OSS and Operators: what was the question?

What's in an OSS Study?
Who were they?

Go to any network operator group meeting, and you’ll be met by a pre-meeting hackathon, encouraging participants to engage in open source software development of some description. The sense is that OSS is important to network operators. There’s also a quiet suspicion that network operators are not as engaged with OSS as they might, or ought to, be.

So, in October and November 2019, we canvassed people to provide responses to a set of questions about their experiences. We targeted “network operator communities”, and did cast the net broadly to collect data from anyone willing to share information about their use, contributions to, and supporting of OSS. In seeking better understanding of what were attractions, another aim was to better understand who is not doing some or all of the above. What are the sources of friction that can be addressed to improve engagement with OSS? What are the things that are immediate attractors, or outright buzzkills?

The project was composed of two questionnaires: one for individual contributors to OSS, and the other for decision makers within companies that do (or do not) use, contribute, or support OSS. These are referred to as “surveys”, although they were not created by a certified data scientist and the results should not be over-analyzed: it was a data gathering exercise.

Happily, several people shared their thoughts in response to both questionnaires, and the results have now been tallied. Over the course of the coming weeks, the results will be shared here on this blog, in the form of draft report sections. The purpose of sharing them here is chiefly to get feedback:

  • there is a lot of data — are these reports helping to answer interesting questions?
  • or what other questions should be addressed?
  • are there things that should be made clearer in explaining the story around these glimpses into the data?
  • anything else?

Once all the sections have been put out for comment, there will be a composite final report from the project, which will be shared on this site.

Stay tuned for the first in the data series, as we look at the numbers of who responded, and what roles they have.

Anything else?

As we go along, please do share your thoughts as the posts come out, and look forward to the final report! This is how we’ll gather feedback on the individual sections posted:

Please share your e-mail if you are willing to be contacted for follow up on this feedback
Gut-level reaction to this post content
Is something in the post confusing? Is there an error? Does this spark an idea for something better we should follow up? Let us know!

Send comments in mail to: ldaigle@thinkingcat.com

What's in an OSS Study?
Who were they?

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