Open Supply Work Is Work

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October 5, 2022

Printed by Per Ploug, Open Supply Tech Lead

Again in June, I introduced the present state of Spotify’s open supply actions to our builders as a part of our inner Spotify Engineering Convention, aka SpEC. Within the presentation, I’m going over the place we presently are with our open supply efforts, what challenges we face, and the imaginative and prescient for the place we’re going. 

Centered across the precept of “Open Supply Work Is Work”, my discuss outlined how our strategy to open supply isn’t well-aligned with our engineering working rules — and the way misalignment could cause unhealthy unintended effects for initiatives, which impacts high quality and longevity. I additionally introduced the rules beneath which we want to steer our open supply actions sooner or later.

The important thing takeaway is that this: if we wish to have a big influence, now we have to make open supply work as just like our inner methods of working as doable. We’ve recognized 5 key areas that may do exactly that:

  1. Set up possession. Much like how we handle our inner code base, the place to begin for every part is establishing possession — as a result of clear possession establishes clear accountability.
  2. Possession ought to be sustainable. Budgeting time inside your common working hours for sustaining your initiatives. Open supply work isn’t solely for many who have weekends and evenings to do it.
  3. It’s OK to be bold, however set clear targets. It’s best to have the liberty to chase each huge bets and tiny experiments — however be aware of why you wish to do what you wish to do earlier than you got down to do it.
  1. Measure, study, and adapt. Metrics ought to be in place in order that we are able to make data-driven evaluations about whether or not a mission is profitable. Generally issues received’t work out, and that’s positive. We’d fairly have 20 nice initiatives than 300 poor ones.
  2. Be aware of your exterior dependencies. Lack of sustainability within the broader open supply ecosystem is a danger for us, and so we should make investments accordingly, which we do each by means of our FOSS fund and by making upstream contributions.

Spotify has lengthy been identified for its distinctive engineering tradition and methods of working. By  adhering to rules just like the significance of possession, setting clear targets, making data-driven selections, and reacting rapidly, we’ve been in a position to proceed to scale our influence and preserve the standard of our engineering — even because the enterprise has grown into a real platform for tons of of thousands and thousands of listeners and tens of thousands and thousands of creators and artists importing to Spotify. 

It’s solely pure that we apply these identical rules to our open supply work, in order that we are able to make an influence past Spotify, as properly. To study extra about these rules and the way we’re treating open supply work as work at Spotify, watch my presentation video above. In any other case, see you within the repos!

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