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Open Source Craft at Twitter

Open Source Craft at Twitter

Open source craft and culture at Twitter.

Presented at Monkigras 2013

Chris Aniszczyk

February 01, 2013

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  1. Now: Growth Continues... 1400+ Employees Worldwide 50% Employees are Engineers

    200M+ Active Users 400M+ Tweets per Day 33+ Languages Supported 60% Active Users are on Mobile 100+ Open Source Projects
  2. Open Source Craft (operating principles) Use Open Assume Open Define

    Secret Sauce Measure Everything Default to GitHub Default to Permissive Acquire and Open Pay it Forward
  3. Use Open Use and benchmark open source software by default.

    When starting a new initiative, always evaluate open source options before going to reinvent the wheel. (e.g., if redis doesn’t work for you, you better have solid evidence)
  4. Define Secret Sauce Don’t open source anything that represents a

    core business value. Define your secret sauce so there’s a shared understanding that can guide decisions. Embed this secret sauce within your culture and company via training.
  5. Assume Open Assume that what you are developing will be

    opened in the future. Pretend the whole world will be watching. Use reasonable third party dependencies to prevent pain down the road. (we mostly use Apache’s Third Party Guidelines as a starting point)
  6. Default to GitHub The GitHub community is the largest open

    source community, with over three million users. You would be stupid to ignore that fact. Embrace social coding tools to lower the barrier to contribution and participation.
  7. Foundations are Good* We just prefer not to default to

    them. We view them as a place for stable projects that grow into maturity, not to incubate new projects. Our goal is to gain traction first as fast as possible. If not, fail fast and carry on.
  8. Be Permissive For outbound open source software, we default to

    OSI permissive licenses (the ALv2 in the majority of cases). We do this so we can maximize adoption and participation, which we favor instead of control.
  9. See http://antirez.com/news/48 Notes from Antirez (1) “First of all, open

    source for me is not a way to contribute to the free software movement, but to contribute to humanity. This means a lot of things, for instance I don't care about what people do with my code, nor if they'll release back their modifications. I simply want people to use my code in one way or the other. Especially I want people to have fun, learn new stuff, and make money with my code. For me other people making money out of something I wrote is not something that I lost, it is something that I gained.”
  10. See http://antirez.com/news/48 Notes from Antirez (2) 1) I'm having a

    bigger effect in the world if somebody can pay the bills using my code. 2) If there are N subjects making money with my code, maybe they will be happy to share some of this money with me, or will be more willing to hire me. 3) I can be myself one of the subjects making money with my code, and with other open source software code. For all this reasons my license of choice is the BSD licensed, that is the perfect incarnation of do whatever you want as a license.”
  11. Acquire and Open* Include open sourcing software in M&A discussions,

    especially if you’re mainly acquiring talent or shelving the product. There’s no need for software to go to waste.
  12. Measure Everything If you can’t measure what you’re doing, you

    have no idea what you’re doing. We measure everything inside of Twitter (affectionately called birdbrain) and make it accessible to everyone.
  13. Pay it Forward Support open source organizations and projects important

    to your business, it’s the right and smart thing to do. This can be financially or simply staffing projects that are strategic to you.
  14. Open Source Craft* Use Open Assume Open Define Secret Sauce

    Measure Everything Default to GitHub Default to Permissive Acquire and Open Pay it Forward Note: This fits in a tweet
  15. Not all process is bad! “process is an embedded reaction

    to priority stupidity” True. Remember the history of surgery? Ignaz Semmelweiz (hand washing) Surgery checklist: Glad your surgeon washes hands? Even with surgery process, metal objects still are left in people :) See http://many.corante.com/archives/2003/09/17/process_is_an_embedded_reaction_to_prior_stupidity.php See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis
  16. Automate Quality Checklist Tooling to check for baseline “quality” before

    we open √ README √ LICENSE √ CONTRIBUTING.MD √ .travis.yml √ Avoid KEYS / sensitive bits √ Avoid GPL License Family Attempts to build and posts results in JIRA. Enforces and teaches good practices.
  17. Automate Sourcing for Hiring Let’s scale hiring a bit! Run

    monthly queries on contributors to our open source projects and projects of interest. Hand it off the Recruiting and the ATS. It’s hard enough to find good talent, why not hire from open source projects of interest.
  18. Automate Reporting / Metrics Send out weekly reports based on:

    Open Sourced Projects (what opened) Top Committers (commits+issues closed) Releases (assumed via git-tag) Contentious Issues (issues with most comments) Top Watched Project (most stars) Top Forked Project (most forks) Track trends. Motivates contribution.