Thursday, April 27, 2006

CIO Blogs - Could "Found Code" Cripple Your Company? |

While the article
CIO Blogs - Could "Found Code" Cripple Your Company? | makes some valid points, what they don't mention is the impact of not using these types of resources. When you ask most developers what they do when they hit a wall on a problem they almost always say "Go to the web". Frankly, it's what the damn thing was invented for anyhow.



Management is often unwilling to hear (or accept) how long something will really take to develop. The other side of it is that many developers lack the skill to develop the same piece of code. This is not a fault of the hiring process or the developer, it's just a fact. Developers in many cases are like doctors, some work in the general field of coding, some are specialized surgeons. You wont find a developer that knows everything, just too much out there.



I think the mind set of management is what needs to change here. I think that reasonable and acceptable use of searched code could be used in most environments. Most developers (who develop for GPL projects) generally don't have an issue with someone using their brilliant code somewhere else. The problem is if they want to sell it. Most companies that develop software do it for internal purposes vs. producing a software product they outright sell. Blackberry comes to mind where "sold for profit" bit them in the ass. If blackberry was using the same type of code in their accounting software, nobody would have known, or cared. Developing an "acceptable use" policy would be a preferred method for handling this type of issue vs. overreacting and saying "don't use it". With that sort of policy you'd end up extending deadlines and your developers would adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

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