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Showing posts from 2010

Government Software Pedigree (a.k.a. Why We Need Forge.gov)

[Note: edited 9/8/10 to clear up misconceptions about my involvement in Forge.gov]

I'd like to talk today about why a system similar to Forge.mil is a good idea for Federal government civilian agencies. I'll preface this with full disclosure: I work for CollabNet, the main infrastructure provider for Forge.mil. The CollabNet TeamForge product is the 'glue' underlying Forge.mil, but it allows for additional services to be 'plugged in' in the future. My role in Forge.mil is that of a community management consultant (and part-time day-to-day community manager). Despite the fact that the GSA (General Services Administration) is looking to the DoD (specifically DISA) to help them replicate the success of Forge.mil, the main point here is not to sell TeamForge, but, instead, to make customers and communities successful from a cultural and process standpoint.

Therefore, I'm posting this here for neutrality rather than at the 'OnCollabnet' blog. What …

Community Is...

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[This was originally posted on my work blog 'OnCollabNet']

I just returned from a two week conference trip in support of Forge.mil - the first week in Utah was uneventful, but the second week for the DISA partner conference in Nashville, TN at the historic Gaylord Opryland Hotel... well, let's just say it was something I don't think any of us involved will ever forget. For those that may not have been following the news, Nashville got 18 inches of rain in just two days (an all-time record) and those of us in town for the conference were evacuated from the hotel to a local high school due to severeflooding.



Though I was one of the folks living through this, I'd like to highlight some of the things I saw and experienced that, to me, showcase the true meaning and spirit of community. We deal in my world with community in a somewhat abstract sense, because we are talking about online interactions. However, I'm here to tell you, I saw some amazing, simple, and just…

The Power of the Open Source Periphery

Like a lot of people in the tech world, I try to read a variety of publications (both online and physical versions) to keep up with what is going on in the dizzying world of technology. Recently, I read a great article in a recent issue of Wired entitled Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up. This article explains in some detail, with examples, the problem of 'failure blindness' in scientific research.

This phenomenon causes scientists and researchers to ignore anomalies in their results they didn't expect, which are therefore categorized as 'failures'. The article goes on to state that one of the best ways of overcoming this bias is to involve other people from outside of your immediate speciality in discussions about your results.

For me, this triggered the thought process of why it's important to encourage participation in your communities (Open Source or internal) from folks on the periphery of your project - non-specialists who have something…