Survey and Pilot Project Report (2020)

The results from the 2019 questionnaire to network operators and pilot OSS project have been written up to provide perspectives from multiple different angles. You can download the whole report (including these different perspectives), or review individual sections by clicking the links below.

View the entire POSSIE network operator open source software survey and pilot project report:


These perspectives draw on information from the survey and pilot project, to share specific insights. For complete results, see the sections below in “Detailed reading”.

  • Key Takeaways (HTML, PDF)
    • Cutting to the chase — do network operators use OSS (yes!)? what are the main challenges? Especially useful for network operator management wondering about the value of OSS
  • Internal selling points (HTML, PDF)
    • Drawing on learnings from respondents’ experience in using or contributing to OSS from a network operator perspective, this section provides takeaways for those who are looking to convince their management of the merits of using, supporting, and/or contributing to OSS
  • OSS project leaders (HTML, PDF)
    • There are some choices OSS project leaders can make that will increase or decrease the likelihood of uptake and engagement in their projects. This section outlines the study’s takeaways for improving projects’ adoption, support and collaboration

Detailed reading

  • Project overview (HTML, PDF)
    • What (and why) this project was
  • OSS Pilot Project report (HTML, PDF)
    • One component of the study was a pilot project for developing a routing security validation tool through collaborative open source development. This section outlines the stages of the project and learnings for collaborative OSS development.
  • Observations and commentary on the survey results (HTML, PDF)
    • Digging into the answers from both Individual Contributors and Decision Makers, some interesting trends, commonalities and differences became apparent. This section documents the more detailed learnings from the questionnaire results.
  • Full survey question and answer details (HTML, PDF)
    • For anyone who wants to dig into the nitty gritty of responses — this section provides complete sets of questions, answers, and responses for each of the two questionnaires

Key Terms

This report is based on a pilot open source software (OSS) project and anonymous surveys of self-identifying network operators. There were two closely linked questionnaires, asking similar (but not identical) questions.

  • Individual contributors (IC): network engineers, personnel who have hands on operations and/or code
  • Decision makers (DC): people who have authority to organizer personnel and resources within the organization.

Where it makes sense, the results from these two questionnaires are shown together, with the chart legend distinguishing between IC and DC.
The questionnaires were set up to step through respondents’ input on three facets of engaging with OSS, and this is how they are used throughout this report:

  • Using: Making use of existing OSS tools — for the respondent’s own purposes, or network configuration, management, operations, etc
  • Contributing: Engaging in coding and contributing that code to an OSS project
  • Supporting: Providing financial support to an OSS project