups within the company.

14 Pages

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