Forge.mil: What the Department of Defense can teach us about Community Development*
Since its launch in 2009, Forge.mil, the Department of Defense’s groundbreaking collaborative software development platform, has quickly garnered over 8000 members and over 400 projects. Its utilization of open-source principles has improved the ability of the military to rapidly deliver dependable software. Its efficient use of scarce resources provides a model of collaborative cooperation that can benefit all communities in and out of the government.
Forge.mil has enabled the DoD to communicate more effectively, to drive re-use of source code and other assets, and to gain unprecedented visibility into its software development process. Its success at speeding up the military’s software development cycle and reducing overhead costs has led to the General Services Administration’s consideration for a similar project for civilian agencies, dubbed Forge.gov.
This session will provide lessons gleaned from the large-scale community development around the Forge.mil platform since its inception. Community Manager, Guy Martin, will describe the issues faced regarding user adoption and culture change. In particular, he will discuss the first component of the platform – SoftwareForge, a collaborative environment for shared development of DoD community source software. Attendees will learn how open source principles are transforming the way the DoD develops software and how to apply those lessons in their own community-building projects.
Guy is a senior strategic business & community consultant at CollabNet. In addition to helping customers build collaborative communities using Open Source best practices, he provides high-level strategic guidance in the cultural and organizational changes necessary to best take advantage of CollabNet’s Agile ALM tools. He has over 15 years of experience in software engineering, technical marketing, community management, and is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). Prior to CollabNet, he helped develop collaborative communities for Motorola and Sun Microsystems.
Guy was awarded a Federal 100 award in 2010 by Federal Computer Week for his work on the Forge.mil project. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.