It started at the end of the last millennium. Everybody knew that software was important for banks, insurance companies and the likes. But for other industries like automotive, public transport or ‘production’, software was just a side note. Then in the early days of the new millennium we noticed more and more references to the importance of software in these domains. It was prominently stated that 90% of the new functions in cars were due to software.
Software was getting into more people’s brains. And then in 2011, Marc Andreessen made the famous quote, stating that “Software is eating the world”. Old industries were challenged by competitors building new business models around modern software. Examples include booking.com, Uber, Tesla Motors, and many more.
This is a very challenging new world for many companies and organizations. While technology is progressing faster and faster, engineers and practitioners are becoming scarce resources. According to the German Bitkom (2018), Germany needs an additional 82’000 IT experts. And time-to-market and cost have become scary factors as well.
At the Eclipse Foundation, we have over the past 15 years developed and improved a model for industry collaboration in the open. Since 2004, organizations and individuals have learned how to collaborate on FOSS projects and produce high quality open source code. Back in 2012, we started working with different industry leaders in IoT, Automotive, Aerospace, and other areas to create repeatable and adaptable governance models and processes facilitating very focused and transparent collaboration efforts. Other open source organizations like the Linux Foundation have followed and started similar activities. We believe about 80% of all the software needed can be developed collaboratively and shared. While this model is not a silver bullet, we strongly believe that it helps to develop modern stacks at lower cost, to allow faster deployment, and to enable our ecosystems to compete with bigger and more advanced industry players.
In this talk, we will investigate a little more about where we came from and look into the details of this model of transparent industry collaboration in open source.